Research

What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Con...

May 20, 2021

We asked adults about a range of hot-button issues to find out how much the American public knows about contentious political issues. Read More
What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Contentious Issues

A Tool for Racial Equality or Cancel Culture?

April 26, 2021

Should Yelp be in the business of branding businesses as racist? Read More
A Tool for Racial Equality or Cancel Culture?

Accurate and Effective Reporting in a Pandemic

April 5, 2021

What ethical choices await Indian news media covering the pandemic? Read More
Accurate and Effective Reporting in a Pandemic

Ethical Targeting or Transgressing Ethics?

March 30, 2021

Is it ethical to use personalized data to target voters in political ad campaigns? Read More
Ethical Targeting or Transgressing Ethics?

Journalist Engagement in Facebook Comments: Try Ac...

March 24, 2021

We tested journalist responses to Facebook comments on news stories in order to find out which responses led to more positive perceptions regarding the news outlets and its comment moderation.…
Journalist Engagement in Facebook Comments: Try Acknowledging Commenters’ Emotions

Privacy versus Products in Targeted Digital Advert...

March 24, 2021

How far can digital advertisers go in using our personal data to sell their products? Read More
Privacy versus Products in Targeted Digital Advertising

How Much Emotion Can Health Campaigns Ethically Ev...

March 15, 2021

How far can health campaigns go in convincing people to eat healthy meals? Read More
How Much Emotion Can Health Campaigns Ethically Evoke?

What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Fac...

March 3, 2021

The Center for Media Engagement asked American adults to answer questions about how platforms like Facebook and Google operate. The answers we received revealed important gaps in what the American…
What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Facebook and Google

Overdoing Democracy: The Problem of Political Pola...

March 3, 2021

Robert Talisse draws from current findings regarding political polarization to argue that, as important a social good as democracy is, it is nonetheless possible for citizens to overdo it. Read More
Overdoing Democracy: The Problem of Political Polarization

Disclosures of NYPD Surveillance Technologies Rais...

February 23, 2021

The disclosures by NYPD – the first required by the POST Act – raise substantial questions about how police in New York acquire and maintain data across dozens of surveillance…
Disclosures of NYPD Surveillance Technologies Raise More Questions Than Answers

The Ethics of News Paywalls

February 15, 2021

Are news paywalls good for journalism and democracy? Read More
The Ethics of News Paywalls

Stopping the Spread of Anti-Vax Memes

February 8, 2021

Should platforms censor anti-vaccination memes to help end the pandemic? Read More
Stopping the Spread of Anti-Vax Memes

The Ethics of Digital Contact Tracing

January 28, 2021

What worries arise when we use digital contact tracing to fight COVID-19? Read More
The Ethics of Digital Contact Tracing

How to Signal Trust in a Google Search

January 27, 2021

The Center for Media Engagement tested several versions of a Knowledge Panel — a search sidebar that provided information about a news outlet — to see which elements affected trust.…
How to Signal Trust in a Google Search

Newsroom Objectivity in the Age of Black Lives Mat...

January 20, 2021

What does objective reporting mean in covering the Black Lives Matter protests? Read More
Newsroom Objectivity in the Age of Black Lives Matter

The Ethics of Op-Eds

December 29, 2020

Should newspapers run controversial or offensive op-ed pieces? Read More
The Ethics of Op-Eds

The News We Desire

December 27, 2020

Are partisan news outlets good for our democracy? Read More
The News We Desire

Greed or Good Intentions in Investigative Journali...

December 21, 2020

Did Bob Woodward do something wrong in delaying the release of his investigative research on Trump and COVID-19? Read More
Greed or Good Intentions in Investigative Journalism?

Cable and Nightly Network News Coverage of Coronav...

December 17, 2020

The public frequently turns to television news for updates on the coronavirus pandemic — but not all viewers are getting the same story. Our report shows stark coverage differences across…
Cable and Nightly Network News Coverage of Coronavirus

Coronavirus Coverage in Chicago

December 10, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement examined how Chicago newsrooms covered coronavirus on Facebook. Read More
Coronavirus Coverage in Chicago

Reporting on Caste and Sexual Assault

December 5, 2020

What are the challenges and choices journalists face in reporting caste-based violence in India? Read More
Reporting on Caste and Sexual Assault

News Distrust Among Black Americans is a Fixable P...

November 18, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement asked Black Americans how news organizations can better cover their communities to help bridge the divide between them and the media. Read More
News Distrust Among Black Americans is a Fixable Problem

Peer-to-Peer Texting and the 2020 U.S. Election: H...

October 27, 2020

New forms of direct communication, such as campaign apps and digital wallet passes on smartphones, are poised to bring political messaging to even higher levels of intimacy and efficacy, and,…
Peer-to-Peer Texting and the 2020 U.S. Election: Hidden Messages and Intimate Politics

Who’s Helping Who in the Game of Lobbying?

October 27, 2020

What are the ethical risks and rewards of political lobbying? Read More
Who’s Helping Who in the Game of Lobbying?

Encrypted Propaganda: Political Manipulation Via E...

October 26, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement propaganda research team spent the past year studying political manipulation on encrypted messaging applications (EMAs) in the U.S., India, and Mexico. Read More
Encrypted Propaganda: Political Manipulation Via Encrypted Messaging Apps in the United States, India, and Mexico

News Comments: What Happens When They’re Gon...

October 21, 2020

We worked with 24 Gannett-owned newsrooms and Coral by Vox Media to engage in the most ambitious test to-date of what comment sections mean to news sites. Read More
News Comments: What Happens When They’re Gone or When Newsrooms Switch Platforms

TikTok, Time to Snitch

October 21, 2020

Is it ethical to use TikTok to shame fellow college students who violate COVID-19 guidelines? Read More
TikTok, Time to Snitch

Quelling Interference or Dissent?

October 20, 2020

Did Tumblr's purge of Russian misinformation accounts go too far? Read More
Quelling Interference or Dissent?

Social Media Influencers and the 2020 U.S. Electio...

