Based on qualitative interviews with online media professionals conducted in several Spanish online newsrooms, this article explores the ethical issues that are debated by digital journalists, following the implementation of convergence and multiplatform production. Through the journalists' perceptions about the challenges of convergence and the demands of online news production, the main areas of ethical conflicts are examined. Building on Alasdair MacIntyre's theory about communities of practice, I argue that the standards and practices currently being developed in online newsrooms provide (...) a valid framework for ethical decision making. Finally, the premises for constructing online journalism ethics in these communities of practice are discussed. (shrink)
The scale and severity of the alterations to global ecologies should not simply be noted or acknowledged by communication scholars but rather should drive communication ethicists to carefully examine the values and communication practices that have enabled and promoted this kind of unchecked growth. At minimum, I argue, we ought to carefully examine this social trajectory to determine whether more growth at the current rate of speed should continue to be a goal of modern society and at what costs. Specifically, (...) as scholars of moral communication we should feel concerned with whether a moral transgression is associated with this type of rapid growth. (shrink)
Public relations scholars have demonstrated contradictory views regarding the application of universal versus culture-specific approaches for understanding global public relations ethics. However, few comparative studies have empirically explored public relations ethics on a global scale. To that end, this study represents an exploratory attempt to provide a descriptive picture of public relations professional associations and their codes of ethics across 107 countries. In conclusion, we argue that honesty, safeguarding of confidences of clients, and prohibition of conflicts of interest of competing (...) clients should be accepted as the universal values, while other issues, such as free flow of information and fees and gifts, could be understood as the relativistic values specific to a nation's situation and needs. (shrink)
Scholars have long posited justice as a core value of public relations. However, that value has been criticized as being improbably idealistic. Philosopher David Hume locates the origins of justice within the need for property and the reliable exchange of resources. Hume thus embeds the origins of justice within a staple of public relations theory: resource dependency theory. Additionally, Hume believes a respect for justice to be the foundation of a positive reputation. This grounding of the quest for justice in (...) resource dependency and reputation helps establish a realistic basis for accepting justice as a core value of public relations. (shrink)
The public forum has been connected to the functioning of democracy, expressive freedom, and the media's role in society. While the public forum's legal contours have been examined, the ethical foundation of the public forum has not. Relying on archival research, this article argues that ideas about the public forum can be traced to the pragmatism of Grenville Clark, who influenced ideas about the public forum through his work on the American Bar Association's Bill of Rights Committee.
Research into television's ethical value has mostly focused on scandal genres, such as Big Brother, Jersey Shore, and Jerry Springer. Only recently have researchers started to explore television's moral content with a broader focus. In this study we explore and describe the types of morality and moral content of a night of Dutch prime time television with an open and inductive approach through a qualitative content analysis. Our results revealed 13 types of morality and a basic differentiation between morals that (...) react on violations and transgressions, focusing on restricting behavior, and morals that are focused on ideals and values and stimulate social behavior. Lastly, we differentiated three moral meta-themes that permeate all genres, as well as six moral themes that arose only in specific genre-clusters. (shrink)
In studying the ethics of journalistic practices of the newly globalized and liberalized Indian television news media in the aftermath of the events surrounding a rape that occurred in Delhi, India, on December 16, 2012, the author argues that the Indian television news media's portrayal and coverage of rape is narrowly focused on sexual violence against middle-class and upper-caste women and avoids discussing violence against poor, rural, lower-class, lower-caste, and otherwise marginalized women. The prevalence of shame culture, which views the (...) presence of women in the public space with hostility, is both countered and perpetuated by the television media. If inclusiveness, human dignity, and the ideal of giving space to multiple voices are to be considered ethical precepts for global media, India's television news media fails to achieve such inclusiveness in its portrayal of and reporting on sexual violence, and thus perpetuates a pro-affluent bias. (shrink)
This study seeks to understand and critique the growing online trend of “revenge porn,” or the intentional embarrassment of identifiable individuals through the posting of nude images online. This posting of intimate pictures, often done out of motives of revenge for perceived relational scorn, is enhanced by the varying levels of online anonymity. Using the theoretical framework of John Dewey's pragmatism, this study both analyzes this understudied but complex new problem precipitated by the conditions of the online self and establishes (...) the groundwork for the use of pragmatist ethics in other areas of communication ethics. (shrink)
