The the New York Times and Washington Post

The Una-bombers Manifesto decision was one of the most
heated debate known. The day after the manifesto appeared, the topic had completely
dominated the media. A newspaper poll showed how editors were equally divided
over the case’s final decision. Nearly all news organizations have a set of
standards and policies on how to react to a variety of conditions in reporting
the news.

Ted
Kaczynski who was also known as the “Unabomber” was known nationwide
for a series of bombings between 1978 and 1995 that targeted scientific university
es, airlines, and businesses for their role in the over-industrialization of
society and destruction of nature. Kaczynski had taught himself how to make the
explosives out of pieces of scrap material and wood that was untraceable.
During his destructive career, Kaczynski sent out 16 bombs, killing three, and
wounding 23. In 1995, Kaczynski sent his manifesto, titled “Industrial Society
and Its Future,” to the New York Times and Washington Post along with a letter
demanding that it be published for the sake of the people or else he would
continue his killings. The FBI and news media had to decide whether or not to
please their opponent and maybe save lived or risk giving him what he wanted
just for him to continue his killings. After three months, the 35,000 word
manifesto was finally published (Crime Museum, 2017).  The decision to publish was made on the basis
that by widely circulating the piece, someone might find in it clues that would
reveal the Unabomber’s identity (Dobrin, 2011). The manifesto was seen by
Kaczynski’s brother and had compared it to previous letters and works sent by
Kaczynski leading him to believe that the authors were the same. Kaczynski was
arrested and indicted on 10 counts of bomb-related activity and 3 counts of
murder (Crime Museum, 2017). The ethical issue for this case is whether or not
negotiating with holding hostages is counterproductive and if terrorist
propaganda advocating violence should be published?

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Neither paper printed the document for journalistic
reasons, instead they printed it for public safety issues. Even though it was
hard to put too much faith in the words of someone with the record of violence.
According to the Washington post, if they had printed what the Unabomber wanted
and resulted with no deaths then it was a good deal. But it they printed it and
deaths continued then what did they really loose? “This is not a First
Amendment issue. This centers on the role of a newspaper as part of a community
(Kurtz, 1995).” The media was divided due to the debate on whether the
newspapers should’ve printed the Unabomber’s manuscript. Some argued that
publishing 35,000 words was a small price to pay for the possibility that the
Unabomber would stop his attacks. Others argued that the newspapers had no way
of knowing whether the terrorist would’ve kept his word. By publishing the
manuscript this would encourage violent groups to rise up and make similar
demands.

The main principle that determines the situation as
ethical is the rights in the Rawls veil of ignorance. Duties: This was not by any means actions commanded by God. Virtue:
Aristotle’s mean is not applicable because the two partied are not both
legitimate. Utility:
None of these actions promoted happiness, although because it is wrong it does
give the reverse of happiness. Does not produce the balance between good and
evil. Rights:
The first principle of Rawls theory is relevant. The largest amount of
political liberty for all. The Unabomber’s practice of violence and threat of
violence does not pass the first principle. Love: There was no love considered in this case. The
Unabomber did it out of hate for technology and the media did it out of fear. The
news media believed that they owed the public an explanation as well as safety.

This
case by any means is not ethical. It shows weakness and fear to the criminal. By
doing what the criminal wants lets him/her know that by threatening us (the
people, the media) they can get away with things. It’s a 50/50 chance. The journal
news media isn’t the criminal justice system; therefore, they shouldn’t be
making decision risking lives for being black mailed. Even though it did help
find the suspect they media should go to government officials first before taking
matters to their own hands. Luckily, the found the suspect quicker than what
they thought giving him no chance to act. If this case would have had a
different turn out, for example. If the Unabomber would’ve still continued to
send out bomb and hurt people, the media would of not only been made a mockery
but they would have had to deal with the fact of more death’s being cause. A news organization should really not be in
the business of public safety and police work.

The
same thing. even though it’s not ethical I would of still published it. because
like i mentioned before its a 50/50 chance. Even though it could be putting people
at risk, there is a high chance of being able to find the criminal that is
doing this. It makes people want to stad up and speak up, come forward with
information that they might know relating to the suspect or case. Sometimes
being able to rely on the public isn’t so bad. This also shows the public
“this is serious.” You are willing to do anything and everything to
get to justice and maybe even save lives.

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