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China’s Standards of Media Ethics

China’s Standards of Media Ethics

Giving specific examples, evaluate the standard of ethics and morals of the media industry in China.

China’s Standards of Media Ethics

Internationally, journalists are expected to conduct themselves professionally and ethically to
exhibit the maximum standards of journalism as per given principles. Considering that China
is not a collectivistic society, there is high observance of morality in this society mainly
drawing from Confucianism teachings (Ambrose & Cross, 2009). The observance of morality
is extended from observance of traditions from the grassroots to the media. This is destined to
create a good rapport between different stakeholders within media industry. Therefore, the
following discussion indulges in viewing some of the standards of media ethics and morals in

The government of China strives to see that freedom of press is felt among its media
stakeholders. Furthermore, it has established laws and regulations to regulate and control how
these freedoms should be exercised. One of the standards of media ethics in China is
accuracy of reports given (Beardsley, 2010). Media houses are controlled on the type of
information they releases to the public. For example, media inform of radios and televisions’
news broadcast in China face strict laws pertaining the type of information broadcasted
(Christians, Fackler, McKee, Kreshel & Woods, 2013). If a journalist is found conspiring to
give out false information, criminal charges are laid against him or her.
The second aspect of morality of which is an ethical media standard is the respect to the
source of information (Davison, Martinsons, Murata, Drummond, Li, & Lo, 2009). Chinese
people, Fukawa & Erevelles (2014) and Wang (2011), have the tendency to respect people
regardless of what they are. The government as well as the public expects that respect to be
exemplified by the media. In simple terms, journalists should observe that anonymous of the
source of information to be adhered for security purposes. Therefore, if a source of data
dictates that his or her identity to remain anonymous, then it should be it. In other cases,
journalist should not be engaged in stereotypical communication (Fortner & Fackler, 2011).
According to In Couldry, In Pinchevski & In Madianou (2013), it is against the law in China
to engage in such practices such as naming suspects of crimes before they are being charged.
Still on the same platform of the respect for human rights in media ethics, diversity of human
experiences and views should also be apprehended (Ip, 2009). What this means is that the
tendency of journalists in China to discriminate people based on how unpopular they are,
should be avoided at all cost. Still on the same line, Jung, Klein & Caldwell (2014) demand
that photojournalist while on their line of duties should be very cautious to ensure that they
do not expose or risk the safety of their subjects when taking photos to represent breaking
news. To the maximum, as Keller (2009) argues, journalism should be ethical in showing

compassion to those people affected unsympathetically by news broadcast. In addition,
journalist still on the same line should use particular special sensitivity when handling
juvenile and inexperience subjects.
In China like its counterpart Western countries, genuine information is appreciated.
(Kleinman, Yan, Jun, Lee & Zhang (2011) gives that it is a serious offence to fund, buy, and
give gifts such as tour incentives to corrupt a source of information. In reciprocal, journalists
themselves are not allowed to accept favors and compensation from those personalities who
might seek to affect coverage (Lu, 2009). Therefore, they should act independently. China’s
strict media rules punishes such individuals who act in their capacity to influence programs
and reports. Such penalties such as jail terms and revocation of licenses follow the victim.
Media ethics and morals in China extend to incapacitation of other journalists (Sardy, Munoz,
Sun & Alon, 2008). In China, journalists are put under strict guidelines to ensure that they do
not intentionally incapacitate the efforts of other journalists. In addition, journalists are not
allowed to cause bizarre using another journalist’s condition whether to the public or to the
other journalists.
Accountability is another indispensable media ethic in China. It is the sole duty of a journalist
to stress and clarify new topics and welcome conversation with the general-public over a
specific journalist’s conduct (Sardy, Munoz, Sun & Alon, 2010). In addition, still on
accountability, a journalist should encourage the critics from the public to air out their voices
against the news media. It should be a promise as Wang & Young (2014) argues of a
journalist to accept mistakes and correct them with immediate effect. To supplement the
concept of accountability on media ethics, Small (2013), Shaw & McKeever (2012) and
Spence (2011) attest that journalist should aggressively expose unethical malpractices of the
news media. Journalist should stand firm to report such malpractices such as payment of
sources of information to the court of law (Ip, 2009). Above all, journalist being accountable

to their listeners, readers, and viewers should abide by the same elevated standards to which
they hold each other.
In summary, China has an easy task in observance of ethics and morals in media. This is
because of Confucians teachings, which aggressively stressed on people being good to all
people regardless of race, status, or gender. Therefore, China progressively ensures that
ethical and morals in media are observed to the latter. Offenders caught violating media
ethics and morals are heavily punished as per given rules and regulations.

Ambrose, D., & Cross, T. L. (2009). Morality, ethics, and gifted minds. New York: Springer.
Beardsley, J. K. (2010). Ethics and morals: Inside and out. Government Procurement, 18(4),
Christians, C. G., Fackler, M., McKee, K. B., Kreshel, P. J., & Woods, R. (2013). Media
ethics: Cases and moral reasoning.
Davison, R. M., Martinsons, M. G., Ou, C. X. J., Murata, K., Drummond, D., Li, Y., & Lo,
H. W. H. (2009). The ethics of IT professionals in japan and china*. Journal of the
Association for Information Systems, 10(11), 834-859. Retrieved from

Fukawa, N., & Erevelles, S. (2014). Perceived reasonableness and morals in service
encounters. Journal of Business Ethics,125(3), 381-400.
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Ethics. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
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Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ip, P. K. (2009). The challenge of developing a business ethics in china. Journal of Business
Ethics, 88, 211-224. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-008-9820-2
Ip, P. K. (2009). Is confucianism good for business ethics in china? Journal of Business
Ethics, 88(3), 463-476. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-009-0120-2
Jung, Y., Klein, J., & Caldwell, M. L. (2014). Ethical eating in the postsocialist and socialist
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Kleinman, A., Yan, Y., Jun, J., Lee, S., & Zhang, E. (2011). Deep China: The Moral Life of
the Person. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Lu, X. (2009). A chinese perspective: Business ethics in china now and in the future. Journal
of Business Ethics, 86(4), 451-461. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-008-9857-2
Sardy, M., Munoz, J. M., Sun, J. J., & Alon, I. (2008). Emerging dimensions of business
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Sardy, M., Munoz, J. M., Sun, J. J., & Alon, I. (2010). Dimensionality of business ethics in
china. Competitiveness Review,20(1), 6-30.

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