Roger A Simpson
Provides a method and substantive context based on ethical theory, media history, and value systems for analyzing and resolving dilemmas raised by journalistic practices.
Identification of ethical dilemmas, the ways of thinking about ethical obligations, the process of resolving ethical conflicts in public-affairs communication, including mainstream media, digital media and social media.
Student learning goals
• identify an ethical dilemma, describe the choices faced by the moral agent, and explain the moral implications of each choice;
• demonstrate resolution of ethical dilemmas by applying key concepts of truthfulness, fairness, respect,and transparency;
• propose case resolutions in a framework that takes into account cultures and communities of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, age and world view;
• distinguish how utilitarian, deontological, existential and other belief systems address ethical choices;
• distinguish individual and collective responsibilities when organizations face dilemmas;
• illustrate how new and evolving forms of technology affect ethical considerations.
General method of instruction
Mix of content briefings, small-group problem solving, extensive instructor feedback, guests
No course prerequisites. Some experience in media work is helpful, but not essential. Thoughtful attention to a variety of news media is essential.
Class assignments and grading
Reports based on small-group problem solutions, individual written reports on key issues, quizzes, discussion forums