Media Law Final
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. What would you like to do?
• Know: Differentiating laws, morals and ethics.
• Three dimensions of ethics
• What is an ethical dilemma?
- authority given by the people to set limits
- a manner or custom of behaviors
- systematic study of these principles
- individual, organizational, societal
- moral struggles/ 2 or more competing and morally defensible courses of action.
Know: The Potter box and its four steps (notes, plus question #1 from Q&A): 1. (a) Summarize each of the four steps used in the Potter’s Box ethical analysis (describe each step in at least 4-5 words). (b) “Under the press of circumstances,” what shortcuts do media professionals sometimes take in the Potter’s Box process?
- 1. definition: deciding how or when to share information with the public
- 2. values: influences discourse and reasoning on moral values
- 3. principles: which ethical principle pertains to the situation
- 4. loyalties: who the publisher should be most loyal too
- Sometimes media professionals do not take the steps in order and let the later quadrants influence the earlier ones.
Five categories in which most ethical principles fall (and a principle that falls under each category)
- love (agape)
- utility (UT)
- duty (Kant)
- virtue (Golden Mean)
- rights (Veil of Ignorance)
What are virtue ethics?
emphasis on character rather than specific rules, consequences, or actions.
• What is Aristotle’s mean?
• Conscious-based, character-based or reason-based?
• Be able to explain circumstance when the mean IS effective and one in which it isn’t effective.
- Midway between 2 extremes
- long virtuous life more suited to make tough decision Young should not have power.
- character based
- Effective when complicated issue with multiple layers, when both extremes are vices. Neither is ideal.
What are deontological ethics?
duty based. duty over character. ends do not justify the means. duty to be a truth teller.
• What is Kant’s categorical imperative?
• Conscious-based, character-based or reason-based?
• Under this, do the ends justify the means? • How does a rule rise the level of being universal?
• Be able to explain a circumstance when the
Categorical Imperative IS effective and one in which it isn’t effective.
- emphasis on duty not character
- ends do not justify means
- conscience based
- when no rational party can argue against it.
- effective when involving a nonnegotiable principle. Not effective when it has opposition.
What are utility ethics?
morality is about producing good consequences not individual deeds. ends do justify means.
What is utilitarianism?·
• Under this, do the ends justify the means?· • Under this, actions are wrong if ______ and they’re right if _________.·
• Be able to explain a circumstance when utilitarianism IS effective and one in which it isn’t effective.
- What is best for most people. Maximize pleasure.
- ends do justify means
- Under this, actions are wrong if tend to result in bad ends for a large number of people and they’re right if good ends for large number of people.
- eff- positive ends are highly likely. not- positive end not likely.
What are the ethics of rights? (explain the social contract).
- Ethics in the form of a social contract involving equal treatment and minimization of harm.
- All individuals should be treated equally in terms of rights and opportunities. (veil)
• What is the veil of ignorance?
• Under this does the majority rule?
- All treated equally but still minimizes harm to weakest parties.
• What are Judeo-Christian ethics?
• What Biblical concept is most associated with this?
• What is agape love?
- love your neighbor as yourself. based on agape- love everyone as they are. voluntary and unconditional.
- body of real things, events, and facts
• What is the definition of truth? (and truth never needing to be justified).
• Difference between lying and deception
• How the Categorical Imperative, Utilitarianism and Aristotle’s mean would view lying.
- deception- deliberate intention to mislead.
- lying- false statement with intention to deceive. doesn't have to be believed to be a lie
- CI- do not lie UT- causes more harm than good GM- lying is not virtuous
• Principle of Veracity
• Deaver continuum
• Familiarize (don’t memorize): Value of truth-telling
- not every lie is condemned. relative to individual cultures.
- 2 absolutes (deception and lies) persuading with selective information about client or engaging in non-truths but not with he intention to deceive.
