Fall 2020, Vol. 32, No. 1
The Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin invited three prominent journalists to join them for a virtual conversation on the media’s role in this year’s events. Read the transcript of the first hour of the discussion.
The falsehoods this year were overwhelming in scope and scurrilous in depth, and the massive truth-denial of the social media and the false equivalence of the mainstream media were determining factors in this year’s election.
Hearing the President call Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger an "enemy of the people," we must recognize the statement for what it is: a sweeping and scandalous attempt to undermine this democracy. And in the same ways news media had to wrestle with traditional journalism ethics in figuring out how to cover the Trump presidency, we now stand at a moment that demands an ethics for all public communication.
Edmund B. Lambeth passed away May 2, 2020 in Columbia, Missouri. He was a professor of journalism at Indiana University, director of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism, and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research at University of Missouri School of Journalism. Here several former students and colleagues pay tribute to his memory.
As fake news or misinformation rapidly become a global problem, these could further be exacerbated by the use of virtual reality. Adoption of such immersive journalism technologies may not prove to be sustainable unless news organizations consider the ethical issues these technologies bring.
A major study found 99% of former NFL players had a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Meanwhile, the media is complicit in broadcasting player collisions not just during the live telecast, but ad nauseam in highlights following the contest. In the face of media coverage which amplifies and magnifies injurious content, the scaffolding of care ethics is offered as an approach that seeks to minimize harm and offer guidance in the production and consumption of sports such as football.
This essay questions the ethics of media and marketing framing in the context of sports gambling. The analysis will enhance the importance of understanding the framing process from an ethical perspective for all risk-behavior industries.
This case study examines the values in conflict when a paper publishes a controversial op-ed piece. Should newsrooms continue to publish op-eds if they know that they will be controversial? Where is the line between a controversial piece and an offensive piece?
Cable news is now greatly influencing the political reality of millions of Americans. What ethical responsibilities do cable newsrooms hold as truth seeking institutions? Are partisan news channels failing these responsibilities?
Doing the Right Thing twelve case studies based on exceptional leaders who made remarkable decisions under dire conditions.Tom Cooper, a professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College, presents in his 2020 book
Call for Manuscripts
Media Ethics welcomes submissions for publication in its forthcoming issues. Published online twice a year, Media Ethics is an independent, open-access, scholarly forum for the sharing of research and views on current topics in media ethics. Media Ethics takes a purposely broad and pluralistic view of media ethics, encompassing topics in journalism ethics, advertising ethics, digital ethics, computer ethics, organizational communication ethics, entertainment ethics, film ethics, as well as communication ethics in general. We also welcome submissions that explore ethical issues in an international context, or from the vantage point of other disciplines such as philosophy or technology studies. Media Ethics is interested in encouraging and sharing scholarly work on any important normative topic in communication or media.
Media Ethics is a scholarly publication that was established in 1987 by Cliff Christians, Tom Cooper, Manny Paraschos, and Mike Kittross. It probes ethical issues in media, journalism, and communication ethics. It features creative and innovative pieces that showcase current scholarship or that analyze recent events, or shorter pieces that allow scholars to promptly voice their opinions on important topics in the current media environment. Media Ethics welcomes the submission of long and concise articles, book reviews, teaching commentaries, and case studies for possible publication. Media Ethics is published by the Moody College of Communication and the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin under the editorship of Dr. Scott R. Stroud.
Scholars are encouraged to submit long articles (up to 10,000 words) or short commentary pieces (750+ words) for consideration. All submitted manuscripts are subject to editing at the discretion of the editor, and publication is not guaranteed. Because of our editorial policies of independence and inclusion, neither the sponsors nor the editor shall be held responsible for any views expressed in Media Ethics by authors or others. All manuscripts, book reviews, case studies, and teaching pieces should be submitted via email to:
Dr. Scott R. Stroud, Media Ethics Editor
Department of Communication Studies
University of Texas at Austin
Submissions will be considered at any time.
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The 100th ethics case study has been released today by the Media Ethics Initiative, part of the Center for Media Engagement in the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. The most recent case concerns social media and the shaming of COVID-19 protocol violators (“TikTok, Time to Snitch”). It is an easy, concise, and catchy way to give your students something to ground discussions of social media, shaming, and ethics. It’s also a fascinating case in the ethics of free speech and democracy online. Check out the other 99 cases at: https://mediaengagement.org/vertical/media-ethics/. They cover a range of interesting and important topics in digital ethics, free speech, journalism, advertising/PR, political communication, art, health communication, south Asian media, and sports communication. All are free and readily available in PDF format, and they are designed for a range of uses and pedagogical frameworks.
Media Ethics is grateful to its sponsors identified below, who are neither responsible for nor in control of our content.
The Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley The Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, has a longstanding commitment to nurturing principled newsgathering and storytelling, guided by a strong dedication to public illumination and civic betterment. Its two-year, immersive master of journalism curriculum includes instruction in professional ethics led by professor and former dean Tom Goldstein and current dean and journalism professor Edward Wasserman, formerly Knight chair in journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University.
