By Jane B. Singer
The nature of information and the notion of truth-what it is and how to arrive at it-are changing dramatically online. The challenge comes mainly from a group of more or less ordinary folks with a relatively new kind of Web site. They call themselves bloggers, and they create and maintain blogs.
by Jane Singer
Blogs have four main characteristics: Use of the format to express personal opinion, use of extensive links, reliance on second-hand information, and user participation.
By Mike Dillon
As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis observed long ago, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." Since his column's debut in December 2003, Daniel Okrent has cast light into that most Byzantine and imposing of American media institutions, The New York Times.
By Michael Bugeja
Bottom-line corporate practices that eliminate fact-checking, paid internships and adequate newsroom personnel-while promoting technological shortcuts that improve "productivity"-are factors in many ills, including plagiarism and diversity, which the industry can address by reinvesting in newsrooms.
By Jaci Clement
One of the largest daily papers in the country, is being sued for overcharging advertisers because it claimed its circulation was much higher than it was. How high? About 100,000 daily copies too high.
By Jeffrey L. Seglin
Outrage ensued about the propriety of commentators and columnists-such as Armstrong Williams and Magie Gallagher-taking money from groups they regularly write about. But the issue got murkier when I started to contemplate the appropriateness of payment columnists receive for the work they do outside their column.
By Louis W. Hodges
Most readers of this magazine are painfully aware of cases of gross misbehavior by journalists. I think these cases are best understood to grow from moral conflicts of interest-conflicts that are inevitable in professional life.
By Bill Knowles
If there's a word that has a red flag attached to it during the teaching of media ethics, that word is presuppose. The only presupposition that makes sense is that young journalists need to be taught that their careers presuppose fairness.
By John C. Merrill
When I began teaching journalism, we were concerned with a number of problematic areas affecting the press: Press freedom, press responsibility, bias and propaganda, lack of ethical concern. Today, as I look back over more than 50 years of teaching, I am intrigued by two things: (1) that the intervening and current concerns are the same, and (2) that, in spite of all the rhetoric and conferences that have focused on these problems, nothing really has changed.
By Russell Frank
Reporting confers legitimacy and relevance. Before they allow themselves to be used by this or that interested party, reporters and editors must first ask: Is this a story? How much of a story is it?
By Jerry Lanson
Stark images of death and destruction filled the front page and newscasts after the recent Asian tsunami. They belonged there, I believe, both to inform the public and engage it in an event too remote for most to grasp. I believe that disturbing and even shocking photos also belong equally on the front page of papers and at the top of the evening news when the subject is Iraq.
By Robert D. Richards
If wine coverage is becoming increasingly important, it may be time for a thorough examination of the journalistic practices associated with the coverage of the wine industry.
By A. David Gordon
In the previous issue of MEDIA ETHICS ("The Ethical Face of Confidentiality," Fall 2004, p. 6) I reported on current events involving one of the ethical principles of American journalism: The granting of confidentiality to sources by journalists and defense of that principle in the courts. In the same issue, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. and Russell T. Lewis analyzed The New York Times' position in the Judy Miller case involving the disclosure of a CIA employee's name and position.
By Manny Paraschos
A Compendium of Global Ethical Minutia: impartiality, irony, and a boy named Yahoo.
By John Soares
How do you balance the creative desires of media students, and their willingness to push the envelope, with the priorities of the institutions within which they work and the audience whom they work for?
By Lawrence A. Wenner
In the wake of Janet Jackson's "nipplegate", a look at the current climate for sexual innuendo and political satire in advertising.
By Kenneth Harwood
Moral obligations of media firms in the United States might be seen as obligations of any firm, and as special obligations of a media firm.
By Douglas Perret Starr
Plagiarism, the passing off as one's own the words of another, has been cropping up in the news of late, giving rise to the idea that plagiarism is a modern occurrence. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The practice of benefiting from the writing of another has long been held to be a violation of both ethics and law.
Media Ethics has changed owners and addresses.
Although the editor, production assistant and co-publishers remain the same, some new members have been added to the family and there is new contact information.
MEDIA ETHICS 186 Tremont St. Boston, MA 02111
John C. Merrill, Ralph D. Berenger & Charles J. Merrill (2004).
Media Musings: Interviews with great thinkers. (Spokane, WA: Marquette Books). 205pp. ISBN 0-922993-15-7 $39.95. Chapter further reading lists, questions for discussion.
FELLOWSHIPS IN ETHICS
* Please note change of date The Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics (formerly the University Center for Ethics and the Professions) has announced the deadline for its 2006-2007 Faculty Fellowships in Ethics: Tuesday, November 1, 2005.