A Practical, Open-Minded Approach Media Ethics for Studying Ethics in the Mass Media
Media decision makers in the West usually confront complex ethical dilemmas from a utilitarian perspective, which means they make decisions based upon "the greatest good for the greatest number."
Although the utilitarian approach has many strengths, critics point out that the final arbiter of what is best for the community falls upon the individual communicator, who is not always in a good position to make such a determination.
This book, the second edition of Contemporary Media Ethics, continues to follow the Point-of-Decision Pyramid Model introduced in the first edition. But it substitutes communitarianism in most of the analyses with non-utilitarian approaches used around the world, making this one of the most unique mass media ethics books on the market.
Mitchell Land (Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin) is professor and dean of Regent University’s School of Communication and the Arts.
Koji Fuse (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is associate professor of strategic communication at the University of North Texas.
Bill W. Hornaday (M.J., University of North Texas) is co-researcher for the Student Media Ethics Project at Indiana University School of Journalism.
500 pages / 7 x 10 format / ISBN 978-0-9833476-2-0 / Copyright 2014 / $69.95
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Explaining the Why Rather than What
More than two decades ago Professor Pamela J. Shoemaker reviewed 15 introduction to mass communication/media textbooks and concluded that "their self-described purpose is to provide a global view of mass communication to neophytes, and their approach is largely descriptive." ...
The textbooks contained little information about how media content (1) helps people, government and business leaders achieve their personal and professional goals and (2) reinforces dominant values and institutions. In other words, the textbooks have ignored or underplayed what sociologists call the social control function of the mass media. ...
Drawing on decades of mass communication research as well as our own research, this book attempts to correct for these shortcomings. It shows that, contrary to popular wisdom, mass media and the content they produce play a crucial role in maintaining dominant values and social institutions. ... In similizing terminology, media produce the thread that helps hold the fabric of modern society together.
But the social control function does not mean mass media are simply lap dogs of powerful elites. Media produce, from time to time, content that is critical of dominant values and elites. That content can legitimize and promote ideas that benefit nonelite or disadvantaged groups and individuals; that is, it can stimulate social change. ...
In analyzing the role and function of the media, this book advocates neither a radical left nor a radical right perspective. But it does assume there is much more that mass media could do to eliminate injustice and inequity in the world. Social control and social change can result in both good and evil, and that determination often depends on who benefits and who does not from media coverage. ...
This book was written to appeal to undergraduate and entry-level graduate students in the United States. ... The focus is interpretive — it seeks to explain the "why" rather than the "what." —From the Preface
Taehyun Kim is an assistant professor of journalism at California State University, Northridge; Dan Erickson is a communications instructor at Yakima Valley Community College; and David Demers is an adjunct professor of journalism at Arizona State University.
236 pages / 5.5 x 8.5 format / ISBN 978-0-9833476-9-9 / Copyright 2014 / $29.95
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Download a FREE PDF copy of Volume One of The Lonely Activist now (click the image)
"Scholar, professor, author, former newspaper reporter, maverick, and an advocate of First Amendment rights David Demers has written a thought-provoking work ... . I very much enjoyed reading this book and was particularly interested in the author’s description of his fighting for what he believes in despite the obstacles. I found the discussion of his years in academia especially fascinating. ... a highly readable and thought-provoking book."–Lucy Heckman, St. John’s University Library, Jamaica, NY
"[Sociologist] C. Wright Mills defined sociology as the study of intersections between biography and history. By Mills’s definition, this book is sociology par excellence. It is an exemplar of sociological method. By tracing and reflecting on his personal initiatives and activities in the twilight decades of the twentieth century, Demers powerfully illuminates the direction of American society. On the other hand, The Lonely Activist doesn’t quite fit the bill of sociology. The prose is too smooth, engaging, and jargon-free. Better to call it social commentary or first-rate journalism. Whatever it is, read it and learn."–Dr. Kenneth Westhues, professor emeritus of sociology, University of Waterloo, Canada, and expert on workplace mobbing
"I loved every minute of this piece and was fully engaged with it. I found it beautifully written and very interesting. One thing I really like about this is that it deals with what could be difficult issues for average readers — philosophy, law, rights, history — but it is very understandable. I think a person with no or limited background could enter the work well and understand what [the author was] talking about. I never felt like [he was] writing over the reader’s head."–Carolyn Walker, Writer’s Digest
"With an approachable and easy style, Dr. Demers uses his life as a means to examine the history of the various sociological theories and trends that have shaped our culture to this day. These are supported by extensive research. Among the many ways Demers tried to reach out beyond ‘the ivory tower’ and make a difference in the world was by supporting his students in overcoming obstacles in having their stories published."–Nancy Barthelemy, Archivist, Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, MA
"This book is ... incredibly well researched and a very interesting, relevant story. It was thought-provoking and an unexpected story. My background is in the social sciences (political science) and I was both shocked and completely identified with the author’s story. Demers has a great voice and manages to tell his narrative without sounding holier-than-thou or just someone with a grudge match."–Amada Scott, Librarian, Cambridge Springs Public Library, PA
This book is "part biographical study of his own fight for his First Amendment rights while working as a college professor and part background of social science and its application. ... it was very interesting. Mostly I was reminded of the study that says the more people witnessing a crime, the less likely someone will help. For instance if a woman is being mugged on the street and there is one man witnessing it, it is far more likely that he will try to help her than if a group of people are passing by. .. This book is the story of a man who comes to help the woman before she knows she’s in trouble."–Princess of the Library http://princessofthelibrary.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/the-ivory-tower-of-babel
"The author writes in an easy-to-understand style that makes it very readable."– Ken Neubeck, Patchogue, NY
This book "questions what role academics plays in the social world to help ‘solve’ societal problems. His passionate commitment to being a proponent of change emanates off every page as well as his zest for upholding First Amendment issues. ... Demers fuses so much of his own life experiences into the reading that one becomes caught up in his academic memoir and learns much more than anticipated because of how Demers explains everything with such detail and explication. Well worth reading for those interesting in journalism, mass communication, and academia. ... The greatest strength of the book is the passion and questioning Demers has. I believe that this is an important and relevant look into academic institutions and the responsibilities they have in their immediate environments and larger communities as well."–Anne M. Miskewitch, Librarian, Literature and World Language Department, Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago, IL
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Social Media Play Big Role in Arab Spring and Obama Election, New Book Concludes
SPOKANE, WA—Social media did not cause the Arab Spring two years ago, but they contributed to the organization, speed and significance of the tumultuous uprisings that toppled three regimes in North Africa and the Middle East and played significant roles in other global events, including the re-election of Barack Obama.