October 14, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement's propaganda research team reports on the phenomenon of social media influencers as an avenue for political campaign communications, describes the challenges this issue poses to…
Social Media Influencers and the 2020 U.S. Election: Paying ‘Regular People’ for Digital Campaign Communication

Putting the President in Check

October 13, 2020

Is Twitter's decision to add a factcheck to Trump's voter fraud tweet a good thing? Read More
Putting the President in Check

Celebrity Death in the Media

October 5, 2020

What challenges arise when the media covers dead celebrities who were both loved and hated? Read More
Celebrity Death in the Media

Setting the Terms of the Debate

October 1, 2020

What ethical trade-offs accompany different ways of framing advocacy campaigns in political communication? Read More
Setting the Terms of the Debate

Want to Inform People About Registering to Vote? K...

October 1, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement teamed up with the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life to examine how news organizations can best communicate information about how to register to vote.…
Want to Inform People About Registering to Vote? Keep It Simple

The Ethics of Word Choice

September 28, 2020

Is ambiguity and creative wordplay ethical in political communication? Read More
The Ethics of Word Choice

Sex, Drugs, and Hijabs on Netflix

September 21, 2020

Is Netflix's "Elite" a case of creative filmmaking or Muslim stereotyping? Read More
Sex, Drugs, and Hijabs on Netflix

Freedom Of Skepticism and the Social Responsibilit...

September 17, 2020

How much skepticism of experts is ethical for powerful leaders during a pandemic? Read More
Freedom Of Skepticism and the Social Responsibility of the Powerful

Being Compassionate with Yourself May Help Bridge ...

September 17, 2020

Being able to form relationships with people you disagree with or viewing them with compassion is not easy. In this study, the Center for Media Engagement wanted to find out…
Being Compassionate with Yourself May Help Bridge Political Divides

Gaming Platforms and Shocking Speech

September 14, 2020

When the gaming platform Twitch wants to police the speech of its users, what could go wrong? Read More
Gaming Platforms and Shocking Speech

Angry for Change

September 8, 2020

Is anger - and angry political rhetoric - good for democracy? Read More
Angry for Change

Police could Be Scanning Your Social Media From a ...

September 2, 2020

Protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, continue to seize national and global attention. There have been protests in at least 1,700 cities across all 50 states…
Police could Be Scanning Your Social Media From a Summer Protest to Make an Arrest

Political Speech or Legalized Bribery?

September 1, 2020

Lobbying may be legal in politics, but is it ethical? Read More
Political Speech or Legalized Bribery?

Finding Common Ground: Habits that May Help

August 30, 2020

As politics continue to push Americans further apart, it can be difficult to find common ground. The Center for Media Engagement wanted to see what habits are common in people…
Finding Common Ground: Habits that May Help

Blurring the Line Between Reporting the Truth and ...

August 25, 2020

Should journalists show the faces of protesters in news coverage? Read More
Blurring the Line Between Reporting the Truth and Minimizing Harm

Chicago Media Mapping

August 20, 2020

In an analysis of local Chicago news coverage, the Center for Media Engagement found that the media mentioned Chicago’s North / Downtown region more frequently than the West and South…
Chicago Media Mapping

Picturing Justice for Kalief Browder

August 17, 2020

What ethical worries accompany Jay-Z's attempt to document injustices in the American prison system? Read More
Picturing Justice for Kalief Browder

Coronavirus Coverage: The Effects of Headlines and...

August 13, 2020

Coronavirus news can be overwhelming. To determine if newsrooms can help counteract the fatigue, the Center for Media Engagement tested the effects of three types of headlines and two types…
Coronavirus Coverage: The Effects of Headlines and Images on Facebook

Campaign Promises and Vague Rhetoric

August 12, 2020

What are the ethical uses and abuses when it comes to using ambiguity in political communication? Read More
Campaign Promises and Vague Rhetoric

Adding Humanizing Details to News Articles Produce...

August 6, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement wanted to know whether adding humanizing details about people when reporting on controversial political issues could help bring readers together across lines of difference and…
Adding Humanizing Details to News Articles Produces Mixed Results

The Paradox of Pathos

August 1, 2020

What are the ethical promises and perils of using emotional messages in politics? Read More
The Paradox of Pathos

How to Talk to People Who Disagree with You Politi...

July 30, 2020

How can you communicate with people you disagree with politically? This report reveals five strategies you can use. Read More
How to Talk to People Who Disagree with You Politically

Objectivity in Journalism

July 28, 2020

What are the challenges of objectivity in journalism? Read More
Objectivity in Journalism

Ghosting the People?

July 13, 2020

Is using a ghostwriter in presidential communication ethical? Read More
Ghosting the People?

Whose Image is It to Use?

July 9, 2020

What ethical choices lie behind the use of images for advocacy campaigns? Read More
Whose Image is It to Use?

Doxing in the Name of Public Health

July 6, 2020

Is it ethical to name and shame those that violate travel precautions in the COVID-19 pandemic? Read More
Doxing in the Name of Public Health

Gaining Trust in TV News

June 30, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement examined how TV news stations can increase trust by including certain elements in a story. Read More
Gaining Trust in TV News

Strengthening Science Engagement Fellowships throu...

June 23, 2020

This report describes the important role science engagement fellowships can have in closing the gaps between scientists’ interest in communicating with a broader public and their ability to do so.…
Strengthening Science Engagement Fellowships through New Connections and Inclusion

Fighting (Online) Fire with Fire?

June 22, 2020

What are the ethics of using counterspeech to fight online harassment? Read More
Fighting (Online) Fire with Fire?

Pandemic Prime Time for the Cuomo Brothers

May 26, 2020

What ethical concerns arise with the brotherly interactions between Governor Cuomo and journalist Cuomo? Read More
Pandemic Prime Time for the Cuomo Brothers

Covering Coronavirus: How Audience Needs are Chang...

