The Handbook of Mass Media Ethics (Paperback) book cover

The Handbook of Mass Media Ethics

Edited by Lee Wilkins, Clifford G. Christians

© 2009 – Routledge

402 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780805861921
pub: 2008-07-21
Hardback: 9780805861914
pub: 2008-07-21
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203893043
pub: 2008-09-17
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About the Book

This Handbook encapsulates the intellectual history of mass media ethics over the past twenty-five years. Chapters serve as a summary of existing research and thinking in the field, as well as setting agenda items for future research.

Key features include:

  • up-to-date and comprehensive coverage of media ethics, one of the hottest topics in the media community
  • 'one-stop shopping' for historical and current research in media ethics
  • experienced, top-tier editors, advisory board, and contributors.

It will be an essential reference on media ethics theory and research for scholars, graduate students, and researchers in media, mass communication, and journalism.


Received the 2009 Best Edited Book Award from the Communication Ethics Division of the National Communication Association

'Each essay provides a comprehensive examination of its topic and includes extensive notes and references… This book will be an important resource for those involved in the study of mass media… Highly recommended.' - CHOICE

'When two ethics powerhouses get together and edit a volume on mass media ethics, you expect an impressive collection of notable research. This volume does not disappoint.' - Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

'The Handbook of Mass Media Ethics is a valuable resource for anyone teaching the Ethics of Journalism and (time permitting) for practitioners of journalism' -

'Consisting of almost 30 chapters categorised into four sections - which look at ethical foundations, professional practice. concrete issues and institutional considerations, teachers of the subject are almost guaranteed to find something of use for aspiring journalists and media professionals to agonize over.' -

"When two ethics powerhouses get together and edit a volume on mass media ethics, you expect an impressive collection of notable research. This book does not disappoint."

-- Lois A. Boynton, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

"The Handbook is a good starting point for any ethics scholar who prefers a snapshot of what has been studied in the last twenty years and what still requires attention … The Handbook also is a good resource to challenge graduate students and upper-level undergrads to explore the significance of ethical practices and not be lulled into the belief that all that can be done to ensure communication is ethical has been done."

-- Lois A. Boynton, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

Table of Contents

 Part I: Foundations

  1. A philosophically based inquiry into the nature of communicating humans
  2. Wayne Woodward

  3. A short history of media ethics in the United States
  4. John P. Ferre

  5. Essential shared values and 21st Century Journalism
  6. Deni Elliott

  7. Moral development: A psychological approach to understanding ethical judgment
  8. Renita Coleman and Lee Wilkins

  9. The search for universals

Clifford G. Christians and Thomas W. Cooper

Part II: Professional Practice

6. Truth and objectivity

Stephen J. A. Ward

7. Photojournalism ethics: A 21st-Century dance of behavior, technology and ideology

Julianne H. Newton

8. Why diversity is an ethical issue

Ginny Whitehouse

9. The ethics of advocacy: Moral reasoning in the practice of public relations

Sherry Baker

10. The ethics of propaganda and the propaganda of ethics

    Jay Black

    11. Perspectives on pornography demand ethical critique

    Wendy Wyatt and Kris E. Bunton

12. Violence

    Patrick Plaisance

13. The eroding boundaries between news and entertainment and what they mean for democratic politics

    Bruce A. Williams and Michael X. Delli Carpini

14. What can we get away with? The ethics or art and entertainment in the neo-liberal world

    Angharad N. Valdivia

    Part III: Concrete Issues

15. Justice as a journalistic value and goal

    David A. Craig

16. Transparency in journalism: Menaings, merits and risks

    Stephanie Craft and Kyle Heim

17. Conflict of interest enters a new age

    Edward Wasserman

18. Digital ethics in autonomous systems

    Michael Bugeja

19. Peace journalism

    Seow Ting Lee

20. Privacy and the press

    Lou Hodges

    Part IV: Institutional considerations

21. Buddhist moral ethics: Intend no harm, intend to be of benefit

    S. Holly Stocking

22. Communitarianism

    Mark Fackler

23. Freedom of expression and the liberal democratic tradition

    G. Stuart Adam

24. Media ownership in a corporate age

    Matthew P. McAllister and Jennifer M. Proffitt

25. The media in evil circumstances

    Robert S. Fortner

26. Ethical tensions in news making: What journalism has in common with other professions

    Sandra L. Borden and Peggy Bowers

27. Feminist media ethics

    Linda Steiner

28. Global media ecology: Why there is no global Media ethics standard

Mark D. Alleyne

About the Editors

Lee Wilkins is the editor of the Journal of Mass Media Ethics and the author and co-author of scholarly books and articles and a textbook on media ethics. She is a former newspaper reporter and editor and holds the doctorate in political science from the University of Oregon. She is a member of the radio-television faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She has has won Missouri’s highest teaching award, and her research focuses on how journalists make ethical decisions.

Clifford G. Christians is the Charles H. Sandage Distinguished Professor and a Research Professor of Communications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He holds joint appointments as a Professor of Journalism and a Professor of Media Studies. His academic degrees include a B.A in classical philosophy from Calvin College, a Th.M. in theology and culture from Fuller Theological Seminary, and and a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Illinois. In addition to having published extensively, Christians has won five teaching awards, and his interests are in the philosophy of technology, dialogic communication theory, and media ethics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies