Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Marketing



First Advisor

Daniel W. Kemper

Second Advisor

Joseph Silverio

Third Advisor

Jan Kniffen


This thesis will focus on determining whether or not the media does or does not pay heavy attention to ethical issues when reporting. Much of society believes that the media focuses more on "getting the story", rather than reporting the news. Also, some view the media as an entity which cares only about sensationalism, and producing the highest rating. Over the past fifteen years or so, media coverage has changed quite drastically. Journalists of earlier times would have not been expected to go to any lengths to get a story, as they seem to be in today's world. It is almost expected now to see a journalist chasing or stalking their subjects for whatever reason.

Society has somewhat grown accustomed to the fact that the media are allowed to act a certain way, and therefore, it is just accepted. As an example, a viewer may see a plane crash on the news a particular evening. The viewer is not surprised to see that the reporter is making every effort to get an interview from a victim's relative or loved one. This type of behavior is obviously a moral issue, however, the media seem to assume that they have the right to put a camera or microphone in someone's face after they've received the "news".

For many, they view the media as unethical, ratings chasers who care only about themselves; others feel the media does a sufficient job with what they have to do. The purpose of this research is to show through various studies, what the media does consider ethical or unethical, as well as determine what the majority of the public opinion reveals about the field of journalism overall.

Results of the analysis showed evidence that the hypothesis be accepted and to conclude that, with the studies analyzed, a majority of society agrees that ethics in the media is not a heavily focused upon issue, and sensationalism plays a large role in the journalism field.