Mar 01, 2024  
2023 - 2024 Catalog 
2023 - 2024 Catalog
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PHL 205W - Media Ethics & Law

Credits: 3
Instructional Contact Hours: 3

Studies and analyzes various ethical and legal issues within mass media. Develops analytical decision-making skills for resolving conflicts regarding privacy, confidentiality, freedom of speech, and media responsibility within the areas of various electronic media broadcasting, such as the internet, television, film, and the recording industries.

Prerequisite(s): None
Corequisite(s): None
Lecture Hours: 45 Lab Hours: 0
Meets MTA Requirement: Humanities
Pass/NoCredit: Yes

Outcomes and Objectives
  1. Use a decision-making strategy to analyze personal ethical problems in the media.
    1. Learn the various parts of the ethical decision-making strategy.
    2. Write analyses in which they fully cover the points required by the strategy in order to reach a well-supported decision.
    3. Discuss and evaluate ethical principles which are relevant to a decision, and use them in justifying ethical decisions.
  2. Develop the ability to distinguish good from poor ethical justifications.
    1. Explain the limitations of using non-ethical reasons to justify violating ethical principles.
    2. Distinguish descriptive statements about ethical values from value judgments using them.
    3. Clarify the fallacies in misapplications of such ethical principles as the right to make a profit and the rights of future generations.
  3. Apply legal, moral and ethical principles covered in the course to ethical problems across various professions in the media, orally and in writing.
    1. Indicate when a principle or law is upheld by a given act and when it is violated.
    2. Explain which principles or laws are upheld and violated by a given act or decision.
    3. Clarify the areas of common meaning among ethical or legal principles and the areas of difference among them.
    4. Describe and clarify the logical relationships among the ethical and legal issues studied in the course.
  4. Understand the reasoning which supports the alternative sides of the major ethical and legal issues studied in the course.
    1. State and clarify the main arguments and court decisions on both sides of the issues studied.
    2. Point out the strengths and weaknesses of the main arguments or court decisions.
    3. Assess the degree of support which relevant ethical and legal principles provide for main positions on the issues studied.
  5. Evaluate and formulate arguments to support positions on different sides of ethical or legal issues in the various media.
    1. Learn models of critical analysis by studying some of the main pro and con arguments and the main weaknesses of them.
    2. Seek out and identify on their own, and then state and explain examples of ethical and legal arguments.
    3. Formulate their own arguments to support their viewpoints on ethical and legal issues and defend them gains objections both in class and in writing.
  6. Clarify, distinguish, apply, and evaluate the use of the basic vocabulary, laws or legal decisions, and concepts essential to critical thinking in the discipline of media law and ethics covered in the course, orally and in writing.
    1. Define terms.
    2. Distinguish appropriate from inappropriate uses of terms.
    3. Identify cases to which the concepts or laws apply and assess the degree to which they apply.
    4. Use these concepts, laws and the vocabulary to strengthen their analyses of ethical and legal issues, as well as personal ethical or legal problems.

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