Ethics for a Digital Era
December 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
"Elliott and Spence have produced a tight, teachable, and timely primer on media ethics for users and creators of information in the digital age. Pitched at just the right depth of detail to provide a big picture contextualization of changing media practices grounded in concerns for democracy and the public good, the book explores and reflects the implications of the convergence of the Fourth and Fifth Estates with an open-access, hyper-linked architecture which invites self-reflective practice on the part of its users."
Philip Gordon, Utah Valley University
The rapid and ongoing evolution of digital technologies has transformed the way the world communicates and digests information. Fueled by a 24-hour news cycle and post-truth politics, media consumption and the technologies that drive it have become more influential in shaping public opinion, and it has become more imperative than ever to examine their social and ethical consequences. Ethics for a Digital Era provides a penetrating analysis of the ethical issues that have emerged as the digital revolution progresses, including journalistic practices that impact on the truth, reliability, and trustworthiness of communicating information. The volume explores new methods and models for ethical inquiry in a digital world, and maps out guidelines for web-based news producers and users to conceptualize ethical issues and analyze ethically questionable acts.
In each of three thematic sections, Deni Elliott and Edward H. Spence reflect upon shifts in media ethics as contemporary mass communication combines traditional analog practices with new forms like blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and social media posts, and evolves into an interactive medium with users who both produce and consume the news. Later chapters apply a process of normative decision-making to some of the most important issues which arise in these interactions, and encourage users to bridge their own thinking between the virtual and physical worlds of information and its communication.
Timely and thought-provoking, Ethics for a Digital Era is an invaluable resource for undergraduate and graduate students in media and mass communication, applied ethics, and journalism, as well as general readers interested in the ethical impact of their media consumption.
Part I: From Analog to Digital News
1. A New Paradigm for News
2. Legacy News Organizations Move from Analog to Digital
3. Intellectual Property and Information Sharing
4. Citizen Responsibility in the Digital Era
Part II: Thinking Through Ethical Issues in Digital Journalism
5. DOIT, a Process for Normative Analysis
6. Issues in Convergent Journalism
7. Privacy and Disclosure
8. Deception in Sourcing and Presentation
9. Media Corruption
Part III: Using the Virtual World to Create a Better Physical World
10. Beyond Ethics: Communicating Wisely
Epilogue: Digital Diversity and Democracy
DENI ELLIOTT, EdD holds the Poynter Jamison Chair in Media Ethics and Press Policy and is Department Chair and full professor in the Department of Journalism and Digital Communication at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.
EDWARD H. SPENCE teaches and conducts research in the philosophy and ethics of information technologies and communication at Charles Sturt University. He is a Research Fellow at the 4TU Centre of Excellence for Ethics and Technology in The Hague, and Research Associate at the University of Sydney, Australia.