The Ethics of Metaverse Journalism
Wagner James Au, publisher of Second World Notes, the Second Life newspaper, is making a “my willy nilly effort to come up with a workable ethics for reporting in the metaverse.”
He questions whether reporting on recent grid attacks that have brought down the world gives the attackers an award by giving them publicity. He writes: “Attentive readers may be inclined to see parallels to conundrums from real world journalism– for example, when the media gives prominent coverage to a minor terrorist attack, are they just reporting the news, or unintentionally becoming an abettor after the fact, while unnecessarily alarming the public?”
University Launches Online Journalism Ethics Analysis
The School of Journalism of Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago de Chile has launched a new online service about Journalism Ethics Analysis, (in Spanish).
Users can submit questions about journalism ethics issues. A group of teachers analyzes it and publishes the answer on the site. Some of the latest questions:
* Can you byline a story that doesn’t include field reports from that journalist, but only reports from agencies and Internet?
* How do you distinguish between press notes and informercial notes?
via Juan Carlos Camus at Poynter.org
Ethics, Schmethics! Ask Forgiveness, Not Permission
New York Times technology columnist David Pogue raised an ethical question:
His seven year-old daughter was in a dance recital; the school sells a lousy DVD of the performances; he has a Canon S3 IS digital camera that makes great videos. Could he, ethically, make a surreptitious video highlighting his daughter’s performance.
He put the question to Randy Cohen, writer of the Times’ Ethicist column. Cohen suggested he offer to make a better video for the school. Nearly 90 people commented on the blog, including one who said:
“Ethics, shmethics–It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.”
So what did Pogue end up doing?
“I wound up illicitly filming a very short clip of my daughter’s number, about 30 seconds, and also I filmed the curtain call. I would have filmed the whole number, but I chickened out.”
Moral Liability is Hidden Threat to Corporations: Fortune
Companies will pay a price if they fail to meet society’s expectation that they act ethically. Merely obeying the law, or following compliance guidelines to the letter is not enough, writes Marc Gunther in Fortune. Companies need to meet their “moral liability” or face bigger threats from customers than from government or courts.
Sometimes the price will be damage to a brand or reputation. Other times, the cost will be more concrete, in the form of lawsuits, damage awards or lost sale,” Gunther says. The good news is that “…all these social issues present opportunities as well as threats… the best way for business to avoid “moral liability” – become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.”
His Neck or Mine
I was out of work for a while before I started my new job. A week after I started, my boss told me to send a written performance warning to a man I now supervise. It would be his second warning, and if he screwed up again, he’d be fired. I didn’t want to do it because I really didn’t know enough about his record. He’s in his 50s, and he’s been there 5 years. I know it’ll be hard for him to get another job. I didn’t want to risk my job, so I did it.
Rate this confession
Ethical Organizations Must Retain a Sense of Humor
No doubt about it. ethical issues in business are serious. But Ethics Crisis blog will mix the heavy and the light in discussing corporate ethics issues, for as Dr Simon Longstaff, Executive Director at St James Ethics Centre notes:
“Although the consequences of unethical conduct can be deadly serious, I suspect that the first step to creating an ethical organisation is to approach the task with a “light tough” [sic]. For a start, we need to learn not to take ourselves so seriously. We are, in many respects, delightfully ridiculous creatures. What often saves us from crossing the line and becoming dangerously ridiculous is our latent capacity to laugh at ourselves; to find humour in our worst moments of folly.”
Is It Unethical to Make Money From Being Unethical?
Is it unethical to sell t-shirts about an unethical act? You can buy this Ethical Schmethical t-shirt at CafePress. And you can read about the incident that inspired it, “Not Yet in Business School, and Already Flunking Ethics.”