Covering the War on Marijuana
Com 318: Concepts in Mass Media
The “war” of legalizing marijuana has been on-going since the early 20th century. Marijuana, also referred to as cannabis, is the most commonly used drug in the United States, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In the United States, the use, sale, and possession of marijuana are federal offenses. Although cannabis is still illegal in most of the country, it is gradually becoming decriminalized. 20 U.S. states have passed laws that have made it legal to use marijuana medicinally. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states in the nation to legal non-medical use of marijuana. According to the CNN/ORC poll conducted January 2014, 55 percent of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, while 44 percent are not.
If I were to report on marijuana legalization, I would first take any ethical aspects into consideration. If not careful, I could get myself into trouble for publishing incorrect information, accepting perks, sensationalizing an event, or invading a person’s privacy. I would want to especially be careful not to be unfair, impartial, or untruthful about the topic as a whole. Any personal feelings or opinions I have on marijuana or people associated with it should not be reflected in my work. My job, as a journalist, is not to persuade readers into feeling any particular way, but rather just to report the facts- leaving readers to form their own feelings and opinion on the matter. The only way I could include my personal thoughts and feelings is if I were writing an editorial column. Other than for the purpose of writing an opinion piece, any and all personal feelings of mine on the matter should be left out.
I would want to make sure I am being fair to all sides of the story. To do this, I would talk to people and companies that all have different views on the issue. I might try to speak to various people...