Essay on Media and Ethics

Introduction

According to Aristotle’s Golden mean philosophy, two extremes define the principles of media ethics within society. Media and ethics are interrelated as ethical standards provide directions and guidelines on how to handle various media production activities (Bertrand, 2018). The paper takes a close look at the concept of media ethics and establishes how learning of such concepts can enlighten and promote relationships within the community.

Media Ethics

Media ethics encompasses a set of guidelines that are followed when one is handling matters to do with media in society. It is important to note that trust is created within media production, which will promote the useful application of information relayed (Ward, 2018). Tenets of media ethics include truthfulness, fairness, privacy, and accountability, among others. An example that illustrates media ethics includes the dress-code of all presenters and professionals in the industry. Equally, media personalities are looked up for direction in most cases, which makes it necessary to maintain a specified code of conduct.

Learning about media ethics has been challenged before for many reasons. Fair use and plagiarism on content delivered before form a significant part of the challenges and ethical issues that impact media operations (Bugeja, 2020). Another challenge that impacted the learning of the concepts of ethics is the limited time frame for more detailed discussions. A close examination of the concept of media ethics indicates that it is through morality that society can achieve growth in every aspect. From a personal perspective, ethical standards are important in every field to maintain and build sustainable and meaningful relationships (Lukacovic, 2016). The media should be at the forefront of fighting for the right moral values within each production field. Studying the media ethics concept enlightens a learner on the necessary approaches that can be applied to create a working environment accommodating to everyone.

Gaining self-knowledge on media ethics can help determine strategies for handling various media issues. The course has been interesting, allowing many to express their contentment with matters that are at hand. The society looks up to media personalities to present information that is ethical for decision making (Patterson, Wilkins and Painter, 2018). As such, media houses should exhibit a high level of concern for behavior and acceptable code of conduct. To gain a deeper understanding of the concepts of media ethics, it is important to use available literature from other authors. The move can help learners of the course to gain a deeper understanding of the same concept. In life, applying the concepts learnt in class might prove to be productive (Patterson, Wilkins and Painter, 2018). Equally, the concepts must be used in the right manner to promote relationships and trust with media audiences. Social media users should also consider media ethics and ensure that information is protected from them or access from unauthorized hands.

To sum it up, media ethics is an important aspect that promotes understanding and delivery of information. Media houses cannot be trusted if they do not uphold and advocate for the right and acceptable code of conduct. Learning of media ethics concepts has promoted media production to a large extent, making the course an important part of media studies.

Bertrand, C.J. ed., 2018.  Media ethics and accountability systems . Routledge.

Bugeja, M., 2020. Media Ethics and Global Justice in the Digital Age.

Lukacovic, M.N., 2016. Peace journalism and radical media ethics.  Conflict & Communication ,  15 (2).

Patterson, P., Wilkins, L. and Painter, C., 2018.  Media ethics: Issues and cases . Rowman & Littlefield.

Ward, S.J., 2018.  Disrupting journalism ethics: Radical change on the frontier of digital media . Routledge.

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Digital Media Ethics

by Stephen J.A. Ward

Digital media ethics deals with the distinct ethical problems, practices and norms of digital news media. Digital news media includes online journalism, blogging, digital photojournalism, citizen journalism and social media. It includes questions about how professional journalism should use this ‘new media’ to research and publish stories, as well as how to use text or images provided by citizens.

A revolution in ethics

A media revolution is transforming, fundamentally and irrevocably, the nature of journalism and its ethics. The means to publish is now in the hands of citizens, while the internet encourages new forms of journalism that are interactive and immediate.

Our media ecology is a chaotic landscape evolving at a furious pace.  Professional journalists share the journalistic sphere with tweeters, bloggers, citizen journalists, and social media users.

Amid every revolution, new possibilities emerge while old practices are threatened. Today is no exception. The economics of professional journalism struggles as audiences migrate online. Shrinkage of newsrooms creates concern for the future of journalism. Yet these fears also prompt experiments in journalism, such as non-profit centers of investigative journalism.

A central question is to what extent existing media ethics is suitable for today’s and tomorrow’s news media that is immediate, interactive and “always on” – a journalism of amateurs and professionals. Most of the principles were developed over the past century, originating in the construction of professional, objective ethics for mass commercial newspapers in the late 19th century.

We are moving towards a mixed news media – a news media citizen and professional journalism across many media platforms. This new mixed news media requires a new  mixed media ethics – guidelines that apply to amateur and professional whether they blog, Tweet, broadcast or write for newspapers. Media ethics needs to be rethought and reinvented for the media of today, not of yesteryear.

