Nicole Joseph, Pablo Boczkowski

From principle to practice: Expanding the scope of scholarship on media ethics

This paper argues for the expansion of media scholarship by the integration of two approaches: media ethics and newsroom sociology. While media ethics scholarship deals with the complex but largely static principles of ethical journalism, scholars who focus on the sociology of the news assess the evolving practices of journalists. Scholarship on media ethics has often emphasised either normative expectations about what should be done or explanatory concerns about why action might diverge from these expectations. Given a rapidly changing and evolving media environment, we argue that deliberate consideration of daily practice in news ethics is both valuable and necessary

Keywords: digital news environment; ethics; ethics codes; journalism ethics; media ethics


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Note on the contributor

Nicole Joseph is a doctoral student in the Media, Technology and Society programme in the School of Communication at Northwestern University. Her primary research interests include mass media ethics, journalistic accountability and the evolving role of journalists in a digital, global news environment. Before beginning her graduate career, Joseph worked as an Associate Editor at POZ magazine, a publication for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, and Real Health, a black health and wellness magazine. Joseph received her BSc in journalism from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.

Pablo Boczkowski's research programme examines the transition from print to digital media, with a focus on the organisational and occupational dynamics of contemporary journalism. He is the author of Digitizing the news: Innovation in online newspapers (MIT Press, 2004), News at work: Imitation in an age of information abundance (University of Chicago Press, 2010), and over twenty papers and fifty conference presentations. He is currently working on three book projects.