Of all the things that make me want to be back in the US, this is one. I recently read about a 'pseudo New York Times', of which about 1.2 million copies were circulated in major cities in the United States. The format and printing was exactly like that of the New York Times, and it was dated 4th July 2009. A tag-line read " All the news we hope to print." The lead story suggested the end of the Iraq war, while another suggested that Bush had been indicted on charges of treason. Other stories dealt with ideal solutions to pressing issues, such as the economy as well as health care plans.
The makers claim that this was a result of intensive planning, and
required the combined effort of many individuals. They claimed that
this was an effort to keep a check on the government, to ensure that
they deliver as they have promised. They said that they were looking
into the legal consequences of reprinting the New York Times logo
without prior permission from the newspaper. Meanwhile, NYT said that
they would be looking into the matter.
While I feel that this was a
great initiative, and this does establish that ordinary citizens have
the power to regulate the functions of the government, it was also
unethical. A representation of a leading daily can be misleading and
could have established wrong notions in the minds of those who merely
glanced at the paper, as opposed to reading it entirely. I feel that
this is a great topic for our class as it addresses the issues of
freedom vs responsibility, and ethics vs beliefs. While the group that
came out with the fake New York Times aimed at the betterment of the
country, can their action be deemed ethical? Were they empowering the
citizens or did they also mislead them? I feel most of us will have
conflicting answers to these questions, it is hard to reach a consensus
on this issue.