Saving ethics from death? #youth #think2013
Listening to Tina Brown at Think 2013 state the bald facts about the officially blurred line between editorial and paid content makes me ponder on the dubious state of ethics in general. She refers to the distasteful trend of not bothering to distinguish between paid stories and genuine journalism.
Media seems to be going through the same kind of ethical crisis is that many other professions face. Medicine, for instance. Doctors don’t blink about drug companies sponsoring their family vacations, for instance. The discussion about ethics and morality elicits blank stares now. A few years ago, someone would make attempts to justify this blurring of ethics under the guise of need (for advertising), popularity, etc. others would shrug and maybe even look guilty. But today for a whole new generation of young professionals, in the media and elsewhere, ethics is an old world concept. For them, this new way of doing things is the reality. Whatever sells is the right choice.
But let’s not blame this on the insensitivity of the young. I teach young people and they are still coded to be idealists, hopefuls, dreamers. But instead of shaping these dreams towards building a better world, we who guide them look the other way and don’t have those vital conversations that we must.
A crisis of ethics threatens to drown out the very core of human existence. It’s a self destructive trend. I come to Thinkfest each year to hear it from other people, this same concern and to try and view these ideas, these crises, these bewildering changes in an optimistic light. It’s a desperate need indeed. I would actually like to see a parallel platform of Thinkfest reaching into the youth, where we can package the kind of exposure for issues and ideas that we gave at this event specially for young people to engage them in these vital conversations. That may stem the momentum of our flight away from the construct of ethics, perhaps.