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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Journalism and Media Ethics

Misinformation, disinformation, and extremism online have intensified, and the public, news industry, and technology sector continue to grapple with how to resolve these problems. The Journalism and Media Ethics program is developing a range of initiatives that advance the following three aims:

  • Giving journalists the crucial background and framework needed for ethical journalism.
  • Giving the public a voice in shaping and understanding journalism.
  • Using ethical principles to frame the design and delivery of news, social media, and search products.

The Latest from Journalism & Media Ethics

    About the Journalism and Media Ethics program

    The end of traditional "gatekeeping" has signaled a seismic shift in how narratives are framed, developed, distributed, socialized, and discussed. For some communities, this is troubling because it threatens a longstanding social order. For others, particularly those who have been ignored or sidelined by traditional gatekeepers, this is a tremendous moment of opportunity for greater inclusion. At the same time, journalism's financial sustainability continues to be in doubt.

    Too often, the hardest and interdisciplinary problems with ethical implications are being identified only after editorial, business, and technology decisions have been incorporated into products and narratives. The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is uniquely well-positioned to provide ethical frameworks to help stakeholders proactively identify and analyze normative questions from the early stages to later in delivery cycles, while at the same time enriching the ongoing debates in these spheres.

    We are excited to supply a more comprehensive approach to applied journalism and media ethics. We are dedicated to helping media producers, journalists, product designers, members of the public, and critics develop ways to address pressing -- and persistent -- ethical dilemmas that continue to have wide-reaching consequences for us all.

    Solidarity & Ethical Journalism

    Instead of one opinion in an assortment, social justice – defined as dignity for all – is a foundational moral principle from which journalistic duties take root.

    Ethical Considerations for Student Reporters and Editors

    Is it ethical for a student journalist to cover a friend’s organization? If the university asks for a story to be removed or changed, is a university (student-run) newspaper editor obligated to comply? If students who are sources for a story wish to remain anonymous, should a student journalist still use their quotes?

    Subramaniam Vincent image

    Director, Journalism and Media Ethics

    Subramaniam Vincent


    Anita Varma image

    Assistant Director, Journalism & Media Ethics

    Anita Varma