chapter  10
22 Pages

Ethics

WithMargaret J. Haefner

This chapter defines criteria for sound media ethics instruction using Christians and Covert’s study of journalism ethics and a review of media ethics textbooks. It focuses on individual student and course assessment although media ethics assessment can and should take place at the program level. Christians and Covert made six observations about journalism ethics instruction as a result of their survey of over 200 programs. A serious flaw that Christians and Covert noted in their analysis of journalism ethics education was the lack of theoretical frameworks to organize the material. In 1980, the Hastings Center specified five goals for ethics instruction that some authors have found appropriate for communication and media ethics instruction. An associated variable that seems important for assessing students’ achievement of goals for media ethics education is instructor’s teaching style. The chapter articulates criteria and goals for media ethics instruction and suggests means of assessing students’ achievement of those goals.