Tensions on two levels

The changes challenge the foundations of media ethics. The challenge runs deeper than debates about one or another principle, such as objectivity. The challenge is greater than specific problems, such as how newsrooms can verify content from citizens. The revolution requires us to rethink assumptions. What can ethics mean for a profession that must provide instant news and analysis; where everyone with a modem is a publisher?

The media revolution has created ethical tensions on two levels.

  • On the first level, there is a tension between traditional journalism and online journalism. The culture of traditional journalism, with its values of accuracy, pre-publication verification, balance, impartiality, and gate-keeping, rubs up against the culture of online journalism which emphasizes immediacy, transparency, partiality, non-professional journalists and post-publication correction.
  • On the second level, there is a tension between parochial and global journalism. If journalism has global impact, what are its global responsibilities? Should media ethics reformulate its aims and norms so as to guide a journalism that is now global in reach and impact? What would that look like?

The challenge for today’s media ethics can be summarized by the question: Whither ethics in a world of multi-media, global journalism? Media ethics must do more than point out these tensions. Theoretically, it must untangle the conflicts between values. It must decide which principles should be preserved or invented. Practically, it should provide new standards to guide online or offline journalism.

Layered journalism

What would an integrated ethics look like?

It will be the ethics of the integrated newsroom, a newsroom that practices layered journalism. Layered journalism brings together different forms of journalism and different types of journalists to produce a multi-media offering of professional-styled news and analysis combined with citizen journalism and interactive chat.

The newsroom will be layered vertically and horizontally.

Vertically, there will be many layers of editorial positions. There will be citizen journalists and bloggers in the newsroom, or closely associated with the newsroom. Many contributors will work from countries around the world. Some will write for free, some will be equivalent to paid freelancers, others will be regular commentators.

In addition, there will be different types of editors. Some editors will work with these new journalists, while other editors will deal with unsolicited images and text sent by citizens via email, web sites, and twitter. There will be editors or “community producers” charged with going out to neighborhoods to help citizens use media to produce their own stories.

Horizontally, the future newsroom will be layered in terms of the kinds of journalism it produces, from print and broadcast sections to online production centers.

Newsrooms in the past have had vertical and horizontal layers. Newspaper newsrooms have ranged vertically from the editor in-chief at the top to the cub reporter on the bottom. Horizontally, large mainstream newsrooms have produced several types of journalism, both print and broadcast. However, future newsrooms will have additional and different layers. Some news sites will continue to be operated by a few people dedicated only to one format, such as blogging. But a substantial portion of the new mainstream will consist of these complex, layered organizations.

Layered journalism will confront two types of problems. First, there will be ‘vertical’ ethical questions about how the different layers of the newsroom, from professional editors to citizen freelancers, should interact to produce responsible journalism. For example, by what standards will professional editors evaluate the contributions of citizen journalists? Second, there will be ‘horizontal’ questions about the norms for the various newsroom sections.

Difficult questions for digital media ethics

Who is a journalist.

The ‘democratization’ of media – technology that allows citizens to engage in journalism and publication of many kinds – blurs the identity of journalists and the idea of what constitutes journalism.

In the previous century, journalists were a clearly defined group. For the most part, they were professionals who wrote for major mainstream newspapers and broadcasters. The public had no great difficulty in identifying members of the “press.”

Today, citizens without journalistic training and who do not work for mainstream media calls themselves journalists, or write in ways that fall under the general description of a journalists as someone who regularly writes on public issues for a public or audience.

It is not always clear whether the term “journalist” begins or ends. If someone does what appears to be journalism, but refuses the label ‘journalist’ is he or she a journalist? If comedian Jon Stewart refuses to call himself a journalist, but magazines refer to him as an influential journalist (or refers to him as someone who does engage in journalism) is Stewart a journalist?

Is a person expressing their opinions on their Facebook site a journalist?

What is journalism?

A lack of clarity over who is a journalist leads to definitional disputes over who is doing journalism. That leads to the question: What is journalism? Many people believe, “What is journalism?” or “Is he or she doing journalism?” is a more important question than whether who can call themselves a journalist.

At least three approaches to this question are possible – skeptical, empirical, and normative. Skeptically, one dismisses the question itself as unimportant. For example, one might say that anyone can be a journalist, and it is not worth arguing over who gets to call themselves a journalist. One is skeptical about attempts to define journalism.