May 26, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement took a snapshot of local news’ Facebook posts and public perceptions of local coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and compared it with coverage and public…
Covering Coronavirus: How Audience Needs are Changing and How Newsroom Coverage Compares

Politics in the Age of Digital Information Overloa...

May 21, 2020

What are the ethics of Facebook allowing potentially misleading political ads? Read More
Politics in the Age of Digital Information Overload

Paying Your Way to the Top

May 20, 2020

Are purchases made in multiplayer video games unethical and unfair? Read More
Paying Your Way to the Top

Written In Only to Be Excluded?

May 11, 2020

What are the ethics of screenwriting and diversity in hits like "Game of Thrones?" Read More
Written In Only to Be Excluded?

Campaigning for Your Enemies

May 7, 2020

Is it ethical to campaign for opponents you know you can beat? Read More
Campaigning for Your Enemies

Producing Fear for the Greater Good?

May 4, 2020

How much complexity can we overlook in persuading young adults to fight COVID-19? Read More
Producing Fear for the Greater Good?

Can Artificial Intelligence Reprogram the Newsroom...

April 27, 2020

As artificial intelligence plays an increasing role in newsrooms, what ethical issues arise? Read More
Can Artificial Intelligence Reprogram the Newsroom?

Are there Bigger Fish to Fry in the Struggle for A...

April 13, 2020

Is PETA right that our anti-animal sayings do more harm than good? Read More
Are there Bigger Fish to Fry in the Struggle for Animal Rights?

Images of Death in the Media

April 2, 2020

What ethical challenges arise when the media uses images of the dead? Read More
Images of Death in the Media

Covering Coronavirus: A Snapshot of the Informatio...

April 1, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement took a snapshot of the stories local newspaper and broadcast news outlets posted to Facebook on March 23, 2020. On the same day, we launched…
Covering Coronavirus: A Snapshot of the Information People Want and What Local Newsrooms are Reporting

Powerful Art, Harmed Environments

March 29, 2020

What if great art has to harm the environment to make its point? Read More
Powerful Art, Harmed Environments

Misinformation, Social Media, and the Price of Pol...

March 25, 2020

Is banning paid political advertising on social media good for democracy? Read More
Misinformation, Social Media, and the Price of Political Persuasion

The Different Species of the Online Catfish

March 24, 2020

What ethical complexities circle around catfishing and online deception? Read More
The Different Species of the Online Catfish

Actors Playing Protestors in Real Life

March 19, 2020

What are the ethics of Bollywood celebrities joining popular protest movements--and the calls to "cancel" their careers? Read More
Actors Playing Protestors in Real Life

Reporter Bios Alone Aren’t Enough to Boost T...

February 27, 2020

Providing reporter bios on a news website is a common practice. The Center for Media Engagement has already shown that reporter bios, when used in combination with other trust strategies,…
Reporter Bios Alone Aren’t Enough to Boost Trust

Changing Comments or Changing Minds?

February 20, 2020

When a Pakistani newspaper uses an algorithm to change user comments to protest government censorship, what could go wrong? Read More
Changing Comments or Changing Minds?

Dramatization or Falsification?

February 17, 2020

How far can films about journalists push the truth for dramatic effects? Read More
Dramatization or Falsification?

Beer Cans and Cancel Culture

February 5, 2020

What are the ethical challenges when journalism and cancel culture merge? Read More
Beer Cans and Cancel Culture

How Vigilant Should Cable News Be About Political ...

February 3, 2020

What are the ethical implications of CNN refusing to air Trump's misleading advertisements? Read More
How Vigilant Should Cable News Be About Political Messages?

Greta Thunberg and Her Harsh Critics

January 30, 2020

What are the ethics of criticizing young political activists like Greta Thunberg? Read More
Greta Thunberg and Her Harsh Critics

Testing Behind the Story Cards

January 30, 2020

We explored whether the placement of the Behind the Story card on a news organization’s website affects readers’ recall of the card and trust in news. Read More
Testing Behind the Story Cards

The Ethics of Anonymous Criticism in Political Jou...

January 22, 2020

What are the ethical implications of using anonymous political sources in journalism? Read More
The Ethics of Anonymous Criticism in Political Journalism

To Release or Not to Release

January 22, 2020

What are the ethics of films that portray political assassinations in India? Read More
To Release or Not to Release

Ethics and E-Cigarette Advertising

January 20, 2020

What ethical concerns arise in regulating e-cigarette advertisements? Read More
Ethics and E-Cigarette Advertising

Images That Generate Clicks Among Both Liberals an...

December 17, 2019

  The Center for Media Engagement partnered with ProPublica to determine if news story headlines and images can be crafted in ways that appeal to both liberals and conservatives. We…
Images That Generate Clicks Among Both Liberals and Conservatives

Fighting the Amazon Fires with Misinformation

December 2, 2019

What are the ethical dilemmas posed by celebrity activists using not-so-accurate information on social media to save the environment? Read More
Fighting the Amazon Fires with Misinformation

Secret Facebook Groups and the Ethics of Democracy

November 18, 2019

People are turning to secret Facebook groups to express their political opinions. What are the ethical implications of this trend for democracy? Read More
Secret Facebook Groups and the Ethics of Democracy

Censorship in Pakistan

November 12, 2019

What are the challenges to reporting the news in Pakistan? Read More
Censorship in Pakistan

Social Media Activism or Mere Slacktivism?

November 12, 2019

When online activists vow to make a villain famous, what could go wrong? Read More
Social Media Activism or Mere Slacktivism?

