Introduction: An ethics of engagement

Elspeth Probyn, Catharine Lumby

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A Princess Driven To Her Death By Maniacal Paparazzi; Reality shows where contestants cry, vomit and have sex on screen; radio hosts showered with vats of cash for editorial comment; an online world teeming with pornographers and Nazis; media moguls putting the boot into rugby league fans – in the past decade, media ethics have rarely been out of the media. In their diversity and difference, the concerns raised by popular new media genres challenge the conventional framing of media ethics. Certainly the intensity, reach and variety of media formats today are unprecedented. From global news channels clogged with talking heads dissecting instantaneous satellite feeds to online web sites featuring people who live their entire life in front of a camera, our screens, magazines and airwaves are filled with images of what living is like. Driven by technological advances, increased competition, and the globalisation of capital and information flows, our contemporary mass media present the viewer, the reader and the Internet user at home with a host of ethical challenges. Meanwhile, public debate brims with popular and scholarly commentators announcing the decline, degradation and even extinction of media ethics. In conventional terms, the story of the media is one of moral and professional decline, a tale of the steady erosion of codes and ideals which once guided mainstream journalistic practice and media production. And yet, as anyone who's worked in the media can attest, codes of ethics and journalistic ideals have always had a tenuous relationship with the messy realities of professional practice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemote control
Subtitle of host publicationNew media, new ethics
EditorsCatharine Lumby, Elspeth Probyn
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780511481550
ISBN (Print)0521534275, 9780521827072
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

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