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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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Introduction to Part II (Jill Geisler)

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Introduction to Part II

JILL GEISLER

Are there immutable principles of journalism ethics? Have some become as obsolete as reel-to-reel tape recorders in the Digital Age? How do technology and tools influence the ethical obligations of digital journalists? With barriers to entry low and the speed, reach, and influence of digital publication high, what are the ethical imperatives of those who consider themselves digital journalists—and how do they envision their own roles and responsibilities? If they view their primary mission as one of influencing readers and users toward a point of view, rather than serving as neutral fact-finders, are they diminishing or enriching traditional journalism ethics? And has the time come for a major reboot of our core beliefs about the ethics of newsgathering, and storytelling?

Those are provocative questions, each of which is examined in this section’s chapters.

Kathleen Bartzen Culver’s contribution provides a comprehensive overview of the emerging civilian use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Systems along with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) evolving regulations on nonmilitary usage of drones. The FAA legal primer is an important foundation. It shows us that those tasked with rule-making for the public welfare focus on two key issues: safety and privacy.

Culver looks beyond the basic question of what is legal to identify the ethical challenges inherent in capturing data from an aerial platform that is inexpensive, efficient, remotely operated, and...

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