Social justice (defined): “Like cases …” (and the explanation in the notes of PowerPoint).
like cases should be treated alike. no double standards
Differentiate between libertarian and egalitarian views of social justice
- lib- free from gov coercion.
- eg- more important to correct injustice even at the cost of individual liberties
Differentiate between duty-based (deontological), utility (teleological) and virtue (mean) views of social justice.
Q&A #1: 1.(a) Regarding the coverage of the genocide in Darfur, our authors suggest that the case could use something called interpretive sufficiency. Explain this. (b) Subsequently, the authors call for “authentic disclosure.” Explain this. (c) What “unending difficulties” have reporters had in covering the genocide?
A sufficient interpretation opens up public life in all its dynamic dimensions. A newsworthy account that makes justice explicit represents complex cultures and religions adequately. The people involved at all levels are portaged authentically without stereotype or simplistic judgements. Using authentic disclosure, journalists disclose the essence of the events or, in other words, get to the heart of the matter. Some of the unending difficulties include: reporters struggling to get Visas to Sudan, the danger that comes along with reporting in Darfur, and networks presuming lack of interest by viewers in Africa.
• Familiarize: why laws concerning privacy, alone, aren’t sufficient (“Why not rely on law alone” in PowerPoint, p. 95 in book).
• Familiarize: Three guiding moral principles regarding privacy
• General knowledge (familiarize): Descending scale of privacy
- different degrees of legal protection/ media defines what is newsworthy/ public sphere larger than private
- "decency & fairness are non-negotiable"/ "redeeming social value"/ "dignity of individuals outweighs press privilege"
• Familiarize: Advertising’s role in a society (in particular, why it’s called a “fun house mirror”).
• Define: positioning, branding and stereotypes.
• Explain: Neil Postman’s “World of Imagery” (in Powerpoint and p. 139 of book).
- defines culture and defined by culture. "fun house" - exaggerates or distorted in culture
- pos- building a niche for your product in heavily competitive market
- brand- turning pitch into something more visible. symbol that gives meaning
- stereotypes- fixed mental image of a group that is frequently applied to all group members
- for traditional content, we are heavily armed so we can decipher what is true and not true, but with ads we have a harder time deciphering what is true and not. It just stays in place because we don't discard it. creates a world of imagery. things we like, not true or false.
• Explain PR’s conflict between information and persuasion
• Familiarize: Public’s expectations of journalism vs. public relations
• Concepts to know: staging, and full disclosure.
- what if information undermines persuasion. is it ok to give a selective truth.
- journalism tells balanced story. pr not required to.
- staging- taking dishonest steps to assure that the public reacts positively
- full disclosure- revealing info the public needs to know to make judgement about the communicator
• Conflict of interest (definition)
• Credibility (definition)
• Familiarize: Dealing with conflicts (in PowerPoint).
- clash between professional loyalties and outside interests
- people should have no reason whatsoever to not believe you
- Obvious: Avoid personal conflicts that undermine professional obligations.
- Perceived: Make every effort to resolve it (free oneself from the outside obligation).
- Acknowledge the conflict openly to those to which you are obligated.
if you have a rep of being a truth teller, most likely high
prima facia. should not create content on that issue if major part of your life to avoid bias.
What is the moral problem of regulating violence in the media?
violent media messages should be treated like obscenity.
• Familiarize: the egalitarian view of violence in media, vs. the libertarian view
• Familiarize: media violence and perspectives (what Categorical Imperative, Utilitarianism and Judeo-Christian perspectives suggest about media violence).
- lib- debatable whether or not violent content breeds antisocial behavior. maximizing individual freedom from gov coercion.
- eg- sacrifice individual liberty in the name of justice
- CI- universal law. violent content shouldnt be violent all the time
- UT- greatest good- prevent great harm
- JC- caring for neighbor- avoid harm
• The Harm Principle (what it is, and what it means in regards to media violence).
• Familiarize: Guidelines for violent content
- people should always help or do no harm. obligation to minimize harm.
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