Chapter 13 Mass Media And Ethics


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Chapter 13 Mass Media And Ethics

  1. 1. Ethics Chapter 13 The Media in Your Life, 4/e
  2. 2. Hello and Welcome <ul><li>How has your week been? </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Do you have any questions or concerns regarding class work? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Final Project <ul><li>Let us know how your final project is coming along. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Ethics in Your Life <ul><li>Ethics in American Life </li></ul><ul><li>Colonial newspapers were highly partisan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical decisions were based on the view of the party they supported </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mid-nineteenth century newspapers remained partisan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Began to include stories about common people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Papers were criticized for including trivial gossip </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Sensational journalism began in the 1890s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial concerns were shaping newspapers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critics argued for good taste in story selection </li></ul></ul>Copyright (c) Allyn & Bacon 2008
  6. 6. Development of Standards for Public Relations <ul><li>Propaganda used in World War I raised ethical issues for Public Relations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Edward L. Bernays argued </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Crystallizing Public Opinion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The public demands information and makes up its own mind </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A public relations counselor was to get clients the best possible hearing for their message </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Copyright (c) Allyn & Bacon 2008
  7. 7. Classical Ethics in a Modern Society <ul><li>The Golden Mean </li></ul><ul><li>The Categorical Imperative </li></ul><ul><li>The Principle of Unity </li></ul><ul><li>The Veil of Ignorance </li></ul><ul><li>Judeo-Christian Ethic </li></ul>Copyright (c) Allyn & Bacon 2008
  8. 8. The Golden Mean <ul><li>Aristotle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Greek philosopher </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moderation in life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Operating between two extremes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applying the Golden Mean </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports should search for balance in news reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Report both sides of an issue </li></ul></ul>Copyright (c) Allyn & Bacon 2008
  9. 9. The Categorical Imperative <ul><li>Immanuel Kant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eighteenth century philosopher </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ethical principles should be determined by what could be applied universally </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Absolute ethics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nonconsequential reasoning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applying the categorical imperative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If lying is unethical then a reporter who lies to go undercover is violating ethics </li></ul></ul>Copyright (c) Allyn & Bacon 2008
  10. 10. The Principle of Unity <ul><li>John Stuart Mill/Jeremy Bentham </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nineteenth century British philosopher </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What provides the greatest good for the greatest number </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rule vs act / Consequential Reasoning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applying the principle of unity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tobacco advertising is unethical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tobacco advertising makes a profit for the media while making thousands of people sick </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The Veil of Ignorance <ul><li>John Rawls </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twentieth century writer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Justice emerges when social differentiations are eliminated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information is treated outside social context </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applying the veil of ignorance – distributive justice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ABC reporters covering Disney should be able to ignore that Disney owns ABC </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Judeo-Christian Ethic <ul><li>The Golden Rule (Divine Ethics) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do unto others as you would have them do unto you </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applying Judeo-Christian ethic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, murdered by terrorists while researching a story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Before showing the video tape of the murder the reporter should ask </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ If I were Daniel Pearl would I want it shown?” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Universal egoism & Ayn Rand:1905-1982 <ul><ul><li>Author and philosopher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We should take actions that satisfy our self interest (not to be confused with selfishness) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compatible with capitalism and free market philosophy-competition </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Political and Economic Demand for Ethical Behavior <ul><li>Credibility and Profit </li></ul><ul><li>Credibility is an economic incentive for ethics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>News organizations that are not ethical will lose credibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of credibility will produce a loss in readers or viewers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>News reporters/anchors not citing sources of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Video News Release (VNR) as a source </li></ul></ul>Copyright (c) Allyn & Bacon 2008
  15. 15. Ethics and Media Concentration <ul><li>Increased concentration of ownership has made the public more sensitive to possible unethical behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reporters may be afraid to cover the conglomerates that employ them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ABC News killed an unflattering story about Disney theme parks </li></ul>Copyright (c) Allyn & Bacon 2008
  16. 16. Impact on Other Industries <ul><li>News stories affect the subjects they cover </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can affect profits of other companies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Food Lion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ABC Prime Time Live reported on tainted food at the supermarket chain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Food Lion stock dropped $1.5 billion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Decline in food sales </li></ul></ul></ul>Copyright (c) Allyn & Bacon 2008
  17. 17. Basic Ethical Standards in U.S. Media <ul><li>Accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>Objectivity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unbiased </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fairness and balance </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of fakery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can Dateline be believed after faking video of crash? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Truth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid lying </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integrity of Sources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Janet Cooke made up source, a six-year-old drug addict </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Avoiding conflict of interest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, is married to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan </li></ul></ul>Copyright (c) Allyn & Bacon 2008
  18. 18. Question <ul><li>What kind of philosophy do your think guides the presentation of mass media today? Egoism (self interest), utilitarianism (for the general good), duty ethics (from Kant), or the Golden Rule (Divine Ethics)? </li></ul>Copyright (c) Allyn & Bacon 2008
  19. 19. Question <ul><li>Do you see questionable ethics with how the news is presented? </li></ul>