Ethics in Online Journalism

April 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm (Uncategorized)

New forms of Journalism requires new approaches to ethics.

Some traditional ‘rules’ on ethics will remain, and others will be developed along with new technologies. Online Journalism allows everyone to be a potential publisher, and allows for even less deliberation between the journalist and the editor. The question is – does online journalism value speed and sensationalism above accuracy?

PubSub estimates there are more than 8 million Weblogs, or online journals – it was inevitable that the captains of commerce would latch onto this increasingly popular form of personal media.

This is a video discussing how new ethical idea will need to be applied in regards to the online media.

Online Journalism Ethics, By Cecilia Friend, Jane B. Singer, poses the question: Is objectivity impossible?

In it’s eight chapters  Friend and Singer  discuss how journalism ethics are being changed by the ways new media technologies are being used. They discuss  objectivity as an idea, for instance and  look at questions around ‘Who is a journalist?’ and whether they should have different rights to non-journalists, before looking at sourcing practices

The importance of credibility, transparency, and the ethics of lurking is discussed in full, and gives a comparative outlook on legal issues such as  privacy, deception, data protection, and even online corrections.

In a separate chapter Singer deals with the ethics of bloggers as being distinct from mainstream journalists. “Journalists hold an Enlightenment view of truth as something rationally arrived at through well-tested methods,” she argues. “Bloggers see truth as emerging from shared, collective knowledge – from an electronically enabled marketplace of ideas.”

The second video that is included is a discussion on ethics and the internet with Technology writers David Weinberger, Walt Mossberg and Andrew Keen

The Internet allows news and information to move at a tremendous dispatch, limited only by speed. With all this power individual journalist have to spread information, we have to be careful and considerate of the many ethical implications that might impose on us.


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