On the Unfortunate Divide between Media Ethics and Media Law

Authored by: Theodore L. Glasser , Morgan N. Weiland

The Routledge Handbook of Mass Media Ethics

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  March  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138681323
eBook ISBN: 9781315545929
Adobe ISBN:


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The divide between press freedom and press accountability is of a piece with the broader divide between media law and media ethics. Seeking a remedy, this paper draws on scholarly attempts to unify ethics and law by prioritizing the public act of discursive justification to provide an intellectual resource that recovers the role of the community in the theory and practice of journalism and law. By constructing a conceptual foundation to bridge these divides, this paper aspires to improve the prospects for developing an overarching normative framework and pedagogy cultivating the principles that clarify the rights and responsibilities of an independent and democratic press.

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