Matters of Facebook Live or Death

November 12, 2019

What are the ethical worries over Facebook Live and immediate internet broadcasting? Read More
Matters of Facebook Live or Death

No Comment

November 12, 2019

What are the ethical issues involved in closing news website comment sections in a democracy? Read More
No Comment

Virtual Reality, Immersive Media, and Journalism

November 12, 2019

What are the ethics of using virtual reality in real journalism? Read More
Virtual Reality, Immersive Media, and Journalism

Cooperation and Compromise in the Artworld

November 11, 2019

When can artists work with repressive governments to create valuable art? Read More
Cooperation and Compromise in the Artworld

Reporting on Sexual Assault in India

November 4, 2019

What are the challenges to privacy and community safety in reporting on sexual assault in India? Read More
Reporting on Sexual Assault in India

What People Want to Know About the News

October 31, 2019

Knowing what readers want out of a story – or what they think newsrooms often fail to address – provides an opportunity to increase trust. Read More
What People Want to Know About the News

Fake News and Real Tensions

October 28, 2019

Throughout the rising tensions following the Pulwama attack in Kashmir, there was a relatively new element of the contemporary Indo-Pakistani conflict: fake news. Read More
Fake News and Real Tensions

Can a Film be Too Moving?

October 23, 2019

How much of an effect can films about candidates have on public opinion during an election in India? Read More
Can a Film be Too Moving?

Story Labels Alone Don’t Increase Trust

October 3, 2019

The Center for Media Engagement wanted to find out if labeling news stories (using labels such as news, analysis, opinion, or sponsored content) increases trust. Read More
Story Labels Alone Don’t Increase Trust

The Keys to Powerful Solutions Journalism

August 22, 2019

  Solutions journalism offers comprehensive coverage of an issue by proposing solutions rather than just focusing on the problem. The Center for Media Engagement set out to determine how certain…
The Keys to Powerful Solutions Journalism

Research Shows How to Advance Public Understanding...

August 6, 2019

Originally published by the Rita Allen Foundation. In a time marked by scientific discovery and technological advancement, a new report identifies a promising area for greater investment by science philanthropies:…
Research Shows How to Advance Public Understanding of Science

Moderating Uncivil Comments Hurts Trust In News

July 18, 2019

The Center for Media Engagement’s previous research showed that uncivil comments can taint the perception of a news site. Now, we look at how those comments affect the moderators of…
Moderating Uncivil Comments Hurts Trust In News

Survey examines scientists’ attitudes toward publi...

June 25, 2019

Originally published by Stony Brook University’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Many U.S. scientists say they are eager to share their work with the public, but feel ill-equipped to…
Survey examines scientists’ attitudes toward public engagement

Clickbait Content May Not Be Click-worthy

May 16, 2019

In today’s highly competitive digital environment, it can be tempting to turn to clickbait news. But covering news that emphasizes outrageous behavior by political leaders might actually backfire. Read More
Clickbait Content May Not Be Click-worthy

Weather Media in the Public Sphere

May 2, 2019

What are the implications of our communication about weather for our democratic public sphere? Read More
Weather Media in the Public Sphere

Green is the New Color of Money

April 30, 2019

What are the ethical concerns with "greenwashing" in advertisements to sell products? Read More
Green is the New Color of Money

Race, Democracy, and Media

April 16, 2019

How does America's struggle with current and past oppression intersect with media practices? Read More
Race, Democracy, and Media

Limiting or Lifesaving?

April 9, 2019

Are there any ethical problems with banning anti-vaccination content from social media platforms? Read More
Limiting or Lifesaving?

Halloween Hijinks and Internet Shaming

April 3, 2019

What ethical decisions await those dressing up for Halloween--and those reacting to racially insensitive costumes? Read More
Halloween Hijinks and Internet Shaming

Journalism Through Theater: How An Art Form Can In...

March 26, 2019

In our latest research, the Center for Media Engagement (CME) partnered with The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) and StoryWorks to examine how theater and journalism can be combined to…
Journalism Through Theater: How An Art Form Can Inform

Netflix and Kill

March 14, 2019

What are the ethics of portraying heinous criminals in popular films? Read More
Netflix and Kill

Race, Democracy, and Media

March 6, 2019

April 9, 2019: How does America's struggle with current and past oppression intersect with media practices? Read More
Race, Democracy, and Media

Advertising Ethics and Social Issues

March 5, 2019

Gillette walks the razor's edge in using the battle against toxic masculinity in their recent ad campaign. Read More
Advertising Ethics and Social Issues

And Nothing But the Truth

March 1, 2019

How can reporters balance accuracy and good effects in their reporting on war-torn African communities? Read More
And Nothing But the Truth

The Ethical Study of Digital Fan Culture

February 26, 2019

March 26, 2019: What ethical challenges arise in researching digital fan culture? Read More
The Ethical Study of Digital Fan Culture

Building Trust: What Works for News Organizations

February 26, 2019

The Center for Media Engagement’s new study aims to help news organizations build trust with their audiences. Read More
Building Trust: What Works for News Organizations

The Ethics of Computer-Generated Actors

February 13, 2019

What ethical concerns arise when filmmakers use CGI to resurrect dead actors? Read More
The Ethics of Computer-Generated Actors

Media Freedom and the Middle East

February 6, 2019

February 19, 2019: How do you create media freedom in the Middle East? Read More
Media Freedom and the Middle East

Attacks in the Comment Sections: What It Means for...

January 24, 2019

In a new study, the Center for Media Engagement looked at how uncivil comments affect perceptions of a news site and ways journalists can address the problem. Read More
Attacks in the Comment Sections: What It Means for News Sites

When Does Artistic Creativity Become the Exploitat...

January 22, 2019

What ethical concerns arise when a prominent photographic artist uses her children in her work? Read More
When Does Artistic Creativity Become the Exploitation of Children?

“One Does Not Simply Create a Meme”

January 14, 2019

When does the creation and sharing of internet memes go too far? Read More
“One Does Not Simply Create a Meme”

A Comparison Between Scientists’ and Communication...

January 1, 2019

How do the views of Communication Scholars and Scientists differ on Public Engagement? Read More
A Comparison Between Scientists’ and Communication Scholars’ Views About Scientists’ Public Engagement Activities

Entertaining Endorsements in Sports Journalism

December 28, 2018

What conflicts arise when sports journalists also get endorsement deals? Read More
Entertaining Endorsements in Sports Journalism

Sacking Social Media in College Sports

December 27, 2018

Should college athletes be limited in their use of social media? Read More
Sacking Social Media in College Sports

Defending Freedom of Tweets?

