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Social Sci LibreTexts

5: Ethics of Mass Media

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    • 5.1: Introduction
      The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees Americans freedom of the press, which many would agree is an important ingredient in upholding democratic principles. Freedom from government censorship allows the news media to keep citizens informed about the state of their society.
    • 5.2: Ethical Issues in Mass Media
      In the competitive and rapidly changing world of mass-media communications, media professionals—overcome by deadlines, bottom-line imperatives, and corporate interests—can lose sight of the ethical implications of their work. However, as entertainment law specialist Sherri Burr points out, “Because network television is an audiovisual medium that is piped free into ninety-nine percent of American homes, it is one of the most important vehicles for depicting cultural images to our population.
    • 5.3: News Media and Ethics
      Now more than ever, with the presence of online news sources, news delivery is expected to be instantaneous, and journalists and news agencies face pressure to release stories rapidly to keep up with competing media sources. With this added pressure, standards of accuracy and fairness become more difficult to uphold. What wins when ethical responsibility and bottom-line concerns are at odds?
    • 5.4: Ethical Considerations of the Online World
      Online media has developed rapidly, with technology advancing at a rate that often surpasses the ability of legislation and policy to keep up with it. As a result, issues like individuals’ rights to privacy, copyright protections, and fair use restrictions have become the subject of numerous court cases and public debates as lawmakers, judges, and civil liberties organizations struggle to define the limits of technology and the access it provides to previously restricted information. In the foll