The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law is a research center located within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Its primary mission is to conduct research on, and promote understanding of, legal and ethical issues affecting the mass media. The Silha Center also sponsors an annual lecture series; hosts forums, conferences and symposia; produces the Silha Bulletin, a quarterly newsletter, and other publications; and provides information about media law and ethics to the public. Support is provided for faculty research, and for Silha Fellows working on advanced degrees.
The Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign The Institute offers a Ph.D. in communications within the traditions of social scientific research, historic-cultural interpretation, linguistics, and political economy. Its B.S. degree in Media Studies is rooted in the liberal arts. The Institute develops intellectually productive approaches to cultural, political, ethical and social challenges of the global communications economy. Public service and social responsibility are emphasized in the curriculum and research projects. Work in ethics is required of undergraduates and doctoral dissertations in communication ethics are an option.
Facultad de Comunicación, Universidad de Navarra/The School of Public Communication, University of Navarra, offered the first Spanish academic degree in journalism starting in 1958. Since that time, it has offered both graduate and undergraduate degrees in three different sequences: Advertising, Radio, Film and Television, and Journalism. Each sequence includes specific courses involving media ethics.
Emerson College Emerson College is the nation's only four-year college devoted exclusively to the study of communication and performing arts. Emerson's School of the Arts and School of Communication both sponsor Media Ethics magazine on behalf of Emerson College and emphasize ethics in special programs, in their curricula, and in faculty research and publications.
Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication is a research center at The Pennsylvania State University College of Communications dedicated to the study and advancement of ethics and responsibility in corporate communication. The Center has awarded over $320,000 to scholars and professionals to support research about ethics and responsibility in public communication.
Kegley Institute of Ethics The Kegley Institute of Ethics is committed to stimulating ethical thought and reflection on the California State University, Bakersfield campus and in our greater community. We host major lectures, panels and workshops, and we sponsor scholarships and research for faculty and students.
Endicott College School of Communications Endicott College strives to instill in students an understanding of and an appreciation for professional and liberal studies through coursework andnapplied learning. The College has a vision for the total development of the individual within a community that fosters an appreciation of diversity, international awareness, community service, and moral and ethical values. For further information see Web Site.
Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies, Duquesne University Duquesne University's Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies teaches and conducts research and development in the broad domain of communication studies, including integrated marketing communication, public relations and advertising, corporate communication, intercultural communication, communication ethics, rhetoric, and persuasion in the marketplace. Our departmental foundations are communication ethics, a humanities approach to the discipline, a research and development culture, and ongoing practical engagement with the marketplace.
In addition to the intellectual contributions of our authors, and the financial contributions of our sponsors, Media Ethics would like to express its particular gratitude to:
Bob Gardner, film-maker, scholar, and benefactor, passed away in 2014. But his support of Media Ethics continues, since his latest gift was dedicated to the five-year period 2012-2017, an act of generosity we truly appreciate.
Our hosts at the Institute of Communications Research of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, the past publishers of the magazine, are to be thanked. The current publisher of Media Ethics, the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin and its Center for Media Engagement, are also to be thanked for their gracious support of the magazine’s present and future mission.
These “special thanks” shouldn't be thought of as detracting from our appreciation for The Grand Masonic Lodge of Massachusetts, particularly Grand Secretary Arthur Johnson, Grand Master Roger Pageau, and Assistant Grand Treasurer Craig MacPherson for providing the space and other facilities that enable the Media Ethics office to function.
We also want to give thanks and recognition for the significant support of the following individuals and groups: Randy Bytwerk, Mark Fackler, the Dept. of Communications at Calvin College, Jochen Zeitz, and anonymous individuals. The voluntary donations of each of these friends is extremely important to us.
|Scott R. Stroud|
|Moody College of Communication/UT Austin|
|REVIEWS/EVENTS EDITOR |
|Anantha S. Babbili||Jane E. Kirtley|
|Ralph Barney||Christopher Meyers|
|Michael D. Burroughs||Grafton Nunes|
|Marvin Kalb||Jennifer Pozner|
|Richard Keeble||Lance Strate|
|Jean Kilbourne||Larry Rasky|
|Clifford G. Christians||Edward Wasserman|
|Mike Kittross (Editor, 1996-2018)|
|Eric Elbot (Co-editor, 1990-1996)|
|Manny Paraschos (Publisher)|
|Jay Black||Kenneth A. Harwood|
|Tom Brislin||Robert Hilliard|
|Amy M. Damico||Jerry Lanson|
|Deni Elliott||Kaarle Nordenstreng|
|A. David Gordon||Jeffrey L. Seglin|
|Gary Grossman||Jane B. Singer|
|Mary-Lynne Bohn, Accent Design, Inc.|
|WEB DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE|
|Joe Higgins | Silver Oak Design|