Analytical Essay. 2000 words. This essay will fulfill two goals: (1) first explain how the media is expected to uphold standards of fairness and ethics while
covering a major story of national or international importance; and then (2) explore why it can be very difficult to meet those expected standards while also
trying to fulfill the responsibility of serving the public’s best interests.
Communication and Media Ethics
Ethical standards for valuable communications are needed more than ever. Internet ethics is for everyone, as we have become information generators and
broadcasters too. Disinformation, propaganda, and ideology are disseminated by the people more effectively than any government. How can the value of free
speech be preserved in our “post truth” world, without resorting to censorship? The media ethics of journalism upholds high standards of accuracy and
honesty despite social and political pressures. Fake news and faked images are proliferating, requiring digital media ethics. A new global media ethics brings
spotlights upon the causes of freedom, security, and justice for all peoples.
This new course meets either a Philosophy or Humanities Core Area requirement OR a Professional Media and Communications concentration elective.
Students will examine ethical questions at the intersections of communications, media, internet, society, and politics, and study interdisciplinary approaches
and answers to those questions.
Communication Ethics. We are all communicators, generating and repeating perspectives on what we observe and judge about other people and the world.
Communication’s human function is to strengthen social community. This principle exposes how any of us can mis-use communication methods, media, and
technology to instead serve selfish aims, partisan advantages, or anti-social agendas. Ethics must be built into all communication.
Internet Ethics. In this internet age when people can easily reach and influence the minds of others, motivations and agendas behind social media behavior
must be scrutinized. Disinformation, propaganda, and ideology are easily and quickly spread to millions of people by the same people themselves, more
effectively than any government’s own broadcasting. Can social media apply its own restraints, to filter itself better before governments impose censorship?
Free speech isn’t what it used to be during a by-gone era of newspapers and podiums. What is the value of free speech in our “post truth” world, while the
internet is leaving many minds less free?
Media Ethics. The role of a journalist is provide information about matters of public importance to the public in timely and understandable ways. Duties to
the Public: Social Importance, Accuracy, Non-Bias, Honesty, Civility. Duties to the Profession: Treatment of Sources, Information Gathering, Conflicts of
Digital Media Ethics. On the internet, anyone can report and spread “news”, including AI and bots. Genuine journalism in the cybersphere of social media
must figure out what is authentic and significant, filter out deception, fakery, and propaganda, and reach the online public with information that people can
access and use.
Global Media Ethics. Traditional media objectives include (a) making government more transparent and accountable, (b) shining spotlights on suffering and
injustice, and (c) covering issues important to minority and disadvantaged groups. Global objectives now add (d) reporting information needed on
international and global scales, (e) exposing criminal and dangerous activities of countries that affect their citizens or their neighbors, and (f) supporting the
causes of freedom, security, and justice for all peoples.
Students will additionally achieve individualized learning objectives while completing their assignments, with opportunities to:
explore how controversies over journalistic integrity have many more dimensions in our times, complicating efforts to maintain journalism as a true