Media Ethical Analysis Case Study For the analysis paper, your assignment will be to identify a case in media ethics in which you would have acted differently than the media practitioner(s) at the center of it.
The paper should be organized in a way that makes clear how you will answer the six major questions from Doing Ethics in Media:
What’s your problem? Briefly describe the case. (You may attach a published blog, article, case study, or news story as a link or as an appendix for background.) Spell out what makes this situation a moral dilemma. Leave yourself with a clearly stated question to be answered.
PETA, (People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals) launched an ad in 2004 that compared the slaughtering of animals for food to humans being killed in the Holocaust. This “Holocaust on Your Plate” display included side by side pictures of victims of the Holocaust next to slaughtered animals in order to “encourage people to consider that the same mindset that allows the routine and systematic murder of animals also allows the routine and systematic murder of human beings”. The clear problem is that PETA compared the slaughtering of animals to the murder of over 6 million Jews in World War II. The ad also stated that to animals, all people are Nazis and for them, it is an eternal Treblinka.
Media Ethical Analysis Case Study Questions
Why not follow the rules? Are there some precedents, guidelines, codes, or laws you should keep in mind? If so, are there reasons your dilemma can’t be resolved by them?
There are definitely some precedents and codes that were ignored when launching this ad. It is obvious that this some ethical dilemmas arose when deciding whether or not to air the ad. PETA should have thought about the repercussions when talking about something as delicate and sensitive as the Holocaust.
Who wins, who loses? Who are the stakeholders, and what impact is your decision likely to have on each of them in the short term and in the long term?
The stakeholders, as well as the entire organization, PETA most definitely lose in this situation as they have lost most of their support, credibility, sponsors, and supporters. That being said, Matt Prescott, responsible for launching this ad, was apparently not honest with the U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum. “[USHMM] spokeswoman Mary Morrison said the Washington museum was never told about the nature of the campaign, or even that it was related to PETA. The request, which came from an organizer’s private E-mail account, described the project’s goal as “comparing the atrocities of the Holocaust to other forms of oppression throughout history.” Furthermore, the Museum’s executive director also issued a statement regarding Prescott’s offensive exhibit. “[PETA] has chosen to ignore common decency and desecrate the memory of Holocaust victims, survivors and their families in its perverted effort to generate headlines. We are especially offended that PETA has chosen to use materials obtained deceitfully from the Museum … An organization so concerned about inflicting pain on animals should not be so oblivious to the pain it is inflicting on humans.”
These people who trusted PETA now feel betrayed, which has definitely impacted their relationship long term. They feel as though they were cheated and would never have allowed Prescott using the images if they knew what it was for.
What’s it worth? Prioritize your values—both moral and non-moral values—and decide which one(s) you won’t compromise.
I do not think that the airing of this “Holocaust on Your Plate” was worth the backlash it received. It had to be for seen that comparing the slaughtering of animals for food to the genocide of 6 million Jews would not be taken lightly and indeed, backfire on PETA and everyone involved. Moral values should never be compromised, especially for an advertisement. PETA should have prioritized their values and thought about the reaction this would bring long before airing this campaign.
Who’s whispering in your ear? In general—and specifically in this case—which school of philosophy or set of moral principles provides you with a moral compass?
It seems that PETA most closely relates to the philosophy of Deontology where the consequences do not matter as long as your intentions are pure and for the right reason. It seems that PETA did not care about the repercussions, but instead about his intention to compare slaughtering animals to that of the Holocaust in order to attract emotional appeal. This perhaps was not the best philosophy to abide by as PETA should have thought about the backlash they may receive from launching this ad and comparing animal slaughtering to the slaughtering of humans in the Holocaust.
Media Ethical Analysis Case Study Conclusion
How’s your decision going to look? State your conclusion, and imagine what your friends and people you respect will think about your decision-making.
In conclusion, PETA launching this ad did more harm than good. Their plan was to bring awareness to the mistreatment of animals by comparing their slaughter to the slaughter of 6 million Jews during World War II. However, this ultimately backfired as the public did not respond to this as they had hoped. If I were the CEO of PETA, I would have definitely not let this ad air. But if it did air, I would immediately retract this and apologize to anyone offended by this. I would hope that the people I respect would not think differently because of this situation and those we can work to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.
As a guideline for length, each section of the paper should be about 1-2 pages (double-spaced), for a total length of about 6-12 pages. You final paper will be checked for plagiarism or improper attribution.