Media Ethics Resources Available via YouTube Channel

Living Media Ethics shares video resources that help students write, create and showcase their values in digital products, procuring top internships and media positions.

Visit this site to access instructional videos.

Chapter Summaries:

Basic Ethics: Welcome to Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). Here you will learn how author Michael Bugeja teaches media ethics at Iowa State University of Science and Technology; you also will learn about contents to his text, in this case, the opening chapters of his book.

Influence: Who or What Shaped Your Values: Living Media Ethics (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). This summary focuses on major influences in your life that have shaped your moral compass. We may think we have free will, but seldom ask who or what has shaped that will. How we react to challenge and pressure is at the core of an uncompromising value system. The question now concerns whether ethics can be taught and if so, how “family values” play into that experience. We are also influenced by our time in history (generation, experiences, etc.) and the social mores defining what society believed to be true at that time.

Truth: Levels, Shades and Hues: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis).This summary begins with a philosophical overview about truth as cornerstone of any value system. Concepts such as “appropriate” and “inappropriate disclosure” are associated with transparency and essential in establishing trust with audiences and clientele. We’ll explore the impact of photojournalism on social mores and truth. Finally, we’ll consider satire, which also falls under the umbrella of truth, a distinct type that society acknowledges but seldom discusses. The summary ends with mythic, or archetypal truths that shape the human condition.

Falsehood: All Manner of Lies: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis).Here you will learn about categories of falsehoods from white lies to outright fabrications. Case studies include the consequences of falsehood in advertising, journalism and public relations.

Manipulation: Feel, Spot & Bust It: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis).The summary begins with methods to remember how manipulation feels physically.  You’ll also learn more about fake news as a font of media manipulation. The summary includes a section about the history of hoaxes across media platforms. Journalists and practitioners also manipulate audiences and clientele; several examples are offered as case studies. Finally, we’ll learn about the difference between a hoax and publicity stunt.

Definitions and Concepts about Race: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). This summary takes into account the various definitions associated with race along with the history of those associations, including bias associated with ethnic groups. U.S. history and case law also play a role in how we view others in society. We’ll also discuss concepts of difference and identity, including the role of culture vs. DNA in how we view ourselves.

Bias: Recognize and Resist It: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis).The summary discusses bias and stereotypes and what journalists and practitioners can do to ensure that their content is fair to all segments of society. Methods to diversify mass communications and create inclusive content are cited along with challenges of doing so. In that respect, stereotypes are explored extensively, with recommendations to identify and resist them.

Evil, Kindness, Mindfulness: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis).Three very different phenomena in society that journalists and practitioners must take into account in the course of doing their work. Evil impacts communities in various ways, in spot news and crisis management, for instance. Kindness occurs regularly in community, and the best journalists and practitioners know how to capture it. Mindfulness also applies to how you treat colleagues at the workplace, and how to make your work space comfortable and inviting.

Discretion: Exercising Judgment: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis).Discretion involves the power to act on one’s own judgment, relying on perception. Discretion also is about self-awareness and your own biases, filters and triggers. This summary highlights best practices regarding discretion and how good judgment creates proactive teamwork and collaboration.

Privacy: How to Protect Yours: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). This summary provides definitions, examples and caselaw concerning privacy, cyber-stalking and harassment, including street harassment (catcalling). Video examples are provided to spark discussion. Also, applicable state and federal laws are reviewed to protect privacy and to inform journalists and practitioners how to honor those tenets when creating content.

Temptation: It Strikes without Warning: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). The summary covers the topic of temptation, which has three major characteristics: (a) It is relative, what tempts one person may not tempt another; (b) it strikes without warning; (c), it involves the clash of two or more values, goals or desires. Methods are provided for you to resist temptation, with case studies from journalists and practitioners explaining how they handled complex situations at the workplace.

Conflicts of Interest: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). This summary involves definitions, case studies and codes associated with personal and professional conflicts of interest. Examples are many, including accepting gifts from clients and sources to romantic involvements at the workplace.

Fairness: Leveling Playing Fields: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). The summary discusses the basics of fairness, one of the most treasured components of any value system. Fairness requires continuous assessment of behavior and choices to ascertain if they were accurate, truthful and appropriate and whether they could have been improved upon to meet those desired goals. In analyzing that, fair-minded people pay special attention to viewpoint of all who might be affected by behaviors and choices. Methods also are provided to help you achieve ever-higher levels of fairness. Practical applications follow as they pertain to corrections, apologies, fact-checking and discretion—an ethical value associated with fairness—that enhances credibility and professionalism.

Empowerment: Know Your Bases: Living Media Ethics: Across Platforms (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). This summary covers multiple aspects of power and empowerment, beginning with a basic definition: Power is not a value but the force with which we assert our values. Too much power and we oppress others; too little, and we yield moral territory. The goal here is applying only as much power as to resolve issues and challenges without causing harm to innocent others. Empowerment helps individuals discover their many power bases. Abuses of power also are cited, including sexual harassment.

Tips and Techniques:

Creating a Digital Portfolio with Ethics Tab. Any student vying for an internship or first media job should have a digital portfolio. If you add a personal code of ethics, aligned with your profession or dream job, you convey your work ethic as well as your skill sets. This video helps you assemble that WordPress portfolio, step-by-step.

Displaying Your Own Ethical Heraldry.If you do not have familial heraldry or, perhaps, would revise the one associated with your surname, you can create your own moral motto and display your personal iconic imagery to help you remember the importance of ethical values at home, school and work.

Secrets of the Human Condition.Content of this video is meant to illustrate how family values influence our perception. The values expressed here are ones that Living Media Ethics author Michael Bugeja has passed along to his children, Erin, Shane and Mikayle. They are a product of his education and experience and not meant to usurp any viewer’s own family values. However, if you voluntarily wish to adopt and share them, please do.

View Sample Digital Portfolios. This video showcases various web pages of student portfolios at Iowa State University media ethics classes. You will find outstanding samples in advertising, journalism (all platforms) and public relations. Students include links to their portfolios on resumes and in social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).

What Matters Most to Me. This video is meant to awaken the conscience in viewers. It has been used since 2012 in Michael Bugeja’s media ethics class at Iowa State University. On the first day of class, students watch it and write what the conscience means to them. On the last day of class, students watch it again and explore how their concept of conscience has changed during the semester. As such, it is an assessment tool on how effective the class has been in evoking a fundamental component of our value systems.

Writing Concisely, Accurately and Visually.You will learn how modern languages (German, English, Mandarin) inform the composition process. You’ll also become acquainted with rhetorical terms from creative nonfiction that will make your writing stand out in print or on the web.

Living Media Ethics is published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. If you teach media ethics and would like to view a sample copy, visit this link for more information.