Media Ethics Initiative

Under the direction of Dr. Scott R. Stroud, the Media Ethics Initiative at the Center for Media Engagement promotes and publicizes research on the ethical decisions involved in media use. Media ethics explores the choices, values, and consequences inherent in our media and communicative practices. How do we affect self and our communities in our use of media such as the Internet? What sort of consequences should we avoid in our production and consumption of social media? How can we balance competing values such as privacy and the public interest in our journalism practices? These and many other issues fall under the term “media ethics,” and the Media Ethics Initiative aims to make us more aware of how we use media, as well as how media uses us. We have more than 150 media ethics case studies available for free in PDF on topics including social media, digital ethics, journalism ethics, art and aesthetics, free speech, advertising, political communication, south Asian media, health communication, sports media, and more.

Stroud is a professor in the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin as well as program director of media ethics at the Center for Media Engagement. Trained in both philosophy and communication studies, his research focuses on the intersections between communication, democracy, and culture. His research on media ethics is informed by his many academic publications in the fields of philosophy, rhetoric, and ethics, and engages contemporary problems such as fake news with a historically-informed philosophical approach. Stroud is the author of two scholarly books exploring the ethics of democracy and communication: John Dewey and the Artful Life (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011) and Kant and the Promise of Rhetoric (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2014). He also has co-authored the ethics textbook, A Practical Guide to Ethics: Living and Leading with Integrity. His most recent book is The Evolution of Pragmatism in India: Ambedkar, Dewey, and the Rhetoric of Reconstruction (Chicago), which was also published as The Evolution of Pragmatism in India: An Intellectual Biography of B.R. Ambedkar by HarperCollins India.