Media Ethics Quiz

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15 Questions

Ethical dilemmas often involve conflicts between deeply held ______, making decisions difficult

beliefs

Decision makers need to apply their ______ in alignment with their organization's ______ in ethical dilemmas

values

Consequential theories judge actions by their ______, justifying them as morally right if they result in positive ______

outcomes

Immanuel Kant's ethical system focuses on examining one's conscience and acting according to universal rules to avoid violating personal ______

values

John Rawls' veil of ignorance concept aims to develop a fair social contract by making decisions impartially, without knowledge of personal ______

attributes

The social responsibility of the press theory highlights the press's obligation to serve the public and society, despite potential conflicts with ______ interests

owners'

Accepting gifts, freebies, or bribes can compromise the ethical integrity of journalists and public relations professionals. Practices like payola in the radio industry and plagiarism are examples of conflicts of interest in media. Economic influences and commercial pressures can significantly impact media content, especially during economic downturns. Pressure groups, boycotts, bad publicity, and legal pressures can exert economic influence on the media. Press councils serve as independent agencies that monitor the performance of the media on a day-to-day basis. Ethical decision-making in media can be guided by problem-solving processes, such as the ______ acronym and the Potter Box model.

solve it

The Potter Box model, developed by Ralph Potter, involves defining the problem, determining core values, applying ethical principles, and considering loyalties before making a judgment. Swedish philosopher Cecilia Bach advocates for ______ and maintaining social trust in ethical decision-making, emphasizing the importance of cultural values and knowledge. Ethical decision-making involves consulting one's conscience, holding an imaginary ethical dialogue with all involved parties, and choosing a course of action that aligns with core values and is acceptable to everyone involved.

empathy

Ethical decision-making involves consulting one's ______, holding an imaginary ethical dialogue with all involved parties, and choosing a course of action that aligns with core values and is acceptable to everyone involved.

conscience

1

Most professional media organizations have some type of performance code or code of ethics. The Society of Professional Journalists or SPJ have four that are extremely important: seek the truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently and be accountable. Now the media don't always have time to reflect on philosophical reflection when you're trying to make an on-the-spot decision quickly, but just like doctors and lawyers and other professionals have codes of conduct, so do media professionals. However, they're far more self-regulated. Instead of losing your license or getting disbarred, who's gonna judge you? Your audience. So for journalists, what the ethical standards are recommended are: a) be fair, honest, and courageous when reporting news; b) treat sources and colleagues with respect; c) be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know; and d) be obligated to your audience and to each other, to other journalists.

2

Why do films have ratings? By the 1950s, with the competition with television and as well as a very tough moral code throughout the entire nation becoming far more relaxed after World War two, a voluntary movie rating system was adopted by the Motion Picture Association of America or the MPAA. It set up a simple movie rating system that depended for its enforcement on cooperation from the filmmakers themselves, theater owners, and the movie-going public itself. The rating system is the one currently in effect today.

3

In the advertising industry, we have to go by the rules set by the Federal Trade Commission or the FTC. It prevents fraudulent advertising and it requires what's called truth in advertising. When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it's on the internet, radio, or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that it must be truthful, not misleading, and when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence. The FTC enforces these truth in advertising laws and it applies the same standards no matter where an ad appears. The FTC looks especially closely at advertising claims that can affect consumers' health or their pocketbooks, claims about food, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, alcohol, tobacco, as well as conduct related to high-tech products and what's on the internet. The FTC also monitors and writes reports about ad industry practices regarding the marketing of alcohol and tobacco.

4

Public relations go by the Public Relations Society of America or the PRSA and you'll see that their core values are based very similarly on the other organizations: advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty, and fairness.

5

CNN did an excellent series in 2017 called 'Whose Freedom Is It?' and it talks all about journalistic ethics. There's a great film out there called 'Shattered Glass' which is based on the story about journalist Stephen Glass who it turns out fabricated stories that were published in the New Republic, Rolling Stone magazine, several other things, so he plagiarized. It ruined his career. Newsweek magazine published this picture of OJ Simpson when it was put on the cover of Time magazine. Look at the difference; the whole lighting is done differently. However, that goes against the ethics of visual journalism.

6

The last part of the lecture is I'm going to quickly go over some case studies that I share when I teach this class and I'm gonna touch on them and provide you with the links to them if you want more information because I've already determined what we're gonna use for this particular course. And that's the ethical dilemma involved after 9/11 with the publishing of this picture of this man who fell from the top of the tower where the restaurant was at the top.

Study Notes

Conflicts of Interest and Ethical Decision-Making in Media

  • Conflicts of interest can arise in media when loyalties to personal beliefs, employers, and society clash.
  • Journalists and filmmakers may struggle to achieve complete impartiality due to personal biases and the need to present both sides of a story.
  • Accepting gifts, freebies, or bribes can compromise the ethical integrity of journalists and public relations professionals.
  • Practices like payola in the radio industry and plagiarism are examples of conflicts of interest in media.
  • Economic influences and commercial pressures can significantly impact media content, especially during economic downturns.
  • Pressure groups, boycotts, bad publicity, and legal pressures can exert economic influence on the media.
  • Press councils serve as independent agencies that monitor the performance of the media on a day-to-day basis.
  • Ethical decision-making in media can be guided by problem-solving processes, such as the "solve it" acronym and the Potter Box model.
  • The "solve it" acronym provides a structured approach to solving ethical dilemmas, ensuring consideration of all alternatives.
  • The Potter Box model, developed by Ralph Potter, involves defining the problem, determining core values, applying ethical principles, and considering loyalties before making a judgment.
  • Swedish philosopher Cecilia Bach advocates for empathy and maintaining social trust in ethical decision-making, emphasizing the importance of cultural values and knowledge.
  • Ethical decision-making involves consulting one's conscience, holding an imaginary ethical dialogue with all involved parties, and choosing a course of action that aligns with core values and is acceptable to everyone involved.

Test your knowledge on conflicts of interest and ethical decision-making in media with this quiz. Explore the challenges journalists and filmmakers face in maintaining impartiality, the impact of economic influences on media content, and the ethical frameworks guiding decision-making. Delve into the "solve it" acronym, the Potter Box model, and the insights of philosopher Cecilia Bach on ethical dilemmas in media.

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