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Lecture 1

MC 2000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Social Responsibility, Hoverboard, Normative Ethics

Mass Communication
Course Code
MC 2000

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MC2000 1/25/16
Media Law
The press should be free to inform the public good,
which is the American view of democracy.
o You cannot have a functional democracy without an
informed public.
What theorists call “social responsibility theory”
comes with a delicate balance.
o The press is free of government control, but in
exchange the media must serve the public good and
enforce the right to know.
Core assumptions have developed into a social compact
over time about media and society:
o Media should and fulfill certain obligations to
o Media can meet these obligations by setting high
o Media should be self-regulating (Professional
standards of conduct).
o Media must avoid disseminating material that is
adverse to society; that which might lead to
crime, violence or disorder or offend minority
o Media should reflect the diversity of our
o The public has a right to expect high standards
of performance
o Media is accountable to society and to its
employees and shareholders.
Ethics as Rules of Behavior (ethos customs, rules)
o Meta ethics what is fairness?
o Normative ethics codes of conduct written at
various institutions
o Applied ethics making decisions in newsrooms
(moral agent)
Making Decisions
o Living with your decision
o Who is affected?
o Financial interests of the media outlet
o Interests of the institution
o Interests of the profession
o Interests of society
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