December 21, 2018

What are the ethical challenges that arise when professional athletes share their views on social media? Read More
Defending Freedom of Tweets?

The Wild West of Sports Journalism?

December 20, 2018

Do the ethics of sports blogs differ from mainstream journalism, especially when covering sexual scandals? Read More
The Wild West of Sports Journalism?

Just Do It?

December 12, 2018

Did Nike do too much in their use of Colin Kaepernick and others in their recent advertising campaign? Read More
Just Do It?

Does the Photo Fit the News?

December 11, 2018

What happens when a powerful image becomes the face of the immigration debate? Read More
Does the Photo Fit the News?

Digital Immortality on an App

December 10, 2018

When AI chatbots let us talk with the dead, what ethical issues might haunt us? Read More
Digital Immortality on an App

Is It Only A Game?

December 6, 2018

First-person shooter video games are popular. But are they ethical to enjoy? Read More
Is It Only A Game?

“Some of My Best Friends are Internet Vigilantes”

December 5, 2018

What are the ethical issues that arise with naming and shaming racists online? Read More
“Some of My Best Friends are Internet Vigilantes”

How Can I Be So Mean to Myself?

December 4, 2018

What are the ethical concerns with the new phenomena of digital self-harm? Read More
How Can I Be So Mean to Myself?

Side Effects May Include Persuasion

December 3, 2018

What ethical concerns are raised by direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceutical products? Read More
Side Effects May Include Persuasion

Covering Female Athletes

November 30, 2018

What ethical choices are made in how female athletes are portrayed in sports media? Read More
Covering Female Athletes

Don’t “Like” My Children

November 28, 2018

What could go wrong when parents share information about their children online? Read More
Don’t “Like” My Children

When Actors Become Characters

November 26, 2018

What are the ethics of fictional works created by fans that involve real people as characters? Read More
When Actors Become Characters

Filtering Out Cyberbullying

November 23, 2018

What are the ethical issues raised by Instagram's efforts to filter out cyberbullying? Read More
Filtering Out Cyberbullying

How the Public, News Sources, and Journalists Thi...

November 16, 2018

This research project was led by the News Co/Lab at Arizona State University in collaboration with the Center for Media Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Together, we…
How the Public, News Sources, and Journalists Think about News in Three Communities

To Catfish or Not to Catfish?

November 15, 2018

What are the ethical problems with "catfishing" online? Read More
To Catfish or Not to Catfish?

Disrupting Journalism Ethics

November 14, 2018

What ethical challenges confront the public relations practitioner? Read More
Disrupting Journalism Ethics

Ethics in Public Relations

November 14, 2018

What ethical challenges confront the public relations practitioner? Read More
Ethics in Public Relations

Making Strangers Less Strange

November 14, 2018

In the aftermath of the 2018 midterm elections, it is clear that our country is divided. This report reviews best practices from academics and journalists on how to bring diverse…
Making Strangers Less Strange

Values Preserved in Stone

November 7, 2018

What are the ethical issues surrounding Confederate memorials? Read More
Values Preserved in Stone

Gaming the System?

November 4, 2018

What are the ethical problems with cheating in Fortnite? Read More
Gaming the System?

Boldly Going Where Studios Have Gone Before

October 31, 2018

When does fan fiction cross the line from inspired creativity to unethical stealing? Read More
Boldly Going Where Studios Have Gone Before

How to Use Case Studies in Class

October 28, 2018

Case studies are a common way of introducing or reinforcing themes in applied ethics classes, including those on sports and the media. Read More
How to Use Case Studies in Class

Is Incivility Ever Ethical?

October 25, 2018

Must we always be civil in our protests and activism? Read More
Is Incivility Ever Ethical?

Media Ethics and Mobile Devices

October 4, 2018

What ethical issues arise when we ask employees to use their own mobile devices? Read More
Media Ethics and Mobile Devices

Using Links to Keep Readers on News Sites

September 26, 2018

Our research finds that audiences are more likely to click on links that use images in their layout, appear at the end of a page and reflect related content Read…
Using Links to Keep Readers on News Sites

AI and Online Hate Speech

September 25, 2018

Can AI save us from online hate speech? Or will it learn our worst traits? Read More
AI and Online Hate Speech

Google Assistant and the Ethics of AI

September 24, 2018

What ethical issues arise when realistic-sounding AI is used in human interactions? Read More
Google Assistant and the Ethics of AI

Disrupting Journalism Ethics

September 13, 2018

November 5, 2018: Can journalism ethics be revised to meet the new challenges to democracy? Read More
Disrupting Journalism Ethics

Is Incivility Ever Ethical?

September 12, 2018

October 16, 2018: Is it ever ethical to not be civil in communicating with others? Read More
Is Incivility Ever Ethical?

Ethics in Public Relations

September 12, 2018

October 30, 2018: What ethical choices face the public relations professional? Read More
Ethics in Public Relations

Moral Psychology and Media

September 12, 2018

September 19, 2018: What can psychology tell us about media ethics? Read More
Moral Psychology and Media

Media Ethics and Mobile Devices

September 12, 2018

September 25, 2018: What ethical issues are raised by cell phones at work? Read More
Media Ethics and Mobile Devices

Subscription Messages

September 5, 2018

With funding from the American Press Institute, CME researchers tested different engagement methods aimed at prompting new subscribers in three different newsrooms. Read More
Subscription Messages

News Awareness in Fresno, Kansas City, and Macon

August 24, 2018

Our researchers surveyed 4,584 people in three U.S. news markets and found that people generally read national news more, but they perceived local news somewhat more favorably. Nearly 90% felt…
News Awareness in Fresno, Kansas City, and Macon

Sweet Justice?

July 25, 2018

Did Pepsi go too far in its use of protest iconography to sell its product? Read More
Sweet Justice?

