Fall 2018, Vol. 30, No. 1
An introduction to the present issue and a preview of the exciting new directions Media Ethics will explore.
In this Forum, we address the role of media coverage of the #MeToo movement, including its internationalization, what is erased by the movement, limits to its power to enact change, possible harm to those who speak, and next steps.
In media representations of rape during the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, we are challenged by the ethical implications of the subjective body in testimony. How can the rape “report,” mediated or otherwise, be held accountable to both personal and social justice?
The ridicule of victims of sexual harassment, by both female and male media talking heads, is unethical and irresponsible. But it is also symptomatic of the fact that women in Eastern Europe remain trapped in a public climate and a media space that doesn’t recognize the structural roots of sexual power, thus rendering the “Weinstein” monster a rare oddity of the West.
Sensational reporting on the first Korean #MeToo case may have caused further trauma to the victim and turned public opinion. Journalists should be trained to refine their sensitivity to victims’ human rights and to follow guidelines for best practices, which must be adapted to the fast-changing environment of the digital media era.
Given its impact on public opinion, the media have an ethical imperative to include in its reporting the rich body of research on the sociocultural roots of sexual violence.
In assessing the coverage of the #MeToo movement, it matters that progressive media influencers can’t accurately tell the history of the movement’s founding and connections to Black women activists.
The successes of #MeToo have resulted in various forms of backlash, creating ethical tensions between aggressive media exposure of abusers on the one hand and the consequences for victims.
An examination of the Kavanaugh hearings offers insight into how the media disseminates information and how it guides public opinion about the prevalence and impact of sexual harassment and assault. It has also reignited the debate about how #MeToo claims should be handled within the K-12 education community.
Ironically, the core ethical issue for the media’s involvement in #MeToo is a lack of participant consent. Instead of engaging in activism they were being entertained. The outcome The Kavanaugh case should serve as a wake-up call: the perceived strength of #MeToo is based on an outdated premise that media coverage is synonymous with political power.
Given the many tensions between the successes and failures of the #MeToo movement, what has been its impact? The movement has revolutionized our social environments, yet advocates need to continue the work they are doing, and heed the criticisms leveled here.
Since websites are often not legally obligated to moderate expression, who has the responsibility of moderating between free speech and censorship, and on what basis do they decide?
Disrupting Journalism Ethics argues that scholars, students, and citizens should throw off the weight of journalism tradition and advance new and bold models of responsible journalism in a public sphere now digital, global, and toxic.
In 2018, an image of a distraught Honduran child beside her mother and a U.S. border agent came to represent Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy toward undocumented immigrants and found itself on the cover of Time. Does the fact that the toddler was not separated from her mother matter, given that thousands of other children were?
Was Nike's latest “Just Do It” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick primarily interested in social justice or simply a clever ploy to sell more shoes?