J 397 Lecture Notes Week 1
J 397 Lecture Notes Week 1 J 397
Popular in Media Ethics
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kaitlyn Endo on Tuesday October 11, 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 4 views.
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Date Created: 10/11/16
J 397 Lecture Notes Week 1 • With ethical dilemas you’re always eighing harm • Bloomingdale’s holiday catalog 2015 o What’s wrong with this? § Copy says “spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking” • Implies that it’s okay to give friend substances without them knowing • Encourages concepts like date rape drug • Encourages rape culture o Tweeted: § Bloomingdales responded by saying “we heard your feedback about our catalog copy, which was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes.” (10 Nov 2015) 89 Retweets and 140 likes • July 2014 Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine o Reporters (for the sake of journalism) broadcasted at the site of the crash; one reporte r looked through suitcases of deceased passengers; another read a deceased passenger’s diary. § What’s too far? o Station either apologize or edit segments § “This was not expected. Caroline was an experienced reporter who, in a war zone, must act in th heat of the moment. She did not want to hurt anyone. She was touched by the book that lay on the ground and had the intention to describe the chaos as accurately as possible. In it, she had gone too far. On behalf of the main and final editing, we offer this apology” (head of editing, Een Vandaag) o cover of New York Times—picture of body covered by plastic § Times executive editor Dean Baquet • “it is important to give people all the information they need to make profound decisions” • “we are going through a remarkabl e violent chapter in the world, and we’re irresponsible if we don’t reflect that” • (University of Virgnia Frat Rape Story) Reporter for a national magazine o “You are writing a story about a horrible attack. Your source says her witnesses will talk to you only through her because they are scared. You’re source will describe her attackers but not their names because she is scared. Your source says you must use p seudonyms. Your source says the university did not help her” o Rolling Stone’s UVA fabricated rape story —2014 § Came out later that story was not true. § Rolling Stone apologizes/retracts story • “we would like to apologize to our readers and to all of those wh o were damaged by our story and the ensuing fallout, including members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and UVA administrators and students” • StudyMode: Jumpstart your Paper o Research company or illegal term paper mill? § can download free research papers • Testimonials or paid ads? o Amazon would publicize books to which publishing houses would pay for ad space. Amazon would say that they were best sellers on their site or say that they were top picks for the books of a particular month when in fact they were no t. • Media Ethics o Ethics—rules of behavior or moral principles that guide our actions in given situations o Media ethics—rules of behavior or moral principles that guide our actions in media professions o Rules of behavior—formal and informal controls § Controls—“framework governed by: laws, regulations, codes, principles, ethical decisions • Formal Controls o Laws (media laws) o Professional codes of media professions § Society of professional Journalists: Code of Ethics § American Advertising Federation: Advertising Pr inciples of American Business § Public Relations Society of America: Codes of Ethics • Informal Controls o Values/Duties/Virtues —personal, professional, societal or morally important ideas o Ethical theories—guidelines for evaluating our behavior § Categorical imperative, veil of ignorance, the Golden Mean, Utilitarian Principle, Virtue Ethics… o The Golden Mean—use sound judgment to find the midpoint between two extremesà like New York Times article cover photo regarding Flight 17. • Morals versus Eth ics o Morals § An individual’s code of behavior based on religious or philosophical principles. Morals define right and wrong in ways that may or may not be rational o Ethics § A rational way of deciding what is good for individuals or society. A way to chose between competing moral principles or when there is not a clear right or wrong answer Sept 29 Quick Review of Media Laws • First Amendment (1791) o “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” o one sentence protects 5 areas of rights à speech, press, religion, assembly, petitio n the govt o protect democracy—so people can debate openly etc. o free speech is protected speech • Media law framework o First Amendment protects: § Free speech § Free press § Freedom of religion § Freedom of assembly § Freedom to petition the govt • Protected speech? o Burning the flag? à yes o A 1983 spoof ad of a political leader implying he had sex with his mother in an outhousà yes, comedic o Public figure tied to public issues à usually targeted more than private figure o If clearly meant for comical effect and expres sing opinion—okay o A 2005 Wikipedia post that falsely states a former govt aide was a suspect in the assassinations of President JFK and Attorney Gen. Robert F. Kennedy? à in this case, not protected; person who posted is responsible (if FB post —person who posted it to FB is responsible, not FB) • Media laws that restrict speech are designed to protect rights o Personal rights 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 Part 1—Defamation • Defamation o Defamation: injures someone’s reputation/livelihood § Can’t accuse someone of being a criminal or unethical or incompetent o Libel (published or broadcast defamation) o Slander (spoken defamation) o Truth is best defense against a defamation charge • Libelous? True or false o Ex: Eminem said his mom is… § “I kid you not, my family is fucking Jerry Springer, the epitome of white trash” –Eminem § case like this usually end in a settlement o Ex: A tabloid published a story that movie stars Demi Moore and Bruce Willis were on the