#MeToo and the Arts

July 18, 2018

What happens when the #MeToo movement meets the artworld? Read More
#MeToo and the Arts

When Comedic Stereotypes Cease to Be Funny

July 8, 2018

Do humorous - but stereotypical - characters like Apu from "The Simpsons" cross ethical lines? Read More
When Comedic Stereotypes Cease to Be Funny

Doxing and Digital Journalism

July 6, 2018

When can journalists reveal the identity of controversial social media users? Read More
Doxing and Digital Journalism

Political Coverage on Facebook

June 28, 2018

With the help of a national newsroom, we conducted 118 experiments on Facebook to test the success of different headlines, images, and status updates on Facebook. Read More
Political Coverage on Facebook

First, Do No Harm?

May 7, 2018

What ethical issues arise when balancing doctor-patient confidentiality and the protection of third parties? Read More
First, Do No Harm?

The Ethics of Media Criticism

May 2, 2018

What are the ethics of media criticism in turbulent political times? Read More
The Ethics of Media Criticism

Finsta Fad

April 30, 2018

What are the real ethical issues raised by fake Instagram accounts? Read More
Finsta Fad

Collateral Damage to the Truth

April 27, 2018

What conflicts arise when journalists want transparency on drone deaths? Read More
Collateral Damage to the Truth

Swipe Right to Expose

April 24, 2018

What could go wrong with an investigative journalist covering the sordid side of the Rio Olympics? Read More
Swipe Right to Expose

What Exactly is Revenge Porn or Nonconsensual Porn...

April 20, 2018

[ARTICLE]: Is revenge porn really simple to identify and legislate? Read More
What Exactly is Revenge Porn or Nonconsensual Pornography?

Media Ethics and Virtual Reality

April 18, 2018

What ethical issues are raised by the use of virtual reality in journalism? Read More
Media Ethics and Virtual Reality

Biometrics, Data, and Privacy

April 17, 2018

Does national security trade off with privacy in biometric identification? Read More
Biometrics, Data, and Privacy

Microbiologists’ Public Engagement Views and Behav...

April 13, 2018

What affects microbiologists' engagement with the public? Read More
Microbiologists’ Public Engagement Views and Behaviors.

Dying to Be Online

April 12, 2018

What could go wrong when you die on Facebook? Read More
Dying to Be Online

Women Journalists and Online Harassment

April 10, 2018

After interviewing 75 female professional journalists, researchers found that online harassment is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention. Read More
Women Journalists and Online Harassment

Anonymity, Doxing, and the Ethics of Reddit

April 4, 2018

What ethical issues are created in Reddit's attempts to clean up its act? Read More
Anonymity, Doxing, and the Ethics of Reddit

Robots, Algorithms, and Digital Ethics

April 4, 2018

Dr. David Gunkel (NIU) discusses robot rights and digital ethics. Read More
Robots, Algorithms, and Digital Ethics

Online Quizzes and Interest in Political News

April 4, 2018

Our researchers found that online political quizzes increase people’s interest in political news and make them feel more knowledgeable about politics. Read More
Online Quizzes and Interest in Political News

Sharing the Pain

March 30, 2018

What ethical issues does the rapid sharing of information in emergencies raise? Read More
Sharing the Pain

Fake News, Fake Porn, and AI

March 29, 2018

What are the ethical issues involved in the use of AI in creating fake video content? Read More
Fake News, Fake Porn, and AI

Ethics and Artistic Appropriation

March 26, 2018

What are the ethical issues raised by reframing the meaning of public artworks? Read More
Ethics and Artistic Appropriation

Suicide, Fiction, and Ethics

March 21, 2018

What are the ethical issues raised by Netflix's "13 Reasons Why"? Read More
Suicide, Fiction, and Ethics

The Real Ethics of Fake News

March 20, 2018

Dr. Scott Stroud (UT Austin) explores the complex ethics of fake news. Read More
The Real Ethics of Fake News

Bullying our First Amendment?

March 19, 2018

What are the legal and ethical implications of bullying by text message? Read More
Bullying our First Amendment?

danah boyd on Digital Ethics

March 14, 2018

Watch Dr. danah boyd's talk on digital ethics, big data, and artificial intelligence. Read More
danah boyd on Digital Ethics

Free Speech and the Ethics of Protest

March 14, 2018

What are the ethics of free speech and controversial protests? Read More
Free Speech and the Ethics of Protest

News Media and Democracy

March 12, 2018

Dr. Talia Stroud (UT Austin) discusses how to engage newsrooms in the digital age. Read More
News Media and Democracy

Ethics and the Tweeter-in-Chief

March 5, 2018

What are the ethical issues with President Trump's use of Twitter? Read More
Ethics and the Tweeter-in-Chief

Idealized Images of Women in the Media

March 2, 2018

Watch Dr. Kate Pounders (UT Austin) discuss idealized images of women in the media. Read More
Idealized Images of Women in the Media

A Progress Report: Media Engagement Through Theate...

February 14, 2018

In partnership with The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), we are analyzing how attitudes change based on seeing a play. This is a progress report on our first effort. (photo:…
A Progress Report: Media Engagement Through Theater

Media Criticism in Turbulent Times

February 14, 2018

April 25, 2018: What is the role of media criticism in our turbulent political times? Read More
Media Criticism in Turbulent Times

Virtual Reality and Media Ethics

January 26, 2018

April 10, 2018: What does virtual reality mean for digital ethics and journalism? Read More
Virtual Reality and Media Ethics

News Media and Democracy

January 23, 2018

February 22, 2018: Can the news media save democracy? Can scholars save the news media? Read More
News Media and Democracy

Robots, Algorithms, and Digital Ethics

January 19, 2018

April 3, 2018: Do robots have rights? What do robots mean for digital ethics? Read More
Robots, Algorithms, and Digital Ethics

Hacking Big Data

January 19, 2018

March 6, 2018: danah boyd explores whether democracy and big data can coexist. Read More
Hacking Big Data

The Real Ethics of Fake News

January 19, 2018

February 27, 2018: What ethical challenges wait for us in the fight against fake news? Read More
The Real Ethics of Fake News

Idealized Images of Women in the Media

January 19, 2018

February 6, 2018: What are the ethical problems with representations of women in the media? Read More
Idealized Images of Women in the Media

Chicago News Landscape

January 10, 2018

The Center for Media Engagement partnered with a local news organization, City Bureau, to explore attitudes towards, and preferences for, Chicago news media. Read More
Chicago News Landscape

Understanding Scientists’ Willingness to Engage in...

