"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 waythe world communicates and digests information. Fueled by a 24-hour news cycleand post-truth politics, media consumption and the technologies that drive ithave 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 issuesand 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 11
1 A New Paradigm for News 13
2 Legacy News Organizations Move from Analog to Digital 37
3 Intellectual Property and Information Sharing 64
4 Citizen Responsibility in the Digital Era 76
Part II: Thinking Through Ethical Issues in Digital Journalism 89
5 DOIT, A Process for Normative Analysis 91
6 Issues in Convergent Journalism 104
7 Privacy and Disclosure 116
8 Deception in Sourcing and Presentation 136
9 Media Corruption 154
Part III: Using the Virtual World to Create a
Better Physical World 171
10 Beyond Ethics: Communicating Wisely 173
Epilogue: Digital Diversity and Democracy 190