Health communication is increasingly being held to higher moral standards. No longer do noble goals outweigh ethical concerns. This content analysis examines ethical frames and primes in health public service announcements so we may begin to address the most prevalent of the problematic ones and find more ethical alternatives. In this study, 80% of the PSAs conveyed messages that individuals were to blame. Negative emotion, such as fear, was the second most frequent frame. Stereotypes of women were the primes most (...) prevalent in the visuals, and visual and verbal messages were vastly different for some of these primes. The ethical implications of each are addressed. (shrink)
This panel study assessed changes in ethical ideology and beliefs about the societal function of media over the course of undergraduate communication education in Singapore. First, students' agreement with the ethical principles of truth telling, independence, and accountability increased. Second, change in agreement with the ethical principle of minimizing harm was negatively related to change in justification of contentious newsgathering methods. Third, belief that the media should function as a watchdog increased and that it should serve national development decreased. Change (...) in these variables was inversely correlated. We relate these findings to global contexts and make recommendations for curriculum development. (shrink)
A series of international controversies involving religious offense have manifested the clash of values between freedom of expression and respect for religious identity. Such conflicts pose an ethical dilemma for media. Journalists need to assert freedom of expression, but they should also understand how hate speech can be used to repress targeted groups, and not turn into unwitting facilitators of such campaigns. They should also appreciate that the taking of offense, and not just the giving of it, can be engineered (...) by leaders of religious communities to secure a political advantage. Journalists appear underprepared for handling such events. While not attempting a revision of current codes of ethics, this paper draws on legal discourse to suggest a framework and a language through which journalists can deliberate their ethics to respond to an urgent global challenge. (shrink)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, commonly known as “drones,” are a military technology now being developed for civilian and commercial use in the United States. With the federal government moving to develop rules for these uses in U.S. airspace by 2015, technologists, researchers, and news organizations are considering application of drone technology for reporting and data gathering. UAVs offer an inexpensive way to put cameras and sensors in the air to capture images and data but also pose serious concerns about safety, privacy, (...) conflict of interest, perspective, and credibility. This research examines the early ethical considerations among drone journalism developers and digital information activists. It places those considerations against the backdrop of utilitarian ethical theory applied to journalism to suggest additional layers of reasoning that must be applied to drones in reporting. Finally, it suggests articulation of ethical guidelines and transparency with the public as means to address inevitable adverse effects of use of this technology. (shrink)
As big data techniques become widespread in journalism, both as the subject of reporting and as newsgathering tools, the ethics of data science must inform and be informed by media ethics. This article explores emerging problems in ethical research using big data techniques. It does so using the duty-based framework advanced by W.D. Ross, who has significantly influenced both research science and media ethics. A successful framework must provide stability and flexibility. Without stability, ethical precommitments will vanish as technology rapidly (...) shifts costs. Without flexibility, traditional approaches will rapidly become obsolete in the face of technological change. The article concludes that Ross's duty-based approach both provides stability in the face of rapid technological change and flexibility to innovate to achieve the original purpose of basic ethical principles. (shrink)
Human rights are those legal and/or moral rights that all persons have simply as persons. In the current digital age, human rights are increasingly being either fulfilled or violated in the online environment. In this article, I provide a way of conceptualizing the relationships between human rights and information technology. I do so by pointing out a number of misunderstandings of human rights evident in Vinton Cerf's recent argument that there is no human right to the Internet. I claim that (...) Cerf fails to recognize the existence of derived human rights. I argue further that we need to consider what other human rights are necessitated by the digital age. I suggest we need a Declaration of Digital Rights. As a step toward the development of such a declaration, I suggest a framework for thinking through how to ensure the human rights are satisfied in digital contexts. (shrink)
In the digital news environment, amateur images—citizen photojournalism—appear next to professional photojournalists' photos, contributing to a probable tension and sense of professional threat among professional photojournalists. Using the coorientation approach, this study explores the ethical values of citizen photojournalists and professional photojournalists, the extent to which they agree about these values, how accurate they are in assessing each others' values, and how congruent they perceive they are with each other.