Empirically, there is a more systematic and careful approach to the question. We can look at clear examples of journalism over history and note the types of activities in which journalists engaged, e.g. gathering information, editing stories, publishing news and opinion. Then we use these features to provide a definition of journalism that separates it from novel writing, storytelling, or editing information for a government database.

The normative approach insists that writers should not be called journalists unless they have highly developed skills, acquired usually through training or formal education, and unless they honor certain ethical norms.

The skills include investigative capabilities, research skills, facility with media technology of media, knowledge of how institutions work, and highly developed communication skills. The ethical norms include a commitment to accuracy, verification, truth, and so on.

The normative approach is based on an ideal view of journalism as accurately and responsibly informing the public. One defines journalism by considering the best examples of journalism and the practices of the best journalists.

A writer who has these skills and these ethical commitments is capable of publishing good (well-crafted, well-researched) and ethically responsible journalism. Persons who do not meet these normative requirements may call themselves journalists but they are not considered journalists from this normative perspective. They are at irresponsible, second-rate, or incompetent writers seeking to be journalists, or pretending to be journalists.

Anonymity is accepted more readily online than in mainstream news media. Newspapers usually require the writers of letters to the editor to identify themselves. Codes of mainstream media ethics caution journalists to use anonymous sources sparingly and only if certain rules are followed. The codes warn journalists that people may use anonymity to take unfair or untrue “potshots” at other people, for self-interested reasons.

Online, many commentary and “chat” areas do not allow anonymity. Online users resist demands from web site and blogs to register and identify themselves. Anonymity is praised as allowing freedom of speech and sometimes helping to expose wrong doing. Critics say it encourages irresponsible and harmful comments. Mainstream media contradict themselves when they allow anonymity online but refuse anonymity in their newspapers and broadcast programs.

The ethical question is: When is anonymity ethically permissible and is it inconsistent for media to enforce different rules on anonymity for different media platforms? What should be the ethical guidelines for anonymity offline and online?

Speed, rumor and corrections

Reports and images circulate the globe with amazing speed via Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, cell phones, and email. Speed puts pressure on newsrooms to publish stories before they are adequately checked and verified as to the source of the story and the reliability of the alleged facts. Major news organizations too often pick up rumors online. Sometimes, the impact of publishing an online rumor is not world shaking – a false report that a hockey coach has been fired. But a media that thrives on speed and “sharing” creates the potential for great harm. For instance, news organizations might be tempted to repeat a false rumor that terrorists had taken control of the London underground, or that a nuclear power plant had just experienced a ‘meltdown’ and dangerous gases were blowing towards Chicago. These false reports could induce panic, causes accidents, prompt military action and so on.

A related problem, created by new media, is how to handle errors and corrections when reports and commentary are constantly being updated. Increasingly, journalists are blogging ‘live’ about sports games, news events, and breaking stories. Inevitably, when one works at this speed, errors are made, from misspelling words to making factual errors. Should news organizations go back and correct all of these mistakes which populate mountains of material? Or should they correct errors later and not leave a trace of the original mistake –what is called “unpublishing?”

The ethical challenge is to articulate guidelines for dealing with rumors and corrections in an online world that are consistent with the principles of accuracy, verification, and transparency.

Impartiality, conflicts of interest, and partisan journalism

New media encourages people to express their opinion and share their thoughts candidly.

Many bloggers take pride in speaking their mind, compared to any mainstream reporters who must cover events impartially. Many online journalists see themselves as partisans or activists for causes or political movements, and reject the idea of objective or neutral analysis.

Partial or partisan journalism comes in at least two kinds: One kind is an opinion journalism that enjoys commenting upon events and issues, with or without verification. Another form is partisan journalism which uses media as a mouthpiece for political parties and movements. To some extent, we are seeing a revival (or return) to an opinion/partisan journalism that was popular before the rise of objective reporting in the early 1900s.

Both opinion and partisan journalism have long roots in journalism history. However, their revival in an online world raises serious ethical conundrums for current media ethics. Should objectivity be abandoned by all journalists? Which is best for a vigorous and healthy democracy – impartial journalism or partisan journalism?

To make matters more contentious, some of the new exponents of opinion and impartial journalism not only question objectivity, they question the long-standing principle that journalists should be independent from the groups they write about. For example, some partisan journalists reject charges of a journalistic “conflict of interest” when they accept money from groups, or make donations to political parties.

Economically, mainstream newsrooms who uphold traditional principles such as impartiality increasingly feel compelled to move toward a more opinionated or partisan approach to news and commentary. To be impartial is said to be boring to viewers. Audiences are said to be attracted to strong opinion and conflicts of opinion.

