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Journalism ethics in the digital age (syllabus)

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New, free course syllabus: «Journalism Ethics in the Digital Age»

This syllabus will help aspiring journalists build a strong foundation in ethical decision-making, with a focus on the challenges created by digital technology and social media.


Suggested chapters from many of the following books are listed with the relevant class.

  • Kelly McBride, Tom Rosenstiel, The New Ethics of Journalism, 2014.
  • Thomas E. Patterson, Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-based Journalism, 2013.
  • Sue Ellen Christian, Overcoming Bias: A Journalist’s Guide to Culture and Context, 2011.
  • Alex S. Jones, Losing the News: The Future of the News That Feeds Democracy,
  • Patrick Lee Plaisance, Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice, 2009.
  • Dale Jacquette, Journalistic Ethics: Moral Responsibility in the Media, 2007.
  • David Craig, The Ethics of the Story: Using Narrative Techniques Responsibly in Journalism, 2006.
  • Seth Mnookin, Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and their Meaning for American Media, 2004.
  • Janet Malcolm, The Journalist and the Murderer, 1990.

Online resources


  • “Spotlight,” 2015 (Open Road Films)
  • “Citizenfour,” 2014 (Praxis Films et al.)
  • “Kill the Messenger,” 2014 (Bluegrass Films et al.)
  • “Frost/Nixon,” 2008 (Universal Pictures et al.)
  • “Page One,” 2011 (Participant Media et al.)
  • “Good Night and Good Luck,” 2005 (Warner Bros. et al)
  • “Shattered Glass,” 2003 (Lions Gate et al.)
  • “Broadcast News,” 1987 (Amercent Films et al.)
  • “The Killing Fields,” 1984 (Goldcrest Films et al)
  • “Absence of Malice,” 1981 (Columbia Pictures)
  • “All the President’s Men,” 1976 (Warner Bros. et al)
  • “Ace in the Hole,” 1951 (Paramount Pictures et al.)




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