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Ethics for a Digital Age, Vol. II

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Edited By Bastiaan Vanacker and Don Heider

The second volume of Ethics for a Digital Age contains a selection of research presented at the fifth and sixth Annual International Symposia on Digital Ethics hosted by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication. Thematically organized around the most pressing ethical issues of the digital age from a professional (parts one and two) and a philosophical perspective (part three), the chapters of this volume offer the reader a window into some of the hot-button ethical issues facing a society where digital has become the new normal. Just as was the case in the first volume, this collection attempts to bridge applied and theoretical approaches to digital ethics. The case studies in this work are grounded in theory and the theoretical pieces are linked back to specific cases, reflecting the multi-methodological and multi-disciplinarian approach espoused by Loyola’s Center of Digital Ethics and Policy during its eight years of existence. With contributions by experts from a variety of academic disciplines, this work will appeal to philosophers, communication scientists, and moral philosophers alike.

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5. Normative Journalistic Roles in the Digital Age (Chad Painter / Patrick Ferrucci)

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5.  Normative Journalistic Roles in the Digital Age

CHAD PAINTER AND PATRICK FERRUCCI

Introduction

Baseball is an unfair game. Big-market teams such as the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have a competitive, monetary advantage against small-market teams such as the Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds. One team, the Oakland A’s, decided to play a slightly different game; the team sought out and exploited market inefficiencies to find talented but relatively cheap players in order to field a competitive roster on a limited budget. Chronicled by Michael Lewis in his 2003 book Moneyball, the A’s, under general manager Billy Beane, reached the playoffs four consecutive years from 2000 to 2003.

Digital journalists, likewise, have a competitive disadvantage against their legacy counterparts. For the purpose of this study, digital journalists are defined as those who publish online only, although these journalists might work for a digitally native news organization or a legacy media organization that publishes across platforms. In the analogy, digital journalists are like the Twins or Reds, while legacy media such as The Los Angeles Times are like the Dodgers. A journalist at MinnPost, for example, does not necessarily have the sources, monetary resources, or established institutional reputation that a reporter from The New York Times enjoys. However, digital journalists might be playing “moneyball” by finding and exploiting those market inefficiencies that enable them to compete journalistically.

The purpose of this study...

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