These are some of the conclusions drawn by international scholars in a new book, Social Media Go to War: Rage, Rebellion and Revolution in the Age of Twitter, published by Marquette Books in Spokane, Washington.
Thirty-nine scholars contributed 29 chapters in the wide-sweeping analysis of social media use in war, insurrections, revolutions and quests for social justice in Cuba, Georgia, Egypt, India, Iran, Jordan, Thailand, Tunisia and the United States, where President Obama’s use of social media contributed to his November victory, and mobilized protesters in the Wisconsin budget battle. The shifting the U.S. Department of Defense policies on social media use by military personnel are also analyzed.
The 524-page book also looks at the philosophy, theories and policies behind social media before launching into case studies around the world. Separate parts of the book examine the “Persian Spring” in Iran in 2009, and the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan in 2011.
The book completes a trilogy of books published by Marquette Books that examine media behavior in times of turmoil and crisis. All three were edited by Dr. Ralph D. Berenger, a mass communication professor at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Other books in the series were the critically acclaimed Global Media Go to War: Role of News and Entertainment in the 2003 Iraq War (2004) and Cybermedia Go to War: Role of Converging Media During and After the 2003 Iraq War (2006).
“What we have been witnessing over the past decade, through the pressure cooker of sometimes violent world events, is demassification of media across all platforms,” Berenger said. “The shift was made possible by technological innovation and growth of such Internet-based outlets such as YouTube, Weblogs, and a host of social media sites like Facebook, among others. The emergence of hand-held information and communication devices such as smartphones and tablets has resulted in technological empowerment of individuals. Today, anyone can become a multi-media news reporter and analyst and set the agenda for mass media on which issues to discuss and debate. The trilogy tracks and documents that progression.”
The individual empowerment movement began with Weblogs around the time of the 2003 Iraq war, Berenger said, and reached its current peak with social media sites such as Twitter, where anyone can make their opinions known and “scoop” the mainstream media, which often acts as a “megaphone for unmediated information” that might shape the information disseminated through mass media.
Social Media Go to War should appeal not only to media scholars but to general public concerned with how media behave—and influence them—during times of crisis and turmoil.
Copyright 2013 / 524 pp. / 6 x 9 inches / Paper / ISBN 978-0-9833476-7-4 / $49.95
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Praise for Raise Your Voice
"Raise Your Voice is a simple, thorough and direct introduction to writing and speaking as arguments, and it is the most elegant text I have read on the topic. The text speaks directly to the student with its use of second person, outstanding examples of rhetorical situations, pithy quotations about strong communication, numerous technology tips, and great images. "Bomberger and Silva demystify the processes, planning, and production of texts in a way that speaks directly to the student, with the instructor free to listen in. The parts of rhetoric for which professors have specialized jargon are explained without the intimidating terminology and from the point of view of the user, a student who needs to solve communication problems across disciplines and genres. "Demystifying communication is the most important mission of anyone who teaches first-year composition or speech. Raise Your Voice does that job. I plan to use this book with my students."
- Alice Philbin, Ph.D., Professor, James Madison University, Winner of the STC National Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Jay R. Gould Award
Copyright 2012 / 277 pp. / 7 x 10 inches / Paper / ISBN 978-0-9833476-6-8 / $39.95
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What Critics Are Saying
"... (Bill) Israel's book offers a penetrating view of Rove and his political methods and successes, gleaned from personal and e-mail conversations — Israel describes a dinner party at Rove's Hill Country home — and studying him during that UT-Austin course titled 'Politics and the Press.'” -San Antonio Express-News Click HERE for more details
Like many neoconservatives, Rove openly admires Ronald Reagan. However, Israel alleges that Rove’s real guru is the legendary advertiser Tony Schwartz. Perhaps Schwartz’s most famous piece of propaganda was a 1964 TV commercial for Lyndon Johnson’s presidential campaign that featured a little girl plucking petals from a daisy as a mushroom cloud rose above her. ... Over the years Rove has played a part in nearly 80 political campaigns, and in the process, Israel argues, he has perfected the art of media spin and negative campaigning. -The North Coast Journal Weekly of Politics, People & Art Click HERE for more details