Yellow Journalism and Media Ethics - YUWA Nepal

Yellow Journalism and Media Ethics - YUWA Nepal

Yellow journalism is a term used for the use of inadvertent and glamorous newspaper reporting without regard to facts. Its history and development, its purpose in the media and its impact are discussed. This is the kind of journalism wherein the news is published without any proof. Yellow journalism is known as the ‘fake’ and ‘money making’ journalism. The main aim of Yellow Journalism is to gather  attention of people in the society. It is difficult to get the attention of the viewers without sentimentalization of news and so, yellow journalism is the impact of the attempt of the media to get popular among the mass audience.

Yellow Journalism is a way of publishing news in such a format that it attracts a good number of readers with an aim to increase the circulation of the newspaper. The phrase was coined in the 1890s to describe the tactics employed in the furious competition between two New York City newspapers. The history of this type of journalism was started in the USA and is also related to Joseph Pulitzer who published a paper called the ‘New York Sunday World’, which is also called the  ‘New York World’ and was very famous. The other major paper at the time was William Hearest’s ‘New York Journal’. They both published a colour cartoon called Yellow Kid at the time. Both newspapers began the practice of sensationalizing news for attention and profit inorder to compete with each other and as a result, the term ‘yellow journalism’ was coined to refer to such practices.

Yellow journalism itself attempts to warm up the audiences to a specific issue. The code of conduct and the ethics of professional journalism which asserts that the audience has the right to get objective and accurate information from mass media is not aligned with the motives of yellow journalism. It is present in all parts of the world and is being used more and more liberally by the media. This is causing a lot of problems as in the age of social media and instant communication, sensationalized news travel fast and actual news are not within reach of most people. The right to get information and the right to freedom in a regular and positive way must be respected by the media.

Accuracy, balance, credibility, effectiveness, fairness, truth, objectivity, honesty, independence, respect for the rights of others etc. must be followed by the media to conduct professional journalism. To avoid being sucked into yellow journalism, the Nepalese journalists and media houses should follow the code of conduct which was formulated by the Press Council of Nepal and the Federation of Nepalese Journalists Association of Nepal. Nepal must follow the social responsibility theory of the press for its further development. Media ethics is the way to uplift the social, economic, philosophical/moral and professionalism in the sector of journalism.

Ethics are important in Journalism because they create guidelines for journalists to help people be informed as also from feeling unequal or outcast. It also helps the journalists to maintain a sense of equality. Rules of conduct or principles of morality that point us towards the right or best way to act in a situation. Similarly, many international organizations; International Federation of Journalists, International Organization of Journalists, European Federation of Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists etc. are also working in the field of journalism to keep healthy and professional environment in the field of journalism.



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