Media Ethics

Key Principles for Responsible Practice (Third Edition)
Patrick Lee Plaisance
©2021, 368 pages

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Media Ethics

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    Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice equips students with the knowledge and critical skill sets they need to develop a solid foundation in ethical thinking and responsible media behavior. The text balances ethics theory with case studies to explain key ethical principles and their application in real-world media practice.

    The book introduces classical and contemporary ethics theory and helps students develop a greater understanding of and appreciation for the deliberative process required for responsible media practice. Dedicated chapters address key ethical principles including transparency, justice, harm, autonomy, privacy, and community. Case studies throughout the book provide examples of media behaviors that have posed real-life dilemmas. These contemporary examples underscore the need for ethical media practice and also set the stage for lively debate and reflection.

    The third edition includes up-to-date case studies, media research, and ethics theory applications to media technologies. Three new chapters address moral decision-making in everyday life, the key factors involved in being a responsible media consumer, and ethical and policy questions surrounding Big Data and our data-driven media system.

    Developed to foster ethical thought and decision-making, Media Ethics is the ideal textbook for courses dealing with ethics in journalism, public relations, advertising, strategic communication, and media marketing.

    Patrick Lee Plaisance is the Don W. Davis Professor in Ethics at the Bellisario College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University. He is the editor of the Journal of Media Ethics and an affiliate faculty member of the Rock Ethics Institute. He is the author of Virtue in the Media: The Moral Psychology of Excellence in News & Public Relations and editor of Handbook of Communication & Media Ethics. His research focuses on media ethics theory, moral psychology theory and methods, and the philosophy of technology as applied to media systems and practices.
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    Adopting instructors will receive a test bank with chapter quizzes and PowerPoint presentations focused on key concepts from the text.
    "This book succeeds in introducing students of media ethics to both practical dilemmas and to philosophical approaches that are inclusive of differing worldviews and epistemologies. I appreciate the book’s accessible writing style and its attention to both individual and societal ethics. When I have taught Media Ethics in the past, I’ve created my own components on big data and theories of technology, so it is great to see chapters devoted to these issues as well as to issues of privacy and community. Based on prior conversations with students, I know that these are important topics for discussion, and I know that this book will be a timely and influential resource that will inspire our students to pursue just ends in their work and in their lives."
    Lynn Schofield Clark, Ph.D., Professor, Chair, and Director, Estlow Center for Journalism and New Media, University of Denver; President, International Association of Internet Researchers

    "This is a good book, well written, highly literate but also highly accessible, explaining ideas very clearly. The authors claims to distinguish his text by centering it on the philosophy of ethics and the philosophical justification for asserting principles, which I find to be exactly what he does, and he does it very well. The resulting text is thereby more substantive and more deliberative, providing the young media professional with a robust framework from which to parse out the at times novel circumstances they will undoubtedly confront in today's dynamic media environment, additionally providing a set of key principles that aid in relating the philosophy of ethics to practice. I particularly like that Professor Plaisance charges the media consumer with 'a moral duty to minimize their own ignorance, to work at being a citizen capable of effectively engaging the wider world, to inform themselves of the realities beyond their own life bubble, and being savvy about what we are reading and watching, and gain a sold understanding of bias.' Would that all citizens read this and took its charge to heart. The world would be better."
    Lawrence L. Garber, Jr., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing, Elon University

    “Media ethics may sound like an oxymoron - like government intelligence - but in his book, Plaisance makes it crystal clear that if society is to be virtuous, and indeed more civil, practitioners across all media disciplines, whether journalists, public relations-advertising-marketing professionals, or social media technologists, must seek authenticity, transparency, accountability, and, most of all, the common good, in all that they do. The future of what we consider ‘civil’ization hangs in the balance.”
    Dr. Donn J. Tilson, APR, Fellow PSRA, Associate Professor Emeritus of Public Relations, School of Communication, University of Miami