Media Ethics Week 1 Notes
Media Ethics Week 1 Notes J 397
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kelsey Fagan on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to J 397 at University of Oregon taught by Jennifer Schwartz in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 82 views. For similar materials see Media Ethics in Journalism at University of Oregon.
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Date Created: 10/02/16
J397 Notes Week 1 Day 1 (9/27) Examples of “Questionable Media” Coca Cola 9/11 display Bloomingdales’ holiday ad inappropriate eggnog spiking caption Malaysian Airline flight crash o TV coverage rummaging through luggage o New York Times front page image of a dead body in the wreckage Rolling Stones UVA sexual assault fabricated article StudyMode free “example” research papers Amazon “Best Book of the Month” Definitions Ethics: rules of behavior or moral principles that guide our actions in given situations Media ethics: rules of behavior or moral principles that guide our actions in media professions Rules of behavior: formal and informal controls o Formal controls: Law Professional codes of media professions Society of Professional Journalists American Advertising Federation Public Relations Society of America Informal Controls Values/duties/virtuespersonal, professional, etc. Day 2 (9/29) Review of Media Law: Legal Framework First Amendment (1791) o Protects: Free speech Free press Freedom of religion Freedom of assembly Freedom to petition the government o Examples: Burning the flagprotected 1983 spoof ad of Jerry Falwellprotected 2005 Wikipedia post falsely accusing someone of being involved in JFK assassination not protected Media Laws that restrict speech are designed to protect rights: o Personal rights J397 Notes Week 1 o Intellectual property rights o News gathering rights Major Areas of Unprotected Speech: o Defamation o Public safety o Privacy intrusion o Speech that violates other rights Defamation: injures someone’s reputation or livelihood o Can’t accuse of being a criminal or incompetent or unethical o Types: Libel: published or broadcasted Slander: spoken Truth is the best defense against defamation charges o Examples: Eminem’s comment “epitome of white trash” about his mother mother sued him and they settled for $25,000 Demi Moore and Bruce Willis sued People Magazine over an article exploiting their divorce the divorce was public record after being filed so People Magazine won the case Oprah’s comments on Mad Cow Disease was sued by cattle farmers in Texas and won the case because she didn’t make up Mad Cow Disease o Press has an obligation to check the truthfulness of statements Press cannot knowingly put information that they know is false Different standards for private and public figures o people and the press may criticize public figures more than private figures o Democracy best served when public issues are debated Defamation conditions: o Private: False claims Damage to reputation Media neglect in determining the truthfulness of statement(s) o Public: Higher standard for proving neglect of the media to determine truthfulness Actual malice: disseminate a falsity or with reckless disregard for the truth o Examples: Alabama Ministers paid for an ad in the New York Times to solicit donations (1960) Police creating “an unprecedented wave of terror” many other false accusations NOT Libelous police are public figures so they were held to the higher standard of proving defamation Blake Shelton rehab rumors in inTouch magazine J397 Notes Week 1 Shelton won because he was not in rehab or about to go into rehab the accusations were completely false LA Businessman compared to Bernie Madoff on a disgruntled employee’s website Not true business man won o More defense against defamation Truth Privilege: absolute and qualified Fair comment Absolute Privilege: public officials acting in their official capacity have a special right to speak freely without worrying about being sued Qualified Privilege: another source can use public information without worrying about being sued o Examples: Doctor: inappropriate patient contact Medical Board has absolute privilege and that information becomes public ABC news has qualified privilege to use that information Fair Comment: o Any honest opinion or criticism o Reviews o Satire or comedy o Comparative advertising Opinion vs. Fact in reviews (example): o Opinion: “The star acted as if he was under the influence of drugs.” o Fact: “The star was under the influence of drugs.” *potentially libelous Examples: o Courtney Love tweeted “asswipe nasty lying hosebag thief” about a designer Courtney claimed it’s opinion but it was stated as a fact o Young Major was featured in an obvious spoof article making fun of his ageit was obvious satire no case
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