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Media Ethics in professional journalism

Short description:

1. Avocation and professional standards - encircling the knowledge of the ethics and morality; 2. Terms and types of the ethics - definition of ethics and inseparability from journalism; 3.Ethics and moral judgment - ethical theories within moral judgment; 4. Moral virtues of professional journalism - ethics and war reporting, corruption; 5. Responsibilities in media - responsibilities of the professional journalism; 6. Economy and media (ethical questions) - Economic game, Media literacy and media business (ethical issues); 7. Freedom and misuse of freedom in media - Ethical and moral treatment of public and private in media, Serving the truth or non-truth; 8. Sensationalism in media (from Gutenberg to social media) - Social chaos and sensationalism; 9. Tolerance and dialogue in media - Towards internal and external factors, The case of Kevin Carter; 10. Political marketing in media and ethics - Political culture, Ethics & successful marketing, Division within responsibilities

2. Full description:

This module aims to provide and equip students the knowledge from the issues of ethics and morality within the principles of professional journalism. Students will be introduced with the terms related to ethical principles and otherwise consider standards of practice and behavior for media professionals – journalists, but also practitioners of public relations, advertising and marketing. Also, we will focus on the issues of ethics theories, values and stands. We will look at global mass media both as they are and as we might wish them to be. Also, It will be processed the moral approaches: deontological and pragmatic. Specially, it will be elaborated an importance of the ethics for the society. Module will encircle moral virtues of the professional journalism as well as ethic and moral treatment of public and private in media. In the same time will be processed the responsibility of professional journalists and responsibilities of the media as well as ethic codex of the journalistic profession. New technologies and social media will have significant place within the understanding of ethics behavior within the real time journalism.

Bibliography / Main Reading Material

• Ethics in Media Communications – Cases and controversies, 1999 (3rd edition), Louis Alvin Day

• Ethical issues in journalism and media, 1992, Andrew Belsey & Ruth Chadwick

• Media literacy, 2008, W. James Potter

• Media literacy and Media Ethics, the only way out – 2019, Sabahudin Hadžialić

• Media democracy: How the media Colonize Politics, 2002, Thomas Meyer

• Mediamorphosis, Understanding new Media, 1997, Roger Fidler

• Media, Mission and Morality, 2006, John Merrill

Further / Suggested Reading Material

Media & Morality - Robert M. Baird, 1999, New York: Prometheus Books;

Living Ethics: Developing Values in Mass Communication - Bugeja Michael J. 1995 Boston: Allyn & Bacon;

Communication Ethics and Universal Values - Christian Clifford & Michael Traber, 1997, London: Sage

Journalism Ethics: A Reference Handbook - Cohen Elliot & Deni Elliott, 1998,0 Santa Barbara (CA), Abc Clio

News values: Ideas for an information Age - Jack Fuller, 1996 University of Chicago: Press

Controversies in Media - Gordon A.D. & John M. Kittros, 1999, New York: Addisson Wesley, 2nd edit.

Ethics in Human Communication - Johanneses Richard L.. 2002, Long Grove: Waveland Press

The Journalist’s Moral Compass: Basic Principles - Knowlton Steven R. & Patrick R. Parsons, 1995, Westport (CT): Prager

Journalism Ethics: Philosophical Foundations for News Media - Merril John C 1997, New York: St Martin’s Press

Ethics and Journalism - Sanders Karen, 2003, London: Sage

Media, Culture and Morality - Tester Keith, 1994, London: Routledge

Speech, Media and Ethics, the Limits of Free Expression: Critical Studies on Freedom of Expression, Freedom of the Press and the Public Right to Know - Cohen Almagor Raphael, 2001, Basinstoke(GB): Palgrave Macmillan

Macromedia: Mission, Message and Morality - Lowenstein Ralph & John C. Merril, 1990, New York: Longman

Community Over Chaos: An Ecological Perspective on Communication Ethics - Mackin James A.Jr., 1997, Tuscalosa(AL): University of Alabama Press

The Imperative of Freedom: A Philosophy of Journalistic Autonomy - Merril John C., 1990, New York: University Press of America