January 1, 2018

What factors may motivate scientists to engage with the public in the United States? Read More
Understanding Scientists’ Willingness to Engage in Public Engagement

Trust in Online News

December 12, 2017

The inclusion of Trust Indicators can result in higher opinions about the news organizations and journalists that use them, according to the Center for Media Engagement's research with the Trust…
Trust in Online News

The Ethics of Climate Change Communication

December 11, 2017

Watch Dr. Jean Goodwin discuss the ethics of climate change communication. Read More
The Ethics of Climate Change Communication

Dr. Scott Stroud on the Media Ethics Initiative

December 4, 2017

The Media Ethics Initiative examines the choices, consequences, and values involved in our communicative activities. Read More
Dr. Scott Stroud on the Media Ethics Initiative

The Dark Side of Social Media

November 27, 2017

A panel of experts discusses the dark side of social media. Read More
The Dark Side of Social Media

Panel Shines Light on the Dark Issues of Social Me...

November 16, 2017

[ARTICLE] What is the dark side of social media? A panel of experts discuss privacy concerns and more in our online lives. Read More
Panel Shines Light on the Dark Issues of Social Media

The Ethics of Climate Communication

November 7, 2017

An interview with Dr. Jean Goodwin about science communication, rhetoric, and ethics. Read More
The Ethics of Climate Communication

Philosopher Discusses New Media’s Threat to ...

November 3, 2017

[ARTICLE] Gregory Pappas discusses how new media inhibits deeper learning and threatens the health of democracy. Read More
Philosopher Discusses New Media’s Threat to Democracy

New Media, Education, and Democracy

November 2, 2017

Dr. Gregory Pappas (Texas A&M) discusses the meaning of new media on democracy and education. Read More
New Media, Education, and Democracy

Moral Psychology on Why We Love Stories

October 27, 2017

Watch Dr. Robert Lewis (UT Austin) talk about moral psychology and our love of stories. Read More
Moral Psychology on Why We Love Stories

Anthems and Activism in the NFL

October 16, 2017

Watch Dr. Michael Butterworth (UT Austin) discuss the ethical issues raised by the NFL anthem protests. Read More
Anthems and Activism in the NFL

The Dark Side of Social Media

October 3, 2017

November 6, 2017: What is the dark side to our social media use? What can be done to improve our social media landscape? Read More
The Dark Side of Social Media

Stories, Ethics, and Media Psychology

October 3, 2017

October 19, 2017: What are the ethical implications of mediated stories? Read More
Stories, Ethics, and Media Psychology

Anthems and Activism in the NFL

October 3, 2017

October 11, 2017: What are the ethics of the NFL anthem protests and the media coverage of them? Read More
Anthems and Activism in the NFL

Media, Democracy, and Education

September 26, 2017

October 26, 2017: How do new media technologies affect our democracy and educational efforts? Read More
Media, Democracy, and Education

The Ethics of Green Advertising

September 26, 2017

Watch Dr. Lucy Atkinson (UT Austin) talk about the promises and pitfalls of green consumption on Youtube! Read More
The Ethics of Green Advertising

Ethics and Climate Communication

September 26, 2017

November 14, 2017: What are the ethical choices being made when arguers claim that there is a scientific consensus backing their stance on climate change? Read More
Ethics and Climate Communication

The Ethics of Green Advertising

September 18, 2017

September 21, 2017: Interested in the ethics of green advertising and the push for sustainability? Listen to Dr. Lucy Atkinson (UT Austin) talk about her research on sustainable consumption. Read…
The Ethics of Green Advertising

Website Redesign

August 3, 2017

Redesigning a website's homepage could improve page views and time on page, according to a CME study that was conducted in conjunction with the launch of two news organizations' redesigned…
Website Redesign

Two-way communication between scientists and the p...

June 30, 2017

How are scientists trained in Public Engagement? Read More
Two-way communication between scientists and the public: a view from science communication trainers in North America

General Election News Coverage: What Engages Audie...

April 6, 2017

In the run-up to the 2016 general election, local news outlets focused less and less on coverage of issues, with coverage of corruption and scandal receiving more page views and…
General Election News Coverage: What Engages Audiences Down the Ballot

Rhetorics of the Good Life

March 16, 2017

May 3, 2017: What is the nature of the good life and virtuous communication in the present social environment? Read More
Rhetorics of the Good Life

Moral Psychology and Media Practice

March 8, 2017

April 10, 2017: How does human psychology inform media ethics? Read More
Moral Psychology and Media Practice

Stressing Ethics in an Unfiltered Age

March 3, 2017

It is more important than ever for members of the media to stay ethical and informed, according to Mary Bock, associate professor of in the School of Journalism, during a…
Stressing Ethics in an Unfiltered Age

Cosmopolitan Media Ethics

March 2, 2017

April 4, 2017: What happens when ethics meets globalized and changing media technology? Read More
Cosmopolitan Media Ethics

Ethical Issues in the Fight Against Revenge Porn

March 1, 2017

March 21, 2017: What are the ethical issues involved in online revenge porn, and what tough ethical decisions are involved in fighting it? Read More
Ethical Issues in the Fight Against Revenge Porn

Comment Section Survey Across 20 News Sites

January 12, 2017

We partnered with 20 U.S.-based news organizations to conduct one of the largest-ever surveys of online news commenters. Read More
Comment Section Survey Across 20 News Sites

Scientists’ Views about Communication Objectives

January 1, 2017

Scientists’ views about communication objectives. Read More
Scientists’ Views about Communication Objectives

Journalism Ethics and Social Media

December 19, 2016

February 16, 2017: Journalistic ethics are no longer just for journalists. The digital media environment has flattened the information playing field, giving long-standing news institutions the same access to an…
Journalism Ethics and Social Media

Journalism and Media Bias

December 13, 2016

January 31, 2017: Is the media biased? How do you even start to answer that question? Join us for a provocative talk by Dr. Robert Jensen... Read More
Journalism and Media Bias

Ambedkar, Social Justice, and Buddhist Right Speec...

