Ethics & Issues in Mass Communication

Ethics & Issues in Mass Communication:

MCOM 412, Section 001

Due: Dec. 10, 2020


This is an in-depth exploration of a case from the media that presents/presented several dimensions of ethical scope. You will use multiple media sources to describe the situation, the challenge, the response, and the aftermath of a case currently in the news or from media history. You will write a tool for action section for those reading the case to use as lenses to determine possible responses. The case reviewed is up to you, as is meeting the requirements of the project. You will create a work rich in analysis and criticism using the ethics theories we have explored in this class, develop a thesis about the case and propose ways to think through and explore similar cases in the future. As our text book shows, a case study creates a tool for further exploration, yours should as well. Finally, you will write an analysis that explores better or different ways the story could have been handled. This work will be presented in APA style and have an easy to follow reference page. Please do the following:

  1. Read or view at least six works of journalism that cover/covered the topic at hand. Cite them properly. They can be online, print, or video. Also review tools for thought/action and ethics theories that can help you do your analysis.
  2. Write an account of the situation, the challenge, and the aftermath. 
  3. Write a thesis about the case and apply theory as appropriate.
  4. Use APA style. Do it correctly.
  5. Apply a tool for thought/action. You can do this in the same way the book does.
  6. A specific length is not required. I will not be reading more than six pages double spaced, not including the reference page.    
  7. This work should show an advanced understanding of how to objectively think about ethical issues as they present themselves in media.

A Few Details:  

The Essay: Section 1 (the following are not intended to be subheads)

  1. Step one is to find the stories, thus you must allow time to do this.
  2. Introduction: Should include the scenario, theoretical perspective, and thesis.
  3. Body I: Explores the situation, the challenge, and the aftermath.    
  4. The Body II: Applies the tools for thought/action that are best for the case.  
  5. Conclusion. Propose ways to think through the case, return to what was previously explored (theory and tools). Give new insight.  
  6. Use APA style. Use the “APA Formatting and Style Guide – Purdue OWL – Purdue University.” Here you will find sample papers, the basics of in text citations, and how to do the reference list. I expect video and all other media to be cited along with theory and reference to the text. Your paper will not require end notes or foot notes.
    1. Include running heads and a title page. No abstract is required.
    1. Double space in accord with APA style.

Other Concerns and Tips: Section 2

Rules for good writing apply always. This is a senior capstone and intensive writing class. As such I expect the following:

  1. Clear and logical writing.
    1. Correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
    1. Correct use of APA style. See other sections.
    1. Objectivity without excuse.
    1. Remember this is an academic work, not a media product.
    1. This work will be graded with the criteria in this project sheet and the syllabus.
    1. The book is filled with good examples. Use them.
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