Ethical News

By Emily Heyze

Ethics have been developed through philosophy. It is the knowledge that involves having moral standards and knowing right from wrong. This principle significantly influences a person’s behaviour and communication. Genere et al. (2015) outlines Ethical Communication as having the intention of influencing people’s actions positively and providing quality information that will not distort the receiver’s beliefs (p. 118). Persuasion when communicating can have negative results if not used ethically. Persuasion is used in news reports to impact an individual’s physiological state. They use evidence of research and experiences to send their message. Cohen (2017) noted that these days the use of journalistic ethics is becoming significant, as society is criticising news media for the use of sceptical information (para. 1).

The Principles of Ethics (Husson University, 2017).

It has been acknowledged that often business avoid drawing attention to controversial topics. Business Etiquette emphasises honest business practices and being upfront about your beliefs. “Effective management of business ethics requires an organisational strategy that is in tune with wider societal values” (Chartered Accountants, 2013, p. 4). 7 News is the highest rated Australian television news service. The network practices the 5 principles of journalism. The codes of conduct include Truth, Independence, Fairness, Humanity and Accountability (Ethical Journalism Network, 2019, para. 2). Recently 7 News covered a horrific story about animal abuse. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was left emaciated after the owner starved and neglected the animal, resulting in it having to be euthanized.

The enactment of professional publication standards is significant. The network has displayed high ethical standards of humanity and compassion towards the welfare of animals. RSPCA (2019) acknowledges that reporting animal cruelty “reinforces the moral responsibility of community members” (para. 3). This news report influences the audience positively as it helps spread awareness of the prevalence of animal abuse in society. The language used in the report is appropriate and reliable, they have not afflicted a dispute. In the report it appears that the journalist and other individuals understand the laws of animal cruelty, this is shown through an interview in the report. The journalists have used a heart-breaking video to ethically persuade the audience to help stop animal abuse.

Link to Video

7 News Australia. (2019, May 23). Women walks free over animal abuse hat left dog emaciated [Video file]. Retrieved from


Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (2013). Why business ethics matter to your bottom line. Retrieved from

Cohen, P. (2017). Journalistic ethics: the four principles and the impact they can have. Retrieved from

Ethical Journalism Network. (2019). The 5 principles of ethical journalism. Retrieved from

Genere, P., Gill, R., Lawson, C., & Lewis, M. (2015). Communication skills for business professionals. Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press.

Husson University [online image]. (2017). Retrieved May 27, 2019

RSPCA. (2019). Animal Cruelty. Retrieved from


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