Media ethics Unit

Media ethics



  1. Examining Ethical and Legal Issues Related to Online Content

Identifyethical and legal considerations in the online world

The online world has basically changed how people communicate,interact, learn, do business, date and even meet new friends. It hasmanaged to penetrate almost all aspects of human life and is evenpoised for greater influence in our lives due to its distinctivefeatures. They include the fact that it is instantaneous, has aglobal reach, and is decentralized, interactive, immediate andlargely expandable (Beaseley &amp Haney 2013). This means thatanyone with access to the internet and basic equipment and knowhowcan use it. However such freedom on a medium is bound to be abused.Consequently, governments and other authorized have developed legaland ethical guidelines to guide internet usage and regulate thecyberspace.

Privacy is one of the most serious ethical issues facing thecyberspace today. The internet has been used to store huge data filesto replace the conventional paper files and folders. These data filesare more easily accessible to many people and even the unauthorizedpersons who can access them through various means. Students, asconstant users of the internet also face the risk of having theirprivate data accessed by unauthorized persons. Alternatively,students can access unauthorized data. For instance students usecommon computers and thus can access sensitive information such asother student’s online accounts or those belonging to the teacher.

Describe the importance of ethical and legal compliance in onlineinteractions

Adhering to ethical and legal requirements in the cyberspace has manybenefits. One of them is that it creates a positive work environmentwhereby users have positive influence on one another. For instance,online bullying creates a very negative environment for people tointeract in. Additionally, sharing inappropriate content such aspornography can have a negative effect on children who access such.

The law supports some ethical consideration such as privacy andconfidentiality. In most developed countries, accessing privateinformation even on social media is deemed illegal. Hackers who havepopularized phishing and stealing identities online are liable forcriminal prosecution in a court of law. Therefore, it is important toact in an ethical manner in using entertainment media to avoidcriminal prosecutions. In some entertainment media, individuals canalso be barred from accessing such services if they do not adhere toset rules. For instance, Instagram is very clear on sharing imagesthat have nude and pornographic content (Cross, 2013).

  1. Interrelationship between the entertainment media and culture.

Ways variousforms of entertainment media have shaped American culture and itsvalues

The internet as a communication tool has one of the greatestinfluences on popular and modern culture. Social media to be specificis nowadays recognized as one a key component of popular culture withmillions of people logging into various sites to interact of playgames (Cp. 3, 80). Social media use is highest amongst the youth whonot only view social media as an entertainment platform but as thenew way to socialize and keep in touch with trending events. Take forinstance Facebook which has redefined the term friend into personswho can be further away and have probably never met in person. Socialmedia is not a preserve of individuals alone. Organizations havesought to utilize the high traffic of people on social media fortheir own benefits (Cross 2013).

Many corporate organizations have taken up social media to popularizetheir brands. The platform offers a forum where they can interactbetter with their clients and also handle any queries. This is notany different to how organizations have utilized the media formarketing and public relations exercises in the past (Chap 12, 423).Organizations continue use traditional media such as newspapers,magazines, television and radio to access potential clients. Socialmedia as an avenue has also managed to attract even traditional mediaplayers. Television stations, newspaper and magazines run socialmedia profiles such as on Facebook and Twitter from where theyinteract with other users provide newsbytes online.

Are the socialinfluences of entertainment media mostly positive or negative?Explain.

The benefits of entertainment heavily outweigh the negative effect ithas on society. Take for instance the ability for people from allover the world to interact in real-time on Twitter. This is a veryimportant aspect in globalization where people interact and learnabout foreign cultures without necessarily travelling. This is apositive measure in addressing racial and ethnic discrimination as aresult on better and increased understanding of cultural and ethnicdifferences (Cross 2013).

Entertainment media has greatly influenced innovation, creativity andtechnology. It has not escaped many people that Facebook, now amultibillion firm, was created by students while still in college(Good &amp Borden 2010). Such inspiration has fueled innovation anddevelopment of similar sites and even mobile phone applications suchas Whatsapp and games such as angry birds among others that offer awide range of services (Ch. 15, 529). It has thus led to creation ofa new industry altogether that provides employment to thousandsdirectly and indirectly.


From the discussion above it is clear that the entertainment media isa reflection of societal behaviors and attitudes. The wide range ofopportunities, reach and sometimes anonymity that it offers hasmagnified these behaviors and attitudes. Online bullying for instanceis not new as previously schools and even workplaces have been calledout for bullying and hazing.


Beaseley, B. &ampHaney, M. (2013). Social media and the value of truth. NewYork: Rowman &amp Littlefield.

Cross, M. (2013).Social media security: leveraging social networking whilemitigating risk. New York:


EntertainmentMedia (2013). Retrieved online on 13th Sept. 2014 from,

Good, H. &ampBorden, S. (2010). Ethics and entertainment: essays on mediaculture and media morality.

New York:McFarland, Incorporated.