Fall 2022, Vol. 34, No. 1
Should we recognize AI, robots, and other seemingly intelligent artifacts as another socially significant entity with some claim on us, or are they nothing more than mere things? This essay compares standard methods for deciding questions of moral status with an alternative model, the relational turn, which shifts the emphasis from internal properties of the individual entity to extrinsic social circumstances and relationships.
When does the mixing of media--such as images and audio from disparate places--go beyond creativity into an ethically problematic distortion of reality? Remix theory invites us to think about the creation of such montages as a remix and to assess the ethics on those terms. Remix theory also invites new thinking about what it means to be a media professional serving the community.
Journalists covering violent or destructive events such as war and crime experience trauma which frequently goes unacknowledged by their institutions and colleagues. Likewise, traumatized interviewees can be further traumatized unless journalists practice due care. Media institutions and academia need to increase awareness around trauma and act ethically to reduce harm.
A powerful way to engage students in media ethics is requiring them to create a digital portfolio with a personal ethics code. Such a project showcases the application of moral principles while emphasizing digital prowess in preparation for internships and first jobs. The project can also play a major role in a department's assessment, placement, and accreditation efforts.
Artificially intelligent neural networks that generate images from phrases input by humans, such as DALL-E 2, present numerous ethical challenges. Among these are questions of confused ownership rights, the proliferation of deep fakes, and the reproduction of offensive stereotypes.
As journalists become the target of cancel culture, how do we evaluate questions of justice? Can a journalist make some mistakes that are "unforgivable"?
With new modern-day journalism accelerating deadlines but the processes of verification remaining slow, journalists can make mistakes when rushing stories to publication. What ethical values conflict in journalists’ desire to be the first to break a story?
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.
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||Edward Wasserman|
|Clifford G. Christians|
|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 | Spring 2022|
Upcoming and past meetings, events, lectures, resources, and seminars related to media ethics are shared here. The announcements that follow are based on information supplied by the organizations involved or other sponsors. If you wish to have announcements of future meetings published in Media Ethics, please contact the editor at sstroud(at)austin.utexas.edu.
A growing list of case studies suitable for use in media and communication ethics courses can be found at the Media Ethics Initiative website: www.mediaethicsinitiative.org. The Media Ethics Initiative is based in the Center for Media Engagement in the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas Austin.