Even where newsrooms enforce the rules of impartiality — say by suspending a journalist for a conflict of interest or partial comment — they fail to get full public support. Some citizens and groups complain that newsroom restraints on what analysts and reporters can say about the groups they cover is censorship.

Is it good, that more and more, journalists no longer stand among the opposing groups in society and try to inform the public fairly about their perspectives but rather become part of the groups seeking to influence public opinion?

The ethical challenge is to redefine what independent journalism in the public interest means for a media where many new types of journalism are appearing and where basic principles are being challenged.

Entrepreneurial not-for-profit journalism

The declining readers and profits of mainstream media, as citizens migrate online, has caused newsrooms to shrink their staff. Some journalists doubt the continuing viability of the old economic model of a mass media based on advertising and circulation sales.

In response, many journalists have started not-for-profit newsrooms, news web sites, and centers of investigative journalism based on money from foundations and donations from citizens. Some journalists go online and ask for citizens to send them money to do stories. This trend can be called “entrepreneurial journalism” because the journalist no longer simply reports while other people (e.g. advertising staff) raise funds for their newsroom. These journalists are entrepreneurs attempting to raise funds for their new ventures.

The new ventures raise ethical questions.

How independent can such newsrooms be when they are so reliant on funds from a limited number of donors? What happens if the newsroom intends to report a negative story about one of its main funders? From whom will these newsrooms take money? How transparent will they be about who gives them money and under what conditions?

The challenge is to construct an ethics for this new area of journalism.

Reporters using social media

Many news organizations encourage their reporters to use social media to gather information and to create a “brand” for themselves by starting their own blog, Facebook page, or Twitter account. However, online commenting can put reporters, especially beat reporters, in trouble with their editors or the people they comment about, especially if the news outlet says it provides impartial reporting. For example, a reporter who covers city hall may report dispassionately in her newspaper about a candidate for mayor. But on her blog, she may express strong opinion, saying the candidate is an unlikeable and incompetent politician. Such comments would give the candidate cause to complain about the lack of impartiality of the reporter.

The ethical challenge is to develop social media guidelines that allow reporters to explore the new media world but also to draw reasonable limits on personal commentary.

Citizen journalists and using citizen content

One of the difficult “horizontal” issues, noted above, is whether newsrooms should keep all types of journalists to the same editorial standards?  For example, should citizen journalists be required to be balanced and impartial? Can journalists who operate a newsroom’s web site report on a story before their colleagues, the print reporters? In other words, should print reporters be held to a higher standard of pre-publication verification?

Furthermore, as newsroom staff shrink, and the popularity of online news grows, organizations are increasingly able, and willing, to collaborate with citizens in covering disasters, accidents, and other breaking news. Citizens who capture events on their cell phones can transmit text and images to newsrooms.

Newsrooms need to put in place a process for citizen-supplied material, which may be bogus or biased. How shall sources be identified? How much vetting is necessary for different sorts of stories? Should citizen contributors be made aware of the newsroom’s editorial standards?

The ethical question is whether it is possible to construct a media ethics whose norms apply consistently across all media platforms. Or are we faced with the prospect of having different sets of norms for different media platforms?

Ethics of images

Finally, there are the new ethical issues raised by the rise of new image technology. These images include both photographs and video. Citizens and professional journalists have new and easy ways to capture and transmit images, such as cell phones linked to the internet via wireless technology. They have new technologies for altering and manipulating these images.

This convergence of ease of capture, ease of transmission, and ease of manipulation questions the traditional principles of photojournalism which were developed for non-digital capture and transmission of pictures and video.

As mentioned above, one issue is whether newsrooms can trust the easily obtained images of citizens and citizen journalists. Who is the sender and how do we know that this image is really of the event in question?

Another issue is whether a journalist or a citizen used technology to alter the photograph, e.g. to add an object to the picture or to take an object out. The manipulation of images is so tempting that mainstream newsrooms have fired a string of photojournalists over the past decade to discourage fraudulent practices.

Even with manipulation, not all issues are clear.

Photojournalists often talk about how it is permitted to change the ‘technical’ aspects of a picture such as altering slightly the tone or color of a photo. But they draw the line at any further changes. Changing the meaning or content of the image so as to mislead viewers is considered unethical.

However, the line between a technical change and a change is meaning is not always clear. An image maker can enhance the colors of a photo until it is quite unlike the original picture of the object or the event.

