An advanced level course aiming to stimulate exciting thinking and discussion through extensive reading, and research on the mass media and ethics, politics, economics and society.
Prerequisite: Senior JMC majors or permission.
To increase awareness of issues each student will be a member of a research team. Each team will study and discuss problems and strive to identify and develop solutions to issues we deal with in this course.
A. David Gordon and John Kittross, Controversies in Media Ethics, 2nd edition, Longman, 1999.
Selected seminar readings and individual readings will be assigned occasionally during the semester. You will find many of them on the world wide web. I will post the web addresses on my University of Maine teaching website listed above. You will be expected to check regularly. Some readings will be placed on reserve or otherwise provided. You should also read Columbia Journalism Review and Quill regularly. Students will also assemble media ethics resource material.
These are the teams you may choose to join to increase you understanding of media issues.
Team 1: Freedom and Autonomy (Chs. 1 and 2);
Team 2: Codes and Objectivity (Chs. 3 and 4);
Team 3: Public Relations and Advertising (Chs. 5 and 13);
Team 4: Access and Culture (Chs. 6 and 7);
Team 5: Privacy (Chs. 8 and 9);
Team 6: Economics and Infotainment (Chs 11 and 12);
Each team will consist of about three students. Team members will help with class discussions of your chapters. They will assist in discussing ideas by inviting to the class a media professional or other relevant party to assist in discussion of the issues. Team members will assemble for the class source materials on their topics, including media coverage materials, journal articles, worldwide web resources, CJR articles, and other materials about ethical and other media issues in your subject area (30 percent).
Each student will write three page reaction critiques to the readings presented by two other teams. Each student will also write an evaluation of a book selected from a list provided to the class and present an oral evaluation of the book in class (20 percent).
Each student will do an original research project, a paper of 10 to 15 pages related to the subject matter of his or her team. The papers will be presented in opposite order from the order in which the teams collectively offer their reports. The first teams shall present papers last. (30 percent)
Your overall participation will help make it stimulating for everyone. Adequate preparation, reliable attendance and active participation will be evaluated. (20 percent).
Week 1: January 26:
Introduction: your experiences involving media ethics.
Week 2: February 2:
Gordon, Overview, "Foundations for Media Ethics," by John Merrill..
Week 3: February 9: Team 1: Media Freedom and Autonomy
Gordon, Ch. 1, "Ethics and Freedom: Mass Media Accountability."
Gordon, Ch. 2, "Individual Autonomy and Ethical Decisions."
Week 4: February 16: Team 1 guest; Team 2: Codes and Objectivity.
Gordon, Ch. 3, "Codes of Ethics."
Week 5: February 23: Team 2 and guest.
Gordon, Ch. 4, "Manipulation by Media: Truth, Fairness, and Objectivity," Research paper proposals due in class by February 23.
Week 6: March 1: Team 3: Public Relations and Advertising
Gordon, Ch. 5, "Influences on Media Content: The Public Relations Factor."
Week 7: March 8: Team 3 and guest.
Gordon, Ch. 13, "Ethics and Advertising."
Week 8: March 29: Team 4: Access and Culture
Gordon, Ch. 6, "Accessing the Media: Information Equity vs. Apartheid."
Gordon, Ch. 7, "The Ethics of 'Correctness' and 'Inclusiveness: Culture, Race, and Gender in the Mass Media."
Week 9: April 5: Team 4 and Guest; Team 5: Privacy.
Gordon, Ch. 8, "Private Lives, Public Interest."
Week 10: April 12: Team 5 and guest. Team 6: Economics and Infotainment.
Gordon, Ch. 11, "Media Ethics and the Economic Marketplace."
Gordon, Ch. 12, "Infotainment Programming."
First drafts of research papers due April 12.
Week 11: April 19: Team 6 and guest.
Week 12: April 26: Research Panels: papers due when presented. One page summary to be provided to entire class.
Week 13: May 3: Research Panels.
Week 14: May 10: Research Panels.
Plagiarism is the use of another person's words or ideas without acknowledging the source, whether by a published author or a friend. To have someone else do or assist you in your assignment is a form of plagiarism. Plagiarism -- and cheating of any kind -- violates the ethics and standards of journalism. It will bring an F for the assignment, possibly an F in the course and may risk far more serious penalties in accordance with department rules and the policies established by the University of Maine.
FREDERIC A. MORITZ
Montville, ME 04941