the educational technology journal

 Vol 16|No 2|December|2006

Photoshopping Reality:
Journalistic Ethics
in an Age of Virtual Truth

By Jamie McKenzie

The phrase "journalistic ethics" may become an oxymoron as the media play for this society the role the circus played for Rome, entertaining rather than educating. Jumbo shrimp. Journalistic ethics. Airplane food. Oxymoronic.

How do young people learn what is happening in their world when the attention of the news cameras swings after just two days of coverage from North Korea's nuclear test to the airplane crash of a Yankee player?

The typical news day is dominated by stories that are sensational or entertaining rather than illuminating. Consequently, our view of the world and its events is routinely and daily narrowed, darkened and distorted.


Photograph by Jamie McKenzie in Paris. Camera crew filming scene for the TV program ER. © 2006, Jamie McKenzie