Media Ethics

A Philosophical Approach

by Matthew Kieran


Arguing for a philosophical approach to ethical issues in journalism and the media, this book investigates questions of impartiality; moral restrictions concerning lies; rights of privacy; and issues of violence, sex, and censorship.

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Cover image for Media Ethics

July 1999


Pages 184
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/Media, Television, and Radio
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From attempting to inform us about current events to entertaining us with imagined worlds, the media has a primary influence upon how we conceive the world, ourselves, and others. Consequently, the moral complexities, dilemmas, and duties that arise in relation to journalism and the media are difficult to negotiate. Critically developing a philosophical approach to conceptualizing the aim of journalism; the nature of good, impartial reporting; and moral restrictions concerning lies, deceit, violence, and censorship, this book argues for substantive positions concerning what we should, rationally, hold as the moral rights and duties of journalists and the media.

Table of Contents

PrefaceMedia Ethics?News and the Fourth EstateImpartiality as a Regulative IdealDeceit, Lies and PrivacySex and Sexuality in the MediaViolence in the MediaHarm, Offense and Media CensorshipBibliographyIndex



[K.] wisle illuminates a series of complex problems-including privacy, lies, sex, violence, and censorship-without either falling back on dogmatic absolutism or flopping into wishy-washy relativism. He has seen the hot movies (like ^IGood Fellas^R and ^INatural Born Killers^R) and scoured the literature; he knows what he's talking about.—Theological Studies


Surrounded as we are by media on every side, few topics can be as pressing as the relation of the mass media to ethics. In this ground clearing book...Matthew Kieran provides the first sustained look at this topic by an analytic philosopher. With clarity and penetration, he examines issues ranging from journalism to pornography. His views may be sometimes controversial, but they are always stimulating and thoughtfully argued. This book opens new territory for philosophy. I predict that Kieran's book will launch a generation of media and philosophy courses throughout the English-speaking world.—No^Del Carroll^LMonroe C. Beardsley Professor of the Philosophy of Art^Lthe University of Wisconsin at Madison

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