Media Ethics is independent and inclusive. It is editorially eclectic and neither its sponsors, its editor, or its staff are responsible for its content.  It strives to present and examine ideas, provide a forum for opinion and research articles on media ethics, as well as a venue for announcements and reviews of meetings, opportunities, and publications.  Media Ethics welcomes any and all contributions. All submitted manuscripts are subject to editing at the discretion of the editor.


Photographs and other illustrations often are digitally altered. Unless otherwise specified, authors and photographers retain all rights to their work, subject only to print and electronic publication by Media Ethics itself.

Let Us Educate the Philosophers

1kbo1494Javier Garcia-AlbeaBy Ralph D. Barney

Someone once said that to not know is sad, but to not know you don't know is tragic. Most classically trained ethicists (as contrasted to those media ethicists who received their training as part of a journalism or mass communication program) who preach to (or about) media people tend to fall into this category.

Just Ethics? Not enough!

2u0bu59cJavier Garcia-AlbeaBy Claude-Jean Bertrand

I find it intriguing how U. S. media ethicists love dropping names--Locke, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Hegel, Rawls and others. Probably a habit from medieval scholastics transmitted by German scholarship. One name, however, is not often dropped, that of Jeremy Bentham.

Missing the Bigger Picture--Literally

7hobsu82Javier Garcia-AlbeaBy Bryan E. Denham

In August 2006, photos taken in Beirut by a Lebanese freelance photographer, Adnan Hajj, met their journalistic demise when bloggers detected a more ominous cloud of smoke than had actually formed following an air strike by Israeli forces.

Ethicalia: A Compendium of Global Ethical Minutia

Manny Paraschos

spans the globe for "Ethicalia," minutia about media ethics.

Can the News Media Censor Themselves?

s379088rJavier Garcia-AlbeaBy Russell Frank

An editor at a Danish newspaper invites cartoonists to have a go at the Prophet Muhammad because he thinks they're practicing self-censorship. Publication of the cartoons provokes outrage in the Muslim world.

A Comment on John C. Merrill's Views of Professionalism

By Michael Kittross

It is always interesting to read one of John C. Merrill's essays for the first time. He poses a problem and tends to provide a solution, drawing on his broad experience as a journalist, professor and author.

East Asian Communalism and Western Media Ethics

rdz644soJavier Garcia-AlbeaBy John C. Merrill

East is East and West is West but the twain is slowly beginning to meet. But not yet.The soft, cooperative, non-competitive, group-oriented Eastern journalism has appeared at the doors to Western journalism. And Western ethical voices are beginning to stress many of the attributes of Eastern media morality.

Cellphone Journalists: A Growing Trend and its Challenges

38hy484pJavier Garcia-AlbeaBy Anthony Moretti

The BBC aired pictures of the attacks, On July 7, 2005, four terrorists exploded bombs on three trains and one bus in London, killing more than 50 people, including themselves.

The Dogbiscuit Dilemma: A Challenge for Ethicists

891t92j4Javier Garcia-AlbeaBY I. B. POOCHE

I really don't know what I do for a living. I sit at a computer and punch in numbers. I did the same thing at my last job. The numbers, I think, were about money.

Introduction & Reflection


John Seigenthaler's latest assignment had troubled him deeply. He'd been part of the formal and intense inquiry into a scandal surrounding USA Today, a paper he had helped found.

Self-Inflicted Wounds to Media Credibility

65051ae1Javier Garcia-AlbeaBY JOHN SEIGENTHALER

Over the past three years, a series of separate, disquieting events have attracted critical national attention to the practice and performance of the news media.

Sometimes the End Doesn't Justify the Means

9dgf1rq6Javier Garcia-AlbeaBY JOHN SOARES

In his study of newspaper readership, Ted Glasser observed that people who missed reading the paper felt informationally and emotionally unprepared to meet the day, and felt they were deprived not only of information but of the "serenity provided by the news reading ritual."

Plagiarism and Precedence

5k6008syJavier Garcia-AlbeaBY EDWARD WASSERMAN

The topic of plagiarism draws strong opinion, as it should, and the current notoriety of theft by reporters obligates those of us who try to flesh out journalistic rights and wrongs to offer some sensible observations about originality and intellectual honesty in the newsroom.

Competence, Confidence and the Pursuit of Excellence

jt0k2p03Javier Garcia-AlbeaBY BOB STEELE

Success is seldom a solitary venture. Generally, when we climb the big hill, when we break out of the pack to sprint ahead to the finish line, when we achieve glory, our success is at least in part reflective of those who taught us, who guided us-our parents and other relatives and our teachers.

"Reprehensible": Editorial Cartoonists and Polarized Politics

xol95004Manny ParaschosBY JACK LULE

The cartoon shows a bandaged quadruple amputee propped in a hospital bed. The chart at the bottom of the bed identifies the figure as "U. S. Army." A downward arrow graphs a bleak prognosis. At bedside, a doctor, with the tag Dr. Rumsfeld, scribbles in a file.

Social Communication and Terrorism: Some Ethical Considerations


There are multiple definitions of terrorism. It is a concept filled with ideological, social, political, economic and military values--among many. Above all, it is a concept with a strong emotional component, which makes difficult its rational and balanced analysis.

Special Thanks

In addition to our sponsors, who are listed on p. 00, Media Ethics wishes to pay particular tribute to: Leo Hindery, Jr., whose personal interest in media ethics has caused him to make extremely generous gifts consistently for several issues. The Grand Masonic Lodge of Massachusetts, particularly Grand Secretary Arthur Johnson, Grand Master Jeffrey Hodgson, and Assistant Grand Treasurer Craig MacPherson for providing the space and other facilities that enable the Media Ethics office to function.



The next National Conference for Media Reform will be held in Memphis, TN, on January 12-14, 2007. It is expected that thousands will participate in the meetings, including activists, media makers, educators, journalists, policymakers and concerned citizens.

Contact Us Spring 2006

Mailing Address: MEDIA ETHICS 186 Tremont St. Boston, MA 02111

Telephone: 617-824-7808

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Dr. Mike Kittross, editor--contact for manuscript submissions and editorial inquiries) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Evan Bernier, editorial and production assistant--contact for all other matters) cchrstns@uiuc.

How to subscribe Fall 2006

The annual subscription rate for the print version of MEDIA ETHICS magazine is $10.00 domestic and $20.00 international. Please remit payment to: MEDIA ETHICS c/o Institute of Communications Research College of Communications University of Illinois 810 S.


The annual subscription rate for the print version of MEDIA ETHICS magazine is $10.00 domestic and $20.00 international.

Please remit payment to: MEDIA ETHICS c/o Institute of Communications Research College of Communications University of Illinois 810 S.

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