Digital Dilemmas: Ethical Issues for Online Media Professionals / Edition 1

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Journalism and mass communications professionals entering the innovative world of new media technology face a wave of challenging and often unanticipated ethical quandaries. Digital Dilemmas: Ethical Issues for Online Media Professionals is the first title in Blackwell Publishing's Media and Technology series (Alan B. Albarran, series editor). This important new text establishes a framework for discussing, understanding, and ultimately making sound decisions on meeting these ethical challenges. In addition, the book provides guidelines for approaching and making decisions from an ethical standpoint.

Part one of the text gives background and overview information to examine existing professional ethical codes and their applicability in the new media. Part two delves into the ethical dilemmas faced by all online communications professionals—privacy, speech and intellectual property. Part three warns the reader about three specific types of ethical hazards—speed vs. accuracy and quality; validating Internet sources; and blurring editorial with commercial information.

Through the use of historical summaries, discussion of specific problems, case study illustrations, critical thinking exercises, chapter summaries, key points, and recommended readings, each chapter comprehensively explores ethical issues. Aimed at students as well as practicing journalists and media professionals, Digital Dilemmas serves as the essential text and user’s guide to the emerging ethical challenges facing those who work or plan to work in the online media.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813802367
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/21/2003
  • Series: Media and Technology Series
  • Edition description: Illustrate
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 386
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert I. Berkman is on the faculty of the Media StudiesM.A. program at New School University, New York, NY. He teaches theclass New Media Ethics via the New School’s OnlineUniversity division (NSOU) and has also taught ResearchMethods online. Author of several books on online searching andresearch, Berkman is founder and editor of The InformationAdvisor, a monthly journal for professional researchers.

Christopher A. Shumway was a broadcast journalist for 15years, serving as a photographer, news reporter, anchor andmeteorologist at local TV stations in Alabama, Georgia, Texas, andOhio. During that time he won more than a half dozen awards for hiswork, including a regional Emmy nomination. He is currentlycompleting work on a Master’s degree in Media Studies fromNew School University

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Table of Contents




Part I: Painting The Larger Picture: Media, Ethical Codes,and the Internet Age

1. Online Media Ethics inPerspective.

2. The Role of Media in Democratic Society.

3. New Challenges: Who is a Journalist in the Internet Era?

Part II: Society-wide Ethical Dilemmas for Online MediaProfessionals

4. Privacy

· Collecting and selling data onwebsite visitors.

· Making judgments based on Internet behavior andactivity.

· Surreptitious monitoring of others’ email and Webuse.

· Complying with governmental demands to turn over privateinformation

5. Speech

· Permitting hateful andharassing speech on your website or forum.

· Posting of offensive images.

· Complying with governmental demands for removal ofspecified information or voices

6. Intellectual Property and Copyright

· Copying and downloadingcopyrighted material on the Internet.

· Determining the appropriate level of protection for yourown online works.

· The ethics of active non-compliance to existing copyrightlaws

Part III: Journalistic Ethical Dilemmas for Online MediaProfessionals

7. Speed and Accuracy.

8. Sources and Searches: Does the Internet Make JournalistsLazy?.

9. When Business and Ethics Collide: Advertising, the Internetand Editorial Independence

Afterword: The Internet, Media Consolidation and Democracy .


Ethical Codes of Leading ProfessionalMedia Associations.

Ethical Codes for Gannett Newspapers


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