The Global Media (The New Missionaries of Corporate Capitalism) - Edward S. Herman & Robert W. McChesney, 1997, London; Washington DC: Cassell

Democracy Inc.: The Press and Law in the Corporate Rationalization of the Public Sphere - Allen David S., 2005, USA: University of Illinois Press

Information Ethics: Privacy, Property and Power - Moore Adam D., 2005, USA: University of Washington Press

Ethique de l’information -Daniel Cornu, 1997, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France

Le Mandarin at le Marchand (le juste pouvoir des medias) - Francis Balle, 1995 Paris: Flammarion

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this module, students will be able to:

• Understand how the existing ethic (of the journalist and as well of the society) influences everyday life and professional work.

• Evaluate key development in the fields of Media Ethics in Professional Journalism

• Know the defining intellectual traditions of the fields, in such a way that they can produce their own “ ethical map” of the field

• Evaluate and apply a range of methodological approaches relevant to conducting research in the field

• Demonstrate an advanced level of conceptual, methodological and empirical knowledge appropriate for a sustained piece of research in the field

• Understand the norms and rules that are within the foundation of human behavior, activity and relations and journalistic professional standards.

• Understand theoretic, normative and practical knowledge which helps the professional journalists to orientate morally - truly, accurately and honestly within the different situations anent daily events when they proselytize towards public and make influence on creation of public opinion.

• Understanding which intellectual abilities are essential to ethical reasoning

Assessment methods and assessment criteria:

Intellectual skills:

• Critical thinking and creativity by organizing thoughts, conducting analysis and critical appraisal, managing creative process in self and others

• Ability to select, organize, develop and synthesize complex material

• Ability to analyze problems and identify appropriate solutions

• Ability to plan, work and study independently and use resources reflecting best current practices and anticipated future outcomes

• Learning through reflection on practice and experience

Transferable skills

• Effective usage of communications and information technology in ethical way

• Awareness of the ethical issues underlying media use in research and an ability to apply the relevant professional guidelines to fieldwork and research presentation.

• Personal effectiveness through self-awareness and self-management; effective time management; sensitivity to people’s and different situations diversity and continuous learning

• Ability to work effectively in teams and appreciate the contribution of others’ into the group processes.

• Anticipate ethical problems before they occur.

• Define and explain ethical behavior

• Practice ethical behavior in difficult situations

• Accept others' opinions and actions in a non-judgmental way

• Understand sexist, racist, ageist, and homophobic behavior and exhibit non-sexist, non-racist, non-ageist, and non-homophobic behavior

• Interact with and appreciate people from diverse cultural, social, and religious backgrounds

• Interact with and appreciate physically or mentally challenged individuals

• Use of ethical judgment within the professional journalism – use of social media and social innovations

Assessment One:

Students are required to carry out initial research on the topic they choose [the available topics will be given to them halfway through the term, so they can start thinking about them, and express their interest]. They will prepare a 20-minute presentation, critically evaluating their topic of their choice, presenting the main theories and debates around it, and how this relates to their own interests/research aims, but also how it relates to contemporary societies and practices.

It is expected that for this task students will be mainly involved with primary research.

They should prepare a supporting hand-out, in which they will summaries the key points of their presentation. Students will also include their presentation slides and accompanying speaker notes, when submitting this assignment.

Assessment Two:

Based on the research already done for Assessment One, students will be required to produce 4000 words essay, examining the topic, by applying the various theories, ideas and debates presented in class.

They will be required to use appropriate theories, models and concepts to analyze, and critically evaluate the topic under question, and evaluate its significance and applicability.

The final essay is expected to be a product of critical analysis, not just a descriptive account of various concepts and theories. Students will be expected to justify their choices and conclusions.

Research undertaken should be appended to this assignment.

All theories, concepts, models and industry examples must be appropriately referenced using the Harvard System.

Practical placement:

Practical skills-

• Problem solving and decision making by showing ability to use appropriate decision making techniques, ability to identify, formulate and resolve ethical issues, to define and evaluate alternatives with further implementation and revision of these decisions.