verge of divorce § They sued § The entertainers were on the verge of a divorce § Tabloid won, because what they published was true o Ex: Oprah Winfrey did a TV episode on mad cow disease (de stroys brain tissue) in 1996 because Britain had an outbreak of cases § Texas cattleman sued her for disparaging beef in 1998 § Said it made her stop eating burgers; was sued, but she won, because it was obviously her opinion/choice to not eat beef and what she said about mad cow disease was true • Press has an obligation to check the truthfulness of statements o Courts: Press cannot knowingly and recklessly repeat a falsehood from a source —must check facts that are readily available o Ex: 2014—Rolling Stone’s fabricated story § “we would like to apologize to our readers and to all of those who were damaged by our story and the ensuing fallout, including members of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and UVA administrators and students” § Libelous? True or False àRolling Stone needed to fact check, libelous • 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 o Public figures = public issues à we should be able to talk about them • Defamation conditions o Private Figure—3 conditions § False § Damage to reputation occurs § Media negligent in determining the truthfulness of statement o Public Figure—higher standard for 3 condition § Actual Malice—disseminate a falsity or with reckless disregard for the truth o Libelous? True or false § Ex: Alabama ministers paid in 1960 for an ad in NYT to solicit donations • Ad: Police creating an “unprecedented wave of terror” for civil rights protesters à they did fact check (NYT didn’t write ad, but published it); not published with actual malice § Ex: Blake Shelton was not in rehab as tabloid said à Blake won § Ex: L.A. businessman compared to Bernie Madoff —Libelous? • Called “the next Madoff” in websites by disgruntled tenants i n 2016 • Madoff ran largest Financial fraud in US history • Business could show it changed his well being/livelihood • $35 million à businessman won § Ex: Spooner sued AP • AP sportswriter Tweet: “Ref Spooner told Rambis he’d ‘get it back’ after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on the Rockets” • Reality: Ref Spooner told Coach Rambis he would ‘get back’ to him after reviewing videotape • Libel? àyesà settled for $20,000 • More defense against defamation: o Truth—we already discussed this defense o Privilege § Absolute and qualified § Ex: lawyer/judges when accusing someone in trial o Fair comment • Absolute Privilege o Absolute privilege: public officials acting in their official capacity have a special right to speak freely without worrying about being sued o Extended to judges, witnesses, lawmakers o Qualified privilege : press may repeat statements fairly and accurately o Ex: Absolute Privilege? Texas Medical Board can openly discipline doctors § On August 31, 2012, the Board and Minda Lao Toledo, M.D., entered into an Agreed Order requiring Dr. Toledo to complete 16 hours of CME including eight hours in ethics andeighthoursin riskmanagement,passwithinoneyear and within three attempts the Medical Jurisprudence Exam, complete the professional boundaries course offered by the Vanderbilt Medical Center for Professional Health or a similar course offered by the University of California San Diego Physician Assessment and Clinical Education (PACE) program, and pay an administrative penalty of $3,000 within 90 days. The Board foundDr. Toledo behaved unprofessionally when she engaged in sexual contact with a patient and became financially or personally involved with a patient in an inappropriate manner. • TexasmedicalboardcanopenlydisciplineDr. –becauseopenrecord o Ex:QualifiedPrivilege?KBMT-TV—ABC affiliate § “A Port Arthur pediatrician has been punished by the Texas Medical Board after the Board found she engaged in sexual contact with a patient and became financially involved with a patient in an inappropriate manner. Dr. Minda Lao Toledo will have to complete sixteen hours of continuing medical education, including eight hours of ethics and eight hours of risk management, and pay an administrative penalty of $3,000. Toledo is a native of the Philippines and has been practicing medicine in Texas for five years.” • à thenABC affiliatecoversstoryandusedpublicinfoà dr.suedABC forbeing defaimedbecauseinitiallymadeit seemlikeshehadsexualrelationswithminor becausehertittleis Pediatrician(butwas 60 yearoldman)à shelostbecausemedia hadqualifiedprivilegeà truth,qualifiedprivandreasonableviewerwouldn’tthink thatshehadsexwithminorbasedon descriptionof publication • Fair Comment—defense against defamation o Any honest opinion or criticism o Reviews o Satire and comedy (ex: SNL) o Comparative advertising • Opinion v. fact in reviews o Opinion (fair comment): § “the star acted as if they were under the influence of drugs” o Fact/potentially libelous: § “the star was under the influence of drugs” • Fair Comment? o Ex: “asswipe nasty lying hosebag thief” –Courtney Love tweeted about a fashion designer—2011 § No; Fashion designer sued Love; can’t say “this person is…”à that’s not an opinion; can’t be accusatory • Satire and comedy o Ex: the Cleveland Scene—First Punch (humor column) § In his latest attempt to prove how super-duper cool his city is, Seven Hills Mayor David Bentkowski recently sent a bizarre letter to the suburb's"young residents."The three-page missive, mailed to residents "18-40ish," explains that "Seven Hills is actually starting to become 'hip,'"noting everythingfrom the suburb'ssweet rec center to rad schools to killer sports leagues. (The mayor even plays flag football: "It is a blast.") Apparently under the impression he's mayor of Autistic Village, Bentkowski also instructs residents exactly how to respond "if someone ever asks you about living in Seven Hills. "You tell them the following: Seven Hills is awesome," he implores Part 2: Safety • Speech that is false and incites immediate danger or lawless action not protected o Ex: Falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater
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