• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Our new media landscape of social networking, blogging, and interactivity has forever changed how media content is produced and distributed. Choices about how to gather, evaluate and publish information are ever more complex. This blurring of boundaries between general public values and the values of media professionals has made media ethics an essential issue for media professionals, but also demonstrates how it must be intrinsically part of the wider public conversation. This book teaches students to navigate ethical questions in a digital society and apply ethical concepts and guidelines to their own practice. Using case studies, judgement call boxes and further reading, Understanding Media Ethics clarifies the moral concepts in media contexts, and enables students to apply them to practical decision making through real-life worked ...


In previous chapters we have looked at Media Ethics through the lens of consequentialism, the view that an action or a policy is right or wrong depending on its effects or outcomes. If, on balance, the good consequences of our actions outweigh the bad consequences, all things considered, then that action or policy is the morally right one. This presupposes we have an ultimate value or goal which defines what is good. In the case of utilitarianism the idea of individual and collective pleasure, happiness or welfare is ‘the good’. Thus when confronted by situations in which moral choices are demanded, in our case, media practitioners or policy makers should make decisions which maximize happiness. In this chapter I want to focus on ...

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