December 12, 2016

January 24, 2017: Following the 2013 release of Navayana's annotated critical edition of B. R. Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste with an introductory essay by Arundhati Roy, Dalit (ex-Untouchable) activists angrily…
Ambedkar, Social Justice, and Buddhist Right Speech

Trump, Clinton, and the Race for the Presidency

December 9, 2016

November 2, 2016: From their announcement speeches to the final debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have rhetorically constructed portraits of American democracy in their campaign rhetoric. What do those…
Trump, Clinton, and the Race for the Presidency

Advertising, Ethics, and Culture

December 9, 2016

October 13, 2016: How do advertising practitioners in other cultures confront ethical issues? Read More
Advertising, Ethics, and Culture

Why Reflect on the Media?

December 8, 2016

What is the purpose of the Media Ethics Initiative? Read More
Why Reflect on the Media?

Mobile News Notifications

October 27, 2016

People who receive mobile news notifications more frequently visit the corresponding news applications. Read More
Mobile News Notifications

Primary Election Coverage: What Types of News Enga...

October 11, 2016

Do audiences engage more with news coverage of campaign strategy or issues? Read More
Primary Election Coverage: What Types of News Engage Audiences

How One Community Responded to Solutions Journalis...

September 20, 2016

In response to a newspaper series on the issue of poverty, the public tweeted more about poverty. The discussion, however, lasted only a short period. Read More
How One Community Responded to Solutions Journalism

Journalists and Online Comments

August 30, 2016

By interviewing working journalists, we learned that they do read the comments and respond to commenters. Read More
Journalists and Online Comments

Survey of News Editors and Directors

August 18, 2016

Our survey of news editors and directors offers a glimpse at current newsroom practices. Read More
Survey of News Editors and Directors

Investigating the Influence of “Clickbait...

August 9, 2016

We tested whether headlines written using varying levels of uncertainty prompt different reactions. Read More
Investigating the Influence of “Clickbait” News Headlines

A Digital News Snapshot: An Analysis of 25 of the ...

July 20, 2016

As news habits change, it's important to understand what is available for news audiences across various platforms. Read More
A Digital News Snapshot: An Analysis of 25 of the Top Sites Across Platforms

10 Things We Learned by Analyzing 9 Million Commen...

June 21, 2016

This report describes what we learned from analyzing 9,616,211 comments people posted to The New York Times website. Read More
10 Things We Learned by Analyzing 9 Million Comments from The New York Times

Solutions Headlines

June 2, 2016

Solutions-oriented headlines yield a modest increase in clicks over non-solutions headlines, but other factors may also affect clicks. Read More
Solutions Headlines

Solutions Journalism & News Engagement

March 29, 2016

There are benefits to newsrooms using solutions-based journalism, but it is not a cure-all for audience engagement. Read More
Solutions Journalism & News Engagement

Survey of Commenters and Comment Readers

March 14, 2016

We describe the demographic makeup, attitudes, and behaviors of the people who comprise the online commenting world. Read More
Survey of Commenters and Comment Readers

The Current State of News Headlines

December 1, 2015

Headlines are the marquees of news stories. These short statements located at the beginning of an article frame the information that is to follow. They encapsulate a portion of the…
The Current State of News Headlines

Contemporary vs. Classic Design

July 27, 2015

There is a significant increase in page views and learning from articles when people browse a news website with a contemporary design compared to one with a classic, newsprint-style layout.…
Contemporary vs. Classic Design

Background Information & Facts

June 10, 2015

People are more willing to get involved in political discussion when they're provided with background information containing pro and con arguments. Read More
Background Information & Facts

How We Use Online Spaces

March 11, 2015

Through six focus groups, we learned that people prefer in-person discussions about politics rather than those that take place online, and are concerned that political discussion might lead to conflict.…
How We Use Online Spaces

Restructuring Comment Sections

January 30, 2015

There are several benefits - and limits - to using a three-column comment section as opposed to using a traditional one-column section. Read More
Restructuring Comment Sections

New Approaches to Comment Moderation

November 24, 2014

For three months, we attempted to code for incivility within online news comments in new ways. In this progress report, we share thoughts on what worked, what didn't, and what…
New Approaches to Comment Moderation

Journalist Involvement in Comment Sections

September 10, 2014

Uncivil comments decreased when a journalist interacted with online commenters. Read More
Journalist Involvement in Comment Sections

Improving Civil Discourse

September 10, 2014

We have partnered with the National Institute for Civil Discourse to research how to improve online discourse. We began by reviewing academic research on creating civil online spaces. In the…
Improving Civil Discourse

Solutions Journalism

June 2, 2014

We found that solutions-based reporting may be an effective journalistic tool that serves the needs of both audiences and news organizations, and that it has the potential to increase reader…
Solutions Journalism

Analysis of News Sites

March 13, 2014

We examined 155 U.S. newspaper and television news websites to understand how they were using social media buttons, comment sections, online polls, lists of hyperlinks, and mobile version. Read More
Analysis of News Sites

Hyperlinks

September 18, 2013

Can hyperlinks be presented on a page in a way that prompts additional news use, as opposed to entertainment stories? And can hyperlinks be presented on a page in ways…
Hyperlinks

How Online Quizzes Can Benefit Newsroom Websites

September 18, 2013

Although polls can be engaging for site visitors, there are downsides. Quizzes help news audiences learn more in a fun and engaging way. Read More
How Online Quizzes Can Benefit Newsroom Websites

Engagement Buttons

September 18, 2013

What if, instead of clicking a “Like” button, one could click “Respect”? Read More
Engagement Buttons