Chanakya IAS Academy Blog

Notice

Ethical Dilemmas

vikram is working for a TV news channel as its senior editorial manager. Prior he worked as a writer for a daily paper and later he joins another TV news channel as the newscaster. He was given an opportunity as anchorperson after much requesting his supervisor. Because of his extraordinary style, he ends up noticeably famous and he ends up noticeably instrumental in expanding TRP of the news channel. Because of ascent and unique way, he begins requesting tremendous compensation – which is denied by his manager.

Subsequently, he moves to match new channel where he is currently its senior proofreader and hosts a prime-time talk about the program which has high TRP. The news channel is known for its arrangement of sting operations focusing on legislators, superstars and representatives and afterward holding a verbal confrontation on these sting operations where the casualties of sting operation are arraigned and oppressed by a board headed by Vikram Some of the 'casualties' were solicited to pay tremendous sum from influence to quit airing these recordings of sting operations and level-headed discussions.

One day Vikram gets a call from his past supervisor. Vikram is informed that they have film of Vikram badgering, undermining and getting a fix from a superstar on-screen character and they would air the program unless he leaves and joins back their channel as the commentator. The airing of this recording is sure to end Vikram's profession.

Question- Examine the ethical issues involved in this case, what Vikram should do? Evaluate merits and demerits of his options?

Answer:

The case in questions presents the classical problem with Indian journalists & anchors who don't even think twice before resorting to morally reprehensible behavior to raise the popularity of their new channels.

Under the given circumstances, Vikram can resort to following options-

1. Taking steps to verify whether his previous boss has any sort of such material or he is only threatening him

Merit - if there is no such material, he will retain his job & career. it is highly likely that his boss is just threatening without any evidence in order to end his career solely on the basis of vengeance demerit - it may take time & if in between, his boss has material & has released it, his career will end

2. Taking the matter to the court on the ground of violation of FR to privacy

Merit - his career will be saved

Demerit - it may be possible that his past crimes may be revealed & he has to face punishment for those crimes

3. He should talk to his present boss

Merit - this will end the problem of blackmailing & will save his career if he is able to convince his present boss about her sincerity & devotion to the job

Demerit - he might have to face public condemnation & even trial if the video containing his past crimes is released.

Ethical issues

  • Violation of right to privacy - 'string operations' as the Hon'ble SC observed are a 'deceptive operation' & violates the maxim that 'means and ends are inseparable'. it holds the supremacy of ends over means which is not justified.
  • Violation of human dignity - acts of blackmailing by his previous boss & also by Vikram towards 'victims' of string operations constitutes 'treating human beings as a means to some end & not an end in itself', which violates inherent human dignity as pointed out by Immanuel Kant
  • The behavior of Vikram of taking bribes also reflects lack of professional integrity on his part.

He certainly deserves punishment for his wrongdoings as 'professional integrity' is of paramount importance but certainly not through airing of the footage as it 'violates his fundamental right to privacy' & also because 'the means deployed in establishing the commission of the crime is itself a culpable act' & violates his inherent human dignity.

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