Ross’s Pluralistic Theory of Value claims that there is more than one ethical value or duty competing in each of our ethical decisions. As dedicated employees of Exxon, we understand that CNN has a choice of whether or not to run our VNRss in their media stream.
However, we urge CNN to consider all of their ethical duties as one of the world’s most viable and trusted media outlets in the world while making their decision of whether or not to put our VNRs out for the public. To whom much is given much is expected, and before shooting down our messages based on mistakes that were made by employees of the past, we ask that CNN listen to an argument based on Ross’s Pluralistic Theory of Value that could likely give reason as to why our VNRs should be run.
First, CNN has a duty of fidelity to their viewers. By having a strong influence as a trusted media outlet not only nationally but also globally, CNN makes both the implicit and at times explicit promise to viewers that all opinions will be represented and heard through their voice. We are not asking CNN to necessarily agree with our opinion, but we do ask that they fulfill their promises to viewers by giving them news that needs to be heard from every angle. We want Americans to understand that although we made a mistake in the Port of Valdeez, the area is still beautiful and ready to be traveled and embraced again by potential visitiors. Next, CNN should consider its role in reparation, or fixing a prior wrong.
We all understand that Exxon caused a terrible tragedy for Alaskan waters, animals, and individuals living in the area. However, if we continue to focus on only the negative aspects of what happened, we cannot progress as a society. We are asking CNN to help us fix a prior wrong and show citizens, as Joel said before, that a tremendous amount of beauty still exists in Alaska and this disaster can be overcome with hope for the future. Next, CNN has a role in justice as a media outlet. This means that it is responsible for an equal distribution of both pleasure and pain.
At this point, I’m sure everyone can agree that many painful images and stories have been previously released by CNN with regard to the Exxon oil spill. If they hadn’t the article surrounding this topic would not have been titled, “Exxon’s Whipping Cream on a Pile of Manure”.
There is an obvious bias in favor against us because all of the negative attention that our errors have received thus far. We feel that is time for a positive message, or message of pleasure, to be released to CNN’s audience. Despite the damage that we did cause in Valdeez, our millions of dollars in efforts to clean Alaska have resulted in the ability for families, adventurers, and environmentalists to still be encouraged to visit Alaska with proof that all is not lost. It is time for a positive message to be heard to offset all of the pain that America has received from the oil spill in the past. CNN also has a role of veracity, or telling the truth. If they simply continue to ignore our VNRs and positive messages altogether, the full truth will never be told to CNN’s deserving audience. Our VNRs are not lies.
They portray happy tourist testimonies and real, current images of Alaska to encourage others not to boycott the area. It is indeed still beautiful and ready to be traveled at any time. If our VNRs contained lies, they would not be released in the first place. People would like to assume that simply because we did make a mistake in Alaska, we are trying to cover it up by embellishing or creating fake images in the area. This is far from the truth. CNN would be fulfilling its role as a truthful media outlet by releasing our VNRs. Finally, and most importantly, CNN has the role of nurturing others. This means that as a reputable media outlet, it has the responsibility and opportunity to help others achieve.
As I have stated multiple times, the impact that CNN has on its viewers is unrivaled and we understand that CNN can help us improve its viewer’s attitudes not only towards Exxon, but towards Alaska in general.
As Gus stated before, by showing people that Exxon cares about Alaska and its condition, we understand that it still will not reverse the fact that the oil spill happened, however it can improve the relationship of Exxon and its customers as well as the relationship between Alaska and potential tourists, which is exceedingly important. In closing, CNN would be behaving ethically by airing the VNRs because they would be doing justice to all of their roles as a media outlet. We ask that they accept our apology, move forward, and ultimately help Alaska tourism succeed once more. Just because we made a mistake in the past doesn’t mean that Alaska should be punished for it as well. Thank you.