Doing Ethics in Media : Theories and Practical Applications book cover
2nd Edition

Doing Ethics in Media
Theories and Practical Applications

ISBN 9781138041110
Published November 30, 2021 by Routledge
502 Pages 61 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The second edition of Doing Ethics in Media continues its mission of providing an accessible but comprehensive introduction to media ethics, with a grounding in moral philosophy, to help students think clearly and systematically about dilemmas in the rapidly changing media environment.

Each chapter highlights specific considerations, cases, and practical applications for the fields of journalism, advertising, digital media, entertainment, public relations, and social media. Six fundamental decision-making questions—the "5Ws and H" around which the book is organized—provide a path for students to articulate the issues, understand applicable law and ethics codes, consider the needs of stakeholders, work through conflicting values, integrate philosophic principles, and pose a "test of publicity." Students are challenged to be active ethical thinkers through the authors’ reader-friendly style and use of critical early-career examples. While most people will change careers several times during their lives, all of us are life-long media consumers, and Doing Ethics in Media prepares readers for that task.

Doing Ethics in Media is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students studying media ethics in mass media, journalism, and media studies. It also serves students in rhetoric, popular culture, communication studies, and interdisciplinary social sciences.

The book’s companion website—, or—provides continuously updated real-world media ethics examples and collections of essays from experts and students. The site also hosts ancillary materials for students and for instructors, including a test bank and instructor’s manual.

Table of Contents

The First Question: What’s Your Problem?

1. Ethics and Moral Reasoning

The Second Question: Why Not Follow the Rules?

2. Codes of Ethics and Justification Models

3. Media Traditions and the Paradox of Professionalism

The Third Question: Who Wins, Who Loses?

4. Moral Development and the Expansion of Empathy

5. Loyalty

6. Diversity

The Fourth Question: What’s It Worth?

7. Personal and Professional Values

8. Truth and Deception

9. Persuasion and Propaganda

10. Privacy and Public Life

The Fifth Question: What Do Philosophers Say?

11. Consequentialism and Utility

12. Deontology and Moral Rules

13. Virtue, Justice, and Care

The Sixth Question: How’s Your Decision Going to Look?

14. Accountability, Transparency, and Credibility

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Chris Roberts is an associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Creative Media at the University of Alabama.

Jay Black is Poynter Jamison Chair in Media Ethics, Emeritus, at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.