Ethics and Online Journalism

“There isn’t anything more important then the ethical practice of journalism”, says David Carlson, a professor of online journalism at the University of Florida and former Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) President.

Ethical considerations tie journalism together. Without ethics the credibility of many publications would be nothing.

The digital era has virtually changed journalism, including ethical considerations.

“[The] biggest shift now for journalists when they go online is that the audience is different. Thus, ethical implications are different”, says Kelly McBride, the Ethics Group Leader at the Poynter Institute.

The purpose of this site is to outline ethical issues concerning online journalism.

It is a guide for students studying journalism and journalists in the field.

Overall the site covers 7 major ethical issues in the digital era. Yet, these are not the only ethical issues concerning online journalism.

The online world is still being explored. As the exploration continues, more ethical issues are being and will be found.

The ideas of this site derive from Kelly McBride, with commentary by David Carlson.

Kelly McBride Kelly McBride

(*picture from Poynter Online)

McBride is the Ethics Group Leader at the Poytner Institute.

She presented a lecture on ethical issues concerning online journalism at the University of Florida in January 2008. She presented five main points at this lecture: Storytelling Across Platforms, Digital Legacies, The Evolving Business Model, Dialogue or Diatribe, and Journalism, not Journalists.

The two additional issues on this site, Telephone Reporting and Responsibility of Images, are my own, but I derived them from some of McBride’s articles on ethical issues.

The quotes from McBride on this site were gathered in an interview.

To view some of McBride’s articles go to: Kelly McBride

David Carlson David Carlson

David Carlson is a professor at the University of Florida. A pioneer in the digital era, he teaches online journalism. Carlson was also the President of the Society of Professional Journalists from 2005 to 2006.

This site is technically a project for one of his courses MMC3260- Communications on the Internet. Yet, I hope that this site can be a helpful source for journalists.

To learn more about Carlson go to: David Carlson