BCOM275 Week 5 DQ 2 - Handling Potentially Sensitive Information
BCOM275 Week 5 DQ 2 - Handling Potentially Sensitive Information
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Date Created: 11/13/15
Week 5 D02 Handling Potentially Sensitive Information You are a journalist for an up and coming online news website You are inadvertently given some information that you know would increase your website s popularity but could potentially compromise national security What would quotpopularityquot mean for you How would you define quotnational securityquot or how is quotnational securityquot defined How might you handle the story Explain your decision RESPONSE 1 As someone who is in the military and has a security clearance there is NO differentiating what is considered national security To use the example that Dr Lyn has given us if a journalist has information that would compromise national security it is that person39s duty to NOT put that information out for the general public Now is it possible that the journalist has no idea the information is sensitive or harmful for the Nation Sure but you can guarantee that if it is someone from any government agency will be knocking on their door and asking questions or quotdisappearingquot without a trace To me that would not be ethical towards rising to the top of the journalism world in my opinion Bottom line if there is even a shred of doubt that the information in possession would cause damage to the country then more than likely it will RESPONSE 2 This is a very interesting discussion question because someone s job could be on the line without writing about the big story However if the story is going to compromise our national security I am going to have to pass In the journalist world the more popular you are the better Reporting those huge headlines is how the big time journalist make their money I often wonder if some of the information used to plot the 911 attacks came right from our own news stations This is something we will never know We just know that America suffers still today for that attack Is it truly worth risking people s lives over a news article I think not National security is something we have maybe that some countries do not have We can all go to sleep at night knowing that we have AWESOME military personnel keeping us safe With that being said I often question just how safe we are since the news mediajoumalist will report on just about anything RESPONSE 3 There is no gray area in the definition of National Security which is anything that can be used against the security defenses of our nation Any information material or act that is determined by the government as a violation of National Security is just that As a service member with a security clearance I39ve been educated very well on what is and what isn39t Nothing is worth sacrificing National Security and if a journalist want to use that as a tool to rise to the top of prominence in his her field it will be short lived for sure We saw it with Wikileaks and if anyone thinks what that organization did was Noble is only fooling themselves We also witnessed it at the beginning of the Iraq invasion when Geraldo Rivera was embedded with an infantry unit He made the mistake of telling the world where they were on a map which not only had him removed from the mission he was threatened with legal action and I39m pretty sure he received a black eye from it If you were to ask Geraldo if he thought it was worth he39d reply with an emphatic 39NO39lc RESPONSE 4 If I were working for an online news website and l were given information that would possible increase the websites popularity but could also potentially cause a compromise in the national security I would choose to keep my mouth shut I feel that my reputation would be more important than gaining the website some popularity I would define 39popularity39 for the website as having an increasing number of people join and pay attention to what is being written I would define 39national security39 as what the government does in order to control what is being let out to the general public in order to keep America safe I definitely would not do anything to compromise my safety here in America I would wait until the story was leaked elsewhere or was spoken to the general public then I may write about the story with what I had learned This really would be a tough decision but ultimately I know where my priorities are Response 5 I think the first thing to touch on is what exactly constitutes quotnational securityquot Because it is such a broad quottermquot and encompasses such a vast amount of topics you cannot pinpoint it exactly This becomes a judgement call based on the specific person that is put in this situation One person39s view of the topics quotdetrimentquot to the country could be much higher or lower than anothers In a case such as this being in a position that you are allowed to speak freely and touch millions of readers means that you have to step away from the realm that popularity resides in and step into the world that is much bigger than that You words can effect everyone that reads it in different ways therefore it takes much more thought and careful execution to release delicate information that you have at your disposal If I was put in this situation I would weigh out my quotpros and consquot of releasing and not releasing the story starting with no releasing it as that is the hardest decision Why is it the hardest Well it is easy to take a story that you know would create headlines put my name in the papers create a buzz around the website and myself and would be more publicity than ever could imagine especially if the topic was of the highest security such as in thh case of WikiLeaks After I decided on what I thought the best course of action would be either way I went I would go to some credible sources and see if I could verify the information that I had at hand it would be done anonymously of course as tyo not implicate any other individuals than myself After validating the information I would reach out to my superior at the magazine and have a face to face converation about the decision to release the information because he would be involved indirectly or directly no matter what so having him in my corner would be huge Chances are at this moment the choice to not run the story at the time would be chosen There are too many unforseen consequences and repercussions to running a story that one in my position would not realize and no matter how quotpopularquot it would make me that popularity may bring me more negativity than I would want
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