Ethics are important. Even more so for those engaging in media research. Its one of those things that people dread hearing about and is often something that people just look past.
This week, I have been investigating ethics and the importance that it has in media research. The definition of the word ‘ethics’ is described as a moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity. To put it simply, it is the rules that determine wrong and right.
McCutcheon (2015) explains that one of the most significant things regarding ethics is its subjectivity. Ethics are controlled by different ideas and standards across differing political, legal and social systems, and can change drastically over time. She states that the purpose of these ethical guidelines is to protect the welfare and rights of the participants in the research as well as to facilitate research of benefit to the wider community.
One recent case in of ethics in the media, is that of ‘Ashy Bines Bikini Body Challenge’. There has been uproar in the media after “at least 10 recipes from Bines’s online products have been identified as being exactly the same or slightly changed from those found on other food blogs with earlier dates- even one with the same photo” (Skene, 2015)
This has been reported as a case of dishonest business ethics in which buyers of the program have been lead to believe it is all her work.
A wordpress has been set up called ‘Ashy Bines Exposed’, in which the author has created to expose her deficient ethics.
Hestia, the author of the blog states that “Yes Ashy is right, the more fitness professionals in the industry who help the public with their health and wellbeing the better. However there is one thing Ashy is missing, and that is being completely honest in her business, including doing the right things and taking responsibility.”
Ashy Bines has since spoken out in this video, relating to her ethics:
McCutcheon, M. 2015, ‘Research ethics’, Lecture Week 3, BCM210: Research Practices in Media and Communication, UOW, 18/03/15
Skene, K. 2015, ‘Ashy Bines fearing trolls after discovery of at least 10 ripped-off recipes in her clean-eating plan’, The Courier Mail, viewed 8th April, <http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/ashy-bines-fearing-trolls-after-discovery-of-at-least-10-ripped-off-recipes-in-her-clean-eating-plan/story-fnihsrk2-1227293428768>