• Ability to carry out research within the reflected field

• Capability to recognize, find, record, structure and operate information found within the research field of Media Ethics in Professional Journalism


Remark: All course will be conducted in English language

Course creator: Sabahudin Hadžialić

Media discourse analyses

Definicje dyskursu i dyskursu medialnego; pojęcia i definicje z zakresu analizy dyskursu; krytyczne omówienie przykładowej analizy dyskursu; wiadomości z zakresu nauki o komunikowaniu (tradycja socjopsychologiczna, retoryczna, semiotyczna i socjokulturowa); wybrane teorie mediów: marksistowska krytyka mediów i szkoła kanadyjska; przekazy masowe a wartości społeczne; treści mediów a informacja, emocjonalizacja treści, psychologia i socjologia odbioru treści medialnych; koncepcja społeczeństwa informacyjnego; analiza najczęściej pojawiających się tematów kulturowych w dyskursie medialnym: np. polityka, religia, sport, przemoc, płeć, erotyzm, ekonomia, choroba i śmierć, idol.


1. Media audiowizualne. Podręcznik akademicki, red. W.Godzic, Warszawa 2010 (cz.II: Medialne obrazy świata);

2. Dyskurs jako struktura i proces, pod red. T. A. van Dijka, Warszawa 2001 (wybrane fragmenty);

3. W.Godzic, Telewizja jako kultura, Kraków 2002 (wybrane teksty);

4. W.Godzic, Rozumieć telewizję, Kraków 2000 (wybrane teksty);

5. W.J.Burszta, W.Kuligowski, Sequel. Dalsze przygody kultury w globalnym świecie, Warszawa 2005 (rozdz. V i VI);

6. Z. Kloch, Odmiany dyskursu. Semiotyka życia publicznego w Polsce po 1989 roku, Wrocław 2006 (wskazane fragmenty);

7. Lustra i krzywe zwierciadła. Społeczne konteksty kina i telewizji, red. K.Klejsa, G.Skonieczko, Kraków 2002 (wybrane teksty);

8. Konteksty kultury popularnej, red. M.Jeziński, M.Wincławska, B.Brodzińska, Toruń 2010 (artykuły z części III. Media, s. 193-302);

9. Gender – film – media, red. E. H.Oleksy, E.Ostrowska, Kraków 2001 (wybrane artykuły);

10. Media, ciało, pamięć. O współczesnych tożsamościach kulturowych, red. A.Gwóźdź, A.Nieracka-Ćwikiel, Warszawa 2006 (wybrane artykuły);

11. „Tekst i Dyskurs” (wybrane zeszyty, dostępne online).

Learning outcomes:

- student rozumie pojęcie dyskursu, definiuje dyskurs medialny i wymienia najczęściej pojawiające się tematy w tym dyskursie;

- zna podstawy analizy dyskursu, przedstawia stanowiska (na temat dyskursu) różnych teoretyków mediów i badaczy dyskursu;

- przeprowadza analizę wybranego tematu medialnego z uwzględnieniem różnorodności mediów i typów przekazów oraz zjawiska różnorodności kulturowej lub dokonuje analizy wybranych tekstów medialnych jako manifestacji określonego dyskursu (z uwzględnieniem specyfiki danego medium);

- uwzględnia psychologiczne i socjologiczne aspekty ujęć tematu w analizie tematu /dyskursu medialnego;

- samodzielnie przygotowuje prezentacje oraz pracę pisemną, świadomie wybierając temat, sekcjonując materiał i dokonując opisu w odniesieniu do posiadanej wiedzy na temat teorii mediów;

- jest świadomy kształtowania rzeczywistości kulturowej przez przekaz medialny.

Assessment methods and assessment criteria:

Podstawą zaliczenia przedmiotu jest przygotowanie i zaprezentowanie funkcjonowania wybranego wątku w dyskursie medialnym / dokonanie analizy wybranych tekstów jako manifestacji określonego dyskursu, z uwzględnieniem różnorodności mediów (specyfiki danego medium) i kontekstów społecznych.


Remark: All course will be conducted in English language 

Course creator: Sabahudin Hadžialić