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Ethics and Media Ethics

Ethics and Media Ethics. Adapted by Dr. Mike Downing from News Reporting and Writing , Eighth Edition. What are “Ethics”?. Ethics. A discipline that deals with moral duty and obligation Principles of conduct governing an individual or a group A guiding philosophy .

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Ethics and Media Ethics

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  1. Ethics and Media Ethics Adapted by Dr. Mike Downing from News Reporting and Writing, Eighth Edition

  2. What are “Ethics”?

  3. Ethics • A discipline that deals with moral duty and obligation • Principles of conduct governing an individual or a group • A guiding philosophy

  4. What groups have ethical codes? • Teachers? • Firemen? • Social Workers? • Doctors? • Journalists? • Bankers? • Lawyers? • Real Estate Agents? • Professional Athletes? • Farmers?

  5. Do Ethics Matter? WHY OR WHY NOT?

  6. Utilitarianism • The greatest good for the greatest number. • Places public good over private good • Possibly harmful to minorities and individuals, who are sacrificed for the majority • The ends justify the means

  7. Ethical Relativism • Ethical standards depend on the individual, the group, the culture, tradition, background • For example, American culture attempts to treat men and women as equals, while people in other countries may see the issue differently. • Argument against: Just because one class of individuals does something, doesn't mean it's right

  8. Kantian Ethics • Kantian ethics is based upon the teachings of the philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724–1804). According to Kant, the concept of “motive” is the most important factor in determining what is ethical. More specifically, Kant argued that a moral action is one that is performed out of a “sense of duty.” • For Kant, a moral action is not based upon feelings or pity. Nor is it is not based on the possibility of reward. Instead, a moral action is one based on a sense of “This is what I ought to do.” • To use an example, with Kantian ethics helping an old lady across the street because you feel pity for her is NOT a moral act. Likewise, helping an old lady because your coworker will think highly of you is NOT a moral act. However, helping an old lady because you have a sense of duty to help the elderly IS a moral act.

  9. Christian Ethics • Love God • Love Your Neighbor • The Guide of Conscience • Is conscience natural or developed? • “Obedient Love” • Based on scripture

  10. From Wikipedia: Media ethics is the subdivision of applied ethics dealing with the specific ethical principles and standards of media, including broadcast media, film, theatre, the arts, print media and the internet. The field covers many varied and highly controversial topics, ranging from war journalism to Benetton advertising. Media Ethics

  11. Censorship • Should a newspaper ever be censored? • Why or why not? • If so, who should have that right? • What about national security? • What about the right of “the people” to “know”?

  12. Conflicts of Interest • A reporter at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Louisiana (U.S.) questions the credibility of a local television broadcaster who is on-camera in some of her husband's television ads promoting him for public office. • A Time magazine article delves into the ethically questionable relationship between fashion editors and designers. The article reports that many fashion journalists receive thousands of dollars worth of free clothing and other perks. • What's the big concern? Why do journalists and why should our audiences care whether we make money on the side if we are careful to keep the desires and interests of our several employers separate? Is it ever ethically correct to do journalism-related work outside your journalism job, whether paid or donated?

  13. Paparazzi • Should paparazzi be restricted in any way? By Hannah Asomaning, journalist for the Ghana News Agency, calls paparazzi “A new breed of unprofessional and quack journalists [who are] are tearing apart the ethics of the profession.”

  14. Conglomeration • Should private companies be allowed to own as many newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and television stations as they like? Grant Buckler of the World press Institute: “Late in 2001, CanWest Global management announced plans to supply a corporate editorial, written at company headquarters in Winnipeg, to all daily newspapers in the chain once a week. Newspapers must run these editorials, and locally written editorials may not contradict positions established in the national ones.”

  15. Photo Manipulation • National Union of Journalists: No journalist shall knowingly cause or allow the publication or broadcast of a photograph that has been manipulated unless that photograph is clearly labeled as such. Manipulation does not include normal dodging, burning, color balancing, spotting, contrast adjustment, cropping and obvious masking for legal or safety reasons. Is it ever ethical to publish an altered photo without indicating that the photo has been altered?

  16. Websites • http://www.poynter.org/ • http://www.mediaethicsmagazine.com/ • http://www.ethicsweb.ca/resources/media/index.html

  17. Questions?

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