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University of Toronto Mississauga
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Communication and Ethics: SOC284 Lecture Two: January 13th 2011 1 Continued From Last Week There are two definitions of mass media (traditional and modernized definition). Ethical issues which arise within mass media Yellow Journalism: Uses unauthorized, unpublished sources Very unethical in terms of Libel Libel: Defined as allegation against someone as being unethical or the committing of a act which is criminal ( if you claim this and do not have proof of evidence of it, then youand your publication can be sued). Libel is when you make false allegations against someone. Ethics Ethics is a branch is philosophy which seeks to address questions about morality (authoritative norms right and wrong behaviour) such as: Example: Murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, ect. If a moral norm is broken then sanctions incur. 1. The nature of morality: are there universal moral norms? Is morality arbitrary? Murder is generally condemned; incest is generally condemned, except for some particular culturescommunities. Some countries will enable euthanasia. There are many societies which are not tolerated on theft. Most sociologists would claim that moral norms are arbitrary Arbitrary means something which is not supported by a sound argument. The reasoning is not based on facts. Morality has a social function as it helps to maintain society, and ensure that certain things are abided by. If there was no moral norm to not kill, then this means that you can go outside and no one would kill you. 2. How and by whom should moral values be determined? People create moral norms in everyday interactions Religious leaders have a huge impact on moral norms Elected officials have a impact on what moral norms will be. Justice of the peace have a huge impact on moral norms (via their verdicts) 3. How can a moral outcome be achieved in specific situations?
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