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The report aims at providing brief analysis of the three articles published in three different Malaysian newspapers on the same issue. The three articles chosen are from The Borneo Post, The Star and The New Straits Times. It reports the alleged rape of a 17-year old teen by her brothers at Papar in Malaysia. The report will business analysis the three articles separately using the Potter Box of Reasoning.
In one of the most shocking incidents reported by the Malaysia newspapers in the recent times, brothers who were aged 24 years and 26 years raped their 17-year old sister. The news report suggests that the brothers who returned home at about 2am of June 7 2018, fully drunk, raped their sister who was sleeping (Appendix 1). The horrific incident took place at Papar in Malaysia where the brothers cut their sisters trousers and even covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming and knowing the world. When the victim lodged a police complaint against her brothers, she also revealed the fact that her brothers were raping her since the age of 12 years. The case was being investigated by Districtpolice chief DSP Ladamah Sulaiman who laid the investigation and even detained the two brothers. The case is under Section 376 (B) of the Penal Code of the Malaysian Law act (Appendix 1).
The incident is a clear indication for the lack of humanity and cordial relationship that existed between the siblings and the case is also evident of alcohol in the human body can mind can disrupt a personality that it can affect and hamper the relationship of the people.
The news article has been delivered in a very unfiltered and abrupt manner with no specific details on the after effects of the incident, which throws light only on the negative aspects of the incident and not on the positive effect that is obtained by the case that is being implied.
According to the Porter Box of reasoning, the steps have to be followed to make sure that the situation is being defined in the concerned situation (Watley 2014). The quadrant, which is, also known as Fact is the analysis of the rape incident that is being said in the news article. The analysis of the case is about the collection of information and the analysis of the situation which in this case is the rape incident.
The second quadrant which is the evaluation of the values can be of five types namely aesthetic, professional, logical, and moral and socio cultural. The values that is being analysed in this news article case is of moral value as it concerns the immoral activity of the rape of a sister by her brothers.
The third quadrant which is the analysis of the principles based on the ethical philosophies and facts can be said to possess in the news article presentation. The news which is being presented does not maintain the positive ethical prospects as it is very unfiltered which is not likable in a news article. The picture of the DSP suggests that the focus of the news article is not on the situation but on the work of the DSP which is again not fully ethical.
The fourth quadrant which is theloyalty section is said to be dealing with the people with whom the people has authorities. The newspaper article has loyalty with the deeds of the police rather than the incident and the victim which is evident by the way of the article as well as the picture given.
The second article has been published in The Star, which is one of the most read newspapers in Malaysia. The Star, while reporting on the crime, stated that the drunken brothers raped the victim – the 17-year old teen from Papar – in the wee hours of the night on June 7 (Appendix 2).
According to the Potter Box of Reasoning, four aspects in a news report determine its ethicality. The first is definition,which refers to the facts presented in the news article. With the chosen news article put on this dimension, it can be observed that it has provided all the important information that the readers needed to know. The article even included additional information about the past incidences that revealed the brothers had raped and molested her in the past as well when she was just 12. Even the headline used by the article, “Teen allegedly raped by two brothers, sister helps her after mum stays mum”,provides information about the mother’s role in the entire incident (Appendix 2).
The second dimension of the Potter Box is values,it includes professional, moral, socio-cultural and aesthetic, and the first dimension influences it. While writing the report, the author has maintained the values by not revealing the names of the victim as well as the accused thus abiding by the principles of the Malaysian newspapers. It is also worth mentioning that the news article did not even mention the actual age of the perpetrators.
As per the third dimension – principle –the news article seems to follow John Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance, which states that individuals must not let their personal interests come in way while reporting an incident (O’Mara-Shimek 2016). The article has given an objective view on the incident by putting forward the views of the people involved, including the investigating officer, DSP Ladamah Sulaiman. However, one instance could be found in the article that reveals its slight inclination towards subjectivity. The lead of the article attempts to present the mother of the victim as the prime culprit for not paying heed to the daughter’s complaints.
In the fourth dimension, which is loyalties,the news article has shown its allegiance to the teen victim and the industry at the same time. By not revealing the names of the victim and the accused, the newspaper demonstrated its loyalty towards the victim. On the other hand, by providing a graphical description of the incident, the article has shown its allegiance towards its organization by attempting to attract readership (Harro-Loit 2015). It is evident from the line “One of the brothers covered the victim’s mouth to prevent her from making noise while the other took a scissor to cut her undergarments off before raping her” (Appendix 2).
The third news article has been taken from The New Straits Times that provided the heading “Two brothers arrested from allegedly raping sister” (Appendix 3).Analysis of the news article shall include its alignment with the four dimensions of Potter Box.
The incident is the same as reported in the other two news articles but the way of reporting differs. The present article has provided a concise headline, “Two brothers arrested for allegedly raping sister”which gives enough information for the readers to read the article further (Appendix 3). In this case, the news article aligns itself to the first Potter Box dimension, which is definition or facts.
The news article gives information about the victim, the two accused, their ages, the time and date of the incident, the relationship of the one who lodged the complaint with the victim. It also included the tests done on both the accused and their status at present. In addition, the news article also included the sections imposed on the accused and the amount of jail terms they are expected to receive. The facts are the most important aspect of the news article and the chosen news article has clearly realized its significance.
In terms of values,the second Potter Box dimension, the news article has remained objective thus demonstrating strict adherence to professional values (Wright 2014). Further, it did not reveal the names of either the victims or the accused thus adhering to the moral and socio-cultural values. In addition, the news article kept the identity of the people involved hidden that also shows that it maintained its adherence to values. The news article also maintained the authenticity of the incident by not including baseless information.
The third dimension, principles,includes the various norms that a newspaper follows while reporting on any incident is another important. In the news article, it is evident that the principles propagated by the great philosophers like Aristotle, Confucius, Agape and Kant amongst others have not been followed. The reason for stating this is that the article nowhere mentioned the point of view of the victim. Agape’s principle states that humans must love each other and always seek well for them. However, in this case, the brothers who had allegedly raped their sister did not think about its repercussions. They violated the ‘golden rule’.
In terms of the fourth and last dimension – loyalties– the newspaper seems to have inclined more towards the victim than the readers have. It has shown its allegiance to the victim by drawing upon the incidences of the past in order to make the readers empathize with the victim. Further, the news article did not put forward the views of the mother who has been accused of “brushing off” the matter when her daughter, the victim, had complained about it. However, the article has shown allegiance to the industry it belongs and to professional ethics by including the handcuffed picture of the accused and not showing the face. The picture focused on the status of the accused while also maintaining the standards of news reporting (Craig 2014).
In the end, it could be seen that the issue highlighted by all the three news articles is very sensitive and hence, needed utmost care while being reported. The three articles have maintained the standards of reporting largely however, certain instances proved that some things could have been avoided. The report has provided an analysis of the three articles using the Potter Box of Reasoning that has four dimensions – definitions, values, principles and loyalties.
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