Also, editors may argue that it permissible to alter images for the covers of fashion magazines (and other types of magazine) since the cover is a work of ‘art’ to attract buyers while they browse magazine stands.

Once again, there is much for ethics to do to clarify the principles of responsible image making and how those principles apply to difficult cases.

Readings on digital media ethics:

  • Ess, Charles. Digital Media Ethics . Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009.
  • Friend, Cecilia and Jane Singer. Online Journalism Ethics: Traditions and Transitions . Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 2007.
  • Ward, Stephen J. A. “Ethics for the New Mainstream.” In The New Journalist: Roles, Skills, and Critical Thinking, eds. Paul Benedetti, Tim Currie and Kim Kierans, pp. 313-326. Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications, 2010.
  • Ward, Stephen J. A. “Ethics for the New Investigative Newsroom.”

essay on media ethics

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Media Ethics

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These resources provide an overview of journalistic writing with explanations of the most important and most often used elements of journalism and the Associated Press style. This resource, revised according to The Associated Press Stylebook 2012 , offers examples for the general format of AP style. For more information, please consult The Associated Press Stylebook 2012 , 47 th edition.

Introduction

The same First Amendment freedoms that allow U.S. media outlets to publish without fear of government interference also make it nearly impossible to impose a standard of ethics or professional protocol for journalists. No organization exists to certify journalists, and likewise, no uniform system exists for penalizing unethical behavior.

Nonetheless, professionals in the field generally take great pride and responsibility in their roles, and organizations such as the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists offer thorough and useful guidelines for ethical conduct.

Generally, ethical concerns in the media can be grouped into a few broad categories. The following points synthesize and summarize some important ethical concerns proposed by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists.

  • Check the accuracy of information from all sources to avoid error.
  • Subjects of news stories should always have the opportunity to respond to any allegations of wrongdoing.
  • When mistakes are made, they must be corrected – fully and quickly.
  • Headlines, news teases and promotional material, including photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations, should never misrepresent, oversimplify, or highlight incidents out of context.

Treatment of Sources

  • Identify sources whenever possible so that the public has as much information possible to determine the sources’ reliability.
  • Always keep any promises made in return for the source’s cooperation.
  • Only guarantee a source’s anonymity when the source insists upon it, when he or she provides vital information, when there is no other way to obtain that information, and when the source is knowledgeable and reliable.
  • Strive to quote sources accurately and in the proper context.

Avoiding Bias

  • Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled, and not misrepresent fact or context.
  • Distinguish news from advertising and avoid hybrids that blur the two.
  • Examine your own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
  • Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
  • Support the open exchange of views, even views you might find repugnant.

Avoiding Distortions

  • Never knowingly introduce false information into material intended for publication or broadcast.
  • Never alter photo, video, or image content.

Gathering Information

  • Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information, except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public.
  • Use of any non-traditional methods of gathering information should be explained as part of the story.
  • Rely on the most up-to-date and accurate research when gathering facts for a story.
  • Never plagiarize.

Minimizing Harm

  • Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage, especially children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
  • Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
  • Understand that private people have a greater expectation of privacy than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention.
  • Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
  • Be cautious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

  • Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
  • Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
  • Always refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment.
  • Avoid secondary employment, political involvement, public office, or service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
  • Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
  • Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money.

There is no standard for ethical journalistic practice, but two widely regarded organizations, The Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists, offer useful and time-tested guidelines. When in doubt, always confer with a trusted colleague or supervisor.

“The Associated Press Statement of News Values and Principles.” www.ap.org 16 Feb 2006. https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles/.

“Society of Professional Journalists: Code of Ethics.” www.spj.org 18 Dec 2008. http://spj.org/ethicscode.asp.

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Essay Samples on Media Ethics

Ethics of entertainment and their violations.

The entertainment law is the entire legal service to the entertainment industry. The ethics of entertainment covers legislation regulating media of all types such as television, film, music, publishing, advertising, Internet and the news. It regulates the content and controls the operation of the media....

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The Controversy Around Wikileaks: How Ethical the Organization Actually Is

The questions and controversy regarding if Wikileaks is acting ethically or not is tricky to say. On one hand, WikiLeaks has provided news organisations with useful material for their reports, but the ethical dilemmas arising from publishing this material with—in many cases—unknown sources, remains a...

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The Exposed Truth Behind Wikileaks

Wikileaks is a website in which secret documents/video or any other form of evidence are publicly shared for the whole internet to see. It was created in 2006 by Julian Assange. This is a worldwide topic but it seems to have the most amount of...

