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Media Ethics in the United Arab Emirates Case Study


Media is important to society as it is one of the main information sources. In the course of playing its role, the media faces some challenges. The main challenges faced by the media relate to ethics. The same can be said about the usage of books and their content, as students are easily influenced by their opinions and understanding. Therefore, it has been formulated that ethics must act as a guide in media and its messages. Philosophers have proposed various models such as moral reasoning and the highest ethical principles in order to ensure the correct implementation of media ethics (Christians et al., n.d). Individuals in the media should engage in moral reasoning, as it is important in the passing of the content. The virtue base theory has a lot to do with ethics and morality, and what role they play in society. As media is becoming more influential, it needs to be reliable and unchanging in its morality. This is especially true in the United Arab Emirates because of the specific culture and the views of society towards media ethics.


The content of books must be closely followed and edited, as some of the images and information are biased. It is also important to consider the cultural context and the nature of the educational institutions. Some parts might be very offensive to certain groups of people, so editing of the content is necessary on all levels, especially in relation to ethics and morality (Patterson & Wilkins, 2013).


A proper content of a book or media must have a moral obligation, to be impartial and absent of any discrimination or stereotyping. The authors and editors must be moral in keeping the balance of morality and ethics. If promises to be impartial are made and then broken because some other argumentation comes up, then there is no point in making promises. Reporters, authors, and editors must be sensitive to the information they produce. Anything offensive must be censored out so that people can enjoy a fair and balanced system of education (Plaisance, 2008).

The ethical theory of virtue can be applied to both the content of books and media in the UAE. This is because it adheres to several principles and values, which are an open-ended information transfer, truthful episode recall, and specific representation of what took place. Some of the ethical values when presenting any information are truth-telling, the public’s right to know, legal and religious values. One way to think of virtue as a golden mean of the informative content is in judging by the times and social norms.

Many people have not concerned themselves with the deeper personal and public qualities of the relationship between people of UAE, cultural ethics, and printed content. The Arab Emirates is a place where for a long time, people had laws that were not as liberal and humane as they are today, so the media must be careful in its portrayals. People of such a unique culture expect promises to be kept and ethics to exist on the highest levels. In modern times, virtue can be thought of as a “lost” innovation because the business world and politics are more centered on making money (Johnson, 2012). Society has become very greedy and power-hungry with media being one of the centers of greed because the possibilities and control are now greater and more global, so moral rules, ethics, and kindness are thought of rarely and by few people.

All printed materials, as well as music, radio, and television, are becoming very influential in the UAE culture, and the way people view others and a person’s roles in society. In relation to the culture, there is a social division that the media and the demand created. The specifics of the social norms must be reflected in the information which is presented publicly. Especially with the youth having access to the resources, the content must be heavily monitored and controlled. For some time, certain genres and whole cultures of topics, music, and video have been unavailable in the UAE. There are also specifics about gender which is a significantly sensitive matter for the Arab world. The theoretical perspectives and how the society is “moved” into a certain direction are dictated by the social views mixed with the unique nature of the popular media culture.

The subliminal messages specifically target people who are easily influenced by pop culture and its negative side. Of course, there is also a cultural connection between information sources and businesses currently developing in the UAE. It is a relationship where the culture has become talented in business and the transfer of knowledge. All information that is made available to the public must reflect the highest morality and ethics. But often, virtue and ethics are used as a tool and can be bent. The authors, creators, and publishers justify the means by the ends, and this can be seen as unfair from several perspectives. For example, if the public of the UAE are given the case where confidentiality or impartiality are not guaranteed, the results would have been detrimental to society and individuals. The authors, publishers, and reporters should have considered values such as truth-telling and the public’s rights to know, and a compromise would be in place. The principle of book or media content ethics must be made admissible on all levels of society so that there are negative effects on a particular group or belief (Day, 2005).


It is clear that books and media must consider all parties, principles, and values when printing any information or broadcasting something via radio or television. In addition, they must consider the values of truth-telling, personal values, fairness, and freedom-based values. Media and books sometimes sideline the importance of telling the truth because of how ugly it might appear. Further, authors and editors should not make it seem as if they have the power to determine norms and personal characteristics. Any printed information or media that stepped on morality and ethics fails to prove loyalty to their clients, supporters, subscribers, profession, and society by not performing their duties of being honest and respectful. This is particularly important in cultures such as the United Arab Emirates because people heavily rely on certain principles and will not easily forgive if promises are broken and deception is used to manipulate people and their actions. Ethics, virtue, and truth cannot be different from one situation to the other, as they lose their value and morality. Printed content cannot be easily erased and changed, so there must be careful consideration of what goes onto the pages and into the broadcast.


Christians, C., Fackler, M., Rotzoll, K., and McKee, K. (n.d.). Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning. New York: Longman.

Day, L. (2005). Ethics in Media Communications: Cases and Controversies (5th Ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth.

Johnson, O. (2012). Ethics: Selections from Classical and Contemporary Writers. Boston: Cengage Learning.

Patterson, P., & Wilkins, L. (2013). Media Ethics: Issues and Cases. (6th Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages.

Plaisance, P. (2008). Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice. London: Sage.

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"Media Ethics in the United Arab Emirates." IvyPanda, 10 Oct. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/media-ethics-in-the-united-arab-emirates/.

1. IvyPanda. "Media Ethics in the United Arab Emirates." October 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/media-ethics-in-the-united-arab-emirates/.


IvyPanda. "Media Ethics in the United Arab Emirates." October 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/media-ethics-in-the-united-arab-emirates/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Media Ethics in the United Arab Emirates." October 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/media-ethics-in-the-united-arab-emirates/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Media Ethics in the United Arab Emirates'. 10 October.

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