Considerations in Professional
Sometimes in our media work the decisions we feel are right are not the ones that offer the greatest promise for personal, professional, or corporate success.
For example, we may encounter corporate economic pressures to make decisions or promote causes that are not in the public's best interestsóbringing a product to the market before it's fully tested, cutting corners in a design to enhance the bottom line, or eliminating safety or quality inspections to speed delivery.
In a media profession with highly visible results our decisions can have lasting impact. More than one promising career has been hampered or even completely derailed by a bad or ill-considered decision made at a critical time.
The time to consider these things is right now, when we can think through some of these issues and formulate personal guidelines for decisions that we may later have to make under pressure.
To help with this, let's look at five levels of personal development that outline the basis from which decisions are commonly made. The statements given in each case are written to represent personal attitudes.
You will note that as you move through the five levels the degree or level of professional and moral development increases. The fifth level is considered the most highly developed.
2. If It's Legal It's Ethical
3. Ethical Behavior Serves Mutual Self-Interests
4. Social Responsibility
5. Promotion of the General Welfare
These levels of moral development have been expressed in various ways over the years. Here, they have been tailored to the media field.
The well-known film and TV director, David Puttnam, has often spoken out on these issues. Although addressing the influence of films, Puttnam's comments apply to all of the media.
According to Puttnam there is reluctance among moviemakers to take responsibility for the impact that their films have on society and, by extension, for the type of world we would like to live in.
Puttnam says that at its best, "film is an art form that is capable of uniting in peace that family of man of which we are all a part."
So what's the problem?
The problems that we see rest primarily in two areas: a poverty of ambition and an overriding interest in a quick profit.
Considering all of this, as we move through our careers we can ask ourselves this simple question:
Does what we produce help solve, or contribute to the problems in our society?
*Some concepts in this article are based on the ideas of Sherry Baker, Brigham Young University.