Different Types of Fake News in the Media World

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Netiquette: Code of Good Behaviour on the Internet

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Best topics on Media Ethics

1. Ethics of Entertainment and Their Violations

2. The Controversy Around Wikileaks: How Ethical the Organization Actually Is

3. The Exposed Truth Behind Wikileaks

4. Different Types of Fake News in the Media World

5. Netiquette: Code of Good Behaviour on the Internet

6. Sexual Content in the Media: Examining Impact and Solutions

7. The Media Ethics of Tragedy Report to the Public

8. Harmful Stereotypes and Exploitation in Media and Entertainment

9. The Killer On The Cover Of Rolling Stone

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Why Data Breaches Spiked in 2023

  • Stuart Madnick

essay on media ethics

And what companies can do to better secure users’ personal information.

In spite of recent efforts to beef up cybersecurity, data breaches — in which hackers steal personal data — continue to increase year-on-year: there was a 20% increase in data breaches from 2022 to 2023. There are three primary reasons behind this increased theft of personal data: (1) cloud misconfiguration, (2) new types of ransomware attacks, and (3) increased exploitation of vendor systems. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the impact of each of these factors.

For many years, organizations have struggled to protect themselves from cyberattacks: companies, universities, and government agencies have expended enormous amounts of resources to secure themselves. But in spite of those efforts, data breaches — in which hackers steal personal data — continue to increase year-on-year: there was a 20% increase in data breaches from 2022 to 2023 . Some of the trends around this uptick are disturbing. For example, globally, there were twice the number of victims in 2023 compared to 2022, and in the Middle East, ransomware gang activity increased by 77% in that same timeframe.

  • Stuart Madnick  is the John Norris Maguire (1960) Professor of Information Technologies in the MIT Sloan School of Management, Professor of Engineering Systems in the MIT School of Engineering, and Director of Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan (CAMS): the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. He has been active in the cybersecurity field since co-authoring the book Computer Security in 1979.

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Media Ethics Essay Samples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Media , Ethics , Education , School , Students , Principles , Neon , Editor

Published: 2021/02/12

Media ethics entails the subdivision of applied ethics dealing with specific principles of ethics and standards of media. This research focuses on the article entitled, “Neon Tommy editor slams Blendle and micropayments on medium; Blendle hits back that addresses the infighting between the two identified parties, Federman, who school at Annenberg School, and the person who edit the school’s website. It poses a media ethics issue in that the exchanges steer up contention in competition which when reported to the existing and prospective audience for the organization led by the two brings about confusion to the reader. Nevertheless, it provides a good read which also enlightens the conscious reader on the things that take place within their environment. The article is properly presented and reported with view to enhancing easy comprehension. Media ethics so requires reporting based on utmost reliability and credibility if only to avoid malpractices in media information. . Therefore, it is clear that media ethics has played a great deal of a role in influencing the reporting which is presented in the article.

Media ethics

Media ethics entails the subdivision of applied ethics dealing with specific principles of ethics and standards of media. Considering the article, Neon Tommy editor slams Blendle and micropayments on medium; Blendle hits back, it is apparent that the mode of communication that exist among entities and individuals differs substantially based on the context, nature and form of the issue that is being addressed (Thompson, 2015. The article addresses the infighting between the two identified parties. Federman, who school at Annenberg School and the person who edit the school’s website think that ‘iTunes for news’ is indeed an antiquated notion, which is moving towards failure . Alexander clopping, Blendle’s co-founder, takes umbrage on the claims by Federman by arguing that, the focus of making the micropayments work is indeed maximizing the convenience of the readers. This clearly poses a media ethics issue in that the exchanges steer up contention in competition which when reported to the existing and prospective audience for the organization led by the two brings about confusion to the reader. The reader is left to his or her devices since they are not offered the best option and solution . Essentially, this beats the logic of acceptable ethical processes in media since reporters have to go out of the way to bring to the audience the otherwise confidential details which should be kept by the warring parties. Nevertheless, it provides a good read which also enlightens the conscious reader on the things that take place within their environment. The article reports the indulgence by the two parties from the perspective of the point of view of the two in which case this depicts acceptable ethical practice in media. Media ethics so requires reporting based on utmost reliability and credibility if only to avoid malpractices in media information . Essentially, the cores in media ethics have been keenly observed, however, much seems to fall on Blendle in which case it is important to balance the arguments appropriately so that elements of biasness do not appear in this case . Nevertheless, the article is properly presented and reported with view to enhancing easy comprehension. Fine details have been given of course with direct quotes from the representatives of both parties. This enhances credibility and reliability of the content of the article . Notably, there is no prominent breach of standards and principles of media ethics. While Klopping notes that Blendle was performing well in business within ten months, Federman strictly points out that his friends had not paid for movies, music and other media based similar products, whereby they are indeed paying to learn journalism now based on the offer made by Blendle. This points out that media ethics standards have been adhered to on a high note since the media reporters balances information from both parties except for the fact that Blendle appears to dominate the scene for their action which the rivals seem to condemn, according to them, and not the reporter. In light of this, it is apparent that media ethics principles and standards have been recognized to a high degree, something which is indeed acceptable. Therefore, it is clear that media ethics has played a great deal of a role in influencing the reporting which is presented in the article. As such it is clear that the major concept of adherence to rules, regulations, standards and principles is well noted.

Christians, C. G. (2008). Media Ethics in Education. Journalism and Communication Monographs, 9(4), 6-8. Cowling, M. (1996). Controversies in Media Ethics. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 73(3) , 4-7. Elliott, D. (2003). Balance and Context: Maintaining Media Ethics. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 83(2), 10-11. Rubel, G. F. (2010). Social Media for Attorney: Ethics Considerations and Resources. Strategies: The Journal of Legal Marketing, 12(8), 3-7. Thompson, C. (2015). ‘Neon Tommy editor slams Blendle and micropayments on medium; Blendle hits back. Retrieved from, http://www.poynter.org/news/mediawire/334283/neon-tommy-editor-slams-blendle-and-micropayments-at-medium-blendle-hits-back/. (Accessed 10 April 2014).

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EU AI Act: first regulation on artificial intelligence

The use of artificial intelligence in the EU will be regulated by the AI Act, the world’s first comprehensive AI law. Find out how it will protect you.

A man faces a computer generated figure with programming language in the background

As part of its digital strategy , the EU wants to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure better conditions for the development and use of this innovative technology. AI can create many benefits , such as better healthcare; safer and cleaner transport; more efficient manufacturing; and cheaper and more sustainable energy.

In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first EU regulatory framework for AI. It says that AI systems that can be used in different applications are analysed and classified according to the risk they pose to users. The different risk levels will mean more or less regulation. Once approved, these will be the world’s first rules on AI.

Learn more about what artificial intelligence is and how it is used

What Parliament wants in AI legislation

Parliament’s priority is to make sure that AI systems used in the EU are safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory and environmentally friendly. AI systems should be overseen by people, rather than by automation, to prevent harmful outcomes.

Parliament also wants to establish a technology-neutral, uniform definition for AI that could be applied to future AI systems.

Learn more about Parliament’s work on AI and its vision for AI’s future

AI Act: different rules for different risk levels

The new rules establish obligations for providers and users depending on the level of risk from artificial intelligence. While many AI systems pose minimal risk, they need to be assessed.

Unacceptable risk

Unacceptable risk AI systems are systems considered a threat to people and will be banned. They include:

  • Cognitive behavioural manipulation of people or specific vulnerable groups: for example voice-activated toys that encourage dangerous behaviour in children
  • Social scoring: classifying people based on behaviour, socio-economic status or personal characteristics
  • Biometric identification and categorisation of people
  • Real-time and remote biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition

Some exceptions may be allowed for law enforcement purposes. “Real-time” remote biometric identification systems will be allowed in a limited number of serious cases, while “post” remote biometric identification systems, where identification occurs after a significant delay, will be allowed to prosecute serious crimes and only after court approval.

AI systems that negatively affect safety or fundamental rights will be considered high risk and will be divided into two categories:

1) AI systems that are used in products falling under the EU’s product safety legislation . This includes toys, aviation, cars, medical devices and lifts.

2) AI systems falling into specific areas that will have to be registered in an EU database:

  • Management and operation of critical infrastructure
  • Education and vocational training
  • Employment, worker management and access to self-employment
  • Access to and enjoyment of essential private services and public services and benefits
  • Law enforcement
  • Migration, asylum and border control management
  • Assistance in legal interpretation and application of the law.

All high-risk AI systems will be assessed before being put on the market and also throughout their lifecycle.

General purpose and generative AI

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, would have to comply with transparency requirements:

  • Disclosing that the content was generated by AI
  • Designing the model to prevent it from generating illegal content
  • Publishing summaries of copyrighted data used for training

High-impact general-purpose AI models that might pose systemic risk, such as the more advanced AI model GPT-4, would have to undergo thorough evaluations and any serious incidents would have to be reported to the European Commission.

Limited risk

Limited risk AI systems should comply with minimal transparency requirements that would allow users to make informed decisions. After interacting with the applications, the user can then decide whether they want to continue using it. Users should be made aware when they are interacting with AI. This includes AI systems that generate or manipulate image, audio or video content, for example deepfakes.

On December 9 2023, Parliament reached a provisional agreement with the Council on the AI act . The agreed text will now have to be formally adopted by both Parliament and Council to become EU law. Before all MEPs have their say on the agreement, Parliament’s internal market and civil liberties committees will vote on it.

More on the EU’s digital measures

  • Cryptocurrency dangers and the benefits of EU legislation
  • Fighting cybercrime: new EU cybersecurity laws explained
  • Boosting data sharing in the EU: what are the benefits?
  • EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act
  • Five ways the European Parliament wants to protect online gamers
  • Artificial Intelligence Act

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Media Ethics: Beavis and Butthead Essay

The author of the case study discusses a popular television series Beavis and Butthead . In particular, the writer examines the possible influence of this behavior of children and adolescents. For instance, one can mention that this show has affected the language of many Americans because it gave rise many new words that can be viewed as obscene or at least very vulgar.

Secondly, the creators of this cartoon have often been accused of promoting deviant behavior among adolescents. For example, media reporters have found connection between this television series and the dangerous actions of some underage viewers such as Aaron Messner who set his family’s trailer on fire. It is believed that his behavior is directly influenced by this animation series.

Moreover, reporters believe that there are other violent incidents that can also be attributed to Beavis and Butthead . This is why the cartoon was criticized by the press. Currently, this show continues to be aired on MTV; however, it is no longer broadcast at 7 p. m. Moreover, MTV is obliged to warn viewers that the behavior of Beavis and Butthead should not be emulated in any way.

Overall, this case raises several ethical questions that are related to the education of children as well as the role of media in the modern society. The most important issue is the responsibility of the mass media and those people who work in this area. Certainly, it is not possible to prove that Beavis and Butthead should be blamed for every form of misconduct among children or adolescents.

However, this show may promote deviancy and it can make dangerous behavior more acceptable. Thus, one has to determine whether the activities of mass media should be regulated in any way.

The second issue that can be even more important is the responsibility of parents who often accuse mass media of corrupting their children, but very often they do not do anything to minimize the negative influence of such cartoons as Beavis and Butthead . For instance, Aaron Messner could be watching MTV alone and one can reasonably ask why parents did not ask what he had been watching.

There are other questions that can be strongly connected to the case. One of them is the role that media and art play in the modern community. Very often, films, cartoons and video clips are aimed at highlighting the negative aspects of the society, but the creators can unwillingly glorify violence, especially when viewers cannot see the irony that of the film-makers.

Finally, some attention should be paid to the role of government that should be more concerned with moral and intellectual education of the new generation. These are the main issues that one can identify in this case study.

The issues mentioned in the case study called for some actions. First of all, one can that mass media companies were declared to be responsible for the misbehavior of children or teenagers. Therefore, these organizations had to address these issues. As it has been said before, MTV changed the time when the controversial cartoon was aired.

Moreover, this organization issued a disclaimer according to which Beavis and Butthead had to be viewed only as a parody, and the main characters should not be regarded as role models. Overall, one can say that MTV took this decision in order to avoid public criticism, but they did not fully acknowledge the link between violence and the cartoon Beavis and Butthead .

This approach to the moral education of children has several limitations. In particular, little attention is paid to the role of parents who are responsible for the education of children. Certainly, it is possible to move Beavis and Butthead from 7.00 p.m. to 11 p.m. but it does not mean that children will not be able to view the show.

They can easily watch this cartoon on the Internet. So, the negative effects of this show cannot be reduced if parents do not take any action. One can overlook the role of teachers who must raise parents’ awareness about the influence of television or Internet on underage people. This is why it is not permissible to blame only mass media.

It is possible to offer several recommendations to people who have to deal with the problems described in the case. First of all, teachers should inform parents about the consequences of watching television series like Beavis and Butthead or South Park . These shows are parodies of the contemporary society, but they will be misinterpreted by underage people.

Finally, parents should monitor what their children watch and learn more about these programs, films, or television series. In some cases, parents may limit their children’s access to television or Internet and explain why some of the television series are not appropriate at a certain age.

It seems that such a solution is quite ethical. Again, it is necessary to stress the point that one should not accuse television or Internet for every problem that modern society faces.

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