Web Journalism ethics | EUJ 206

Instructor: Elsa Deliyanni

Course Description
In this course we will first dress a general survey of the complex institutional and legal framework, applying to both Traditional (Press, Television) and New Media at an international and European level and explore the nature and the hierarchy of the rules which are relevant in this field.
A brief study of the history of Press will lead us to study theories about the nature of journalism ethics and to examine journalists’ universal duties and values, stemming from Press freedom.
We will then trace the evolution of traditional journalism ethics’ concepts (e.g. objectivity etc.), in the framework of “Digital Convergence” and explore how alternative media and citizen journalism practices are shaping web journalism ethics.


Course Objectives

  • Understand the institutional and legal framework applying to media and its particularities.
  • Familiarize with the theoretical concept of ethics; understand its importance, as well as the function of journalism ethics.
  • Understand the nature of journalism ethics and the role they play in the field of the public sphere.
  • Awareness of journalists’ duties and responsibilities stemming from Press Freedom.
  • Awareness of ethical dilemmas and conflicts of values and interests faced by journalists, by means of case studies discussed in class.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Define the core concepts applying to journalism and web journalism ethics.
  2. Critically analyze basic concepts applying in the field of journalism ethics, e.g. truthfulness, accuracy,objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability.
  3. Resolve ethical dilemmas and conflict of values
  4. Students become aware of the fact that the exercise of Press freedom carries with it duties and responsibilities


Class/Learning activities

Lectures, workshops, group work, in-class presentations, literature study, written assignments.



Type of work Description Hours
Lectures Thirteen 3-hours lectures 39
Group work Organization and coordination of group work 20-25
Independent study Study of compulsory and optional literature 40-45
Research Online research 35-40
Written assignments-Presentations Written assignments

  1. essay (2.000- 3000 words)
  2. 2 written presentations of Ethics’ Case Studies (500-800 words)
  3. in-class presentations
Total workload 254-289



Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment
Participation in group work and discussion 1-2 20% Regularly
Presentation of written assignment 1-2 20% 8th-12th week
Written assignments (short) 3-4 20% 3rd – 9th week
Written assignment (essay) 1-4 40% 12th week


 Required Reading

Atton, C. & Hamilton, J. F. Alternative journalism, London: Sage Publications, 2008.

Atton, C. Why alternative journalism matters, Journalism, Vol. 10 (3), 2009.

Bolton, T. News on the Net: A Critical Analysis of The Potential of Online Alternative Journalism to Challenge The Dominance of Mainstream News Media: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/anzca2006/conf_proceedings/bolton_trish_news_on_the_net.pdf

Brislin, T. Empowerment as a Universal Ethic in Global Journalism: http://archive.unu.edu/gs/files/2007/kz/KZ07_Brislin_fullText.pdf

Calabrese, A. Historical memory, media studies and journalism ethics  http://spot.colorado.edu/~calabres/Historical%20memory%20(GMC).pdf

Ch. Atton, Alternative and Citizen Journalism, σε Karin Wahl-Jorgense, Thomas Hanitzsch, The handbook of Journalism studies 2009, 265-278, διαθέσιμο στο: http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/2482/

Deuze, M. What is journalism? Professional identity and ideology of journalists reconsidered, http://site.iugaza.edu.ps/mamer/files/What-is-Journalism1.pdf

Gillmor, D. in Reporters without borders, Bloggers’Handbook 2, “What ethics should bloggers have?” 2005: http://www.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/Bloggers_Handbook2.pdf

Gillmor, D. The end of objectivity: http://dangillmor.typepad.com/dan_gillmor_on_grassroots/2005/01/the_end_of_obje.html


Kasoma, F. P., The Foundations of African Ethics (Afriethics) and the Professional Practice of Journalism: The Case for Society-Centred Media Morality http://archive.lib.msu.edu/DMC/African%20Journals/pdfs/africa%20media%20review/vol10no3/jamr010003007.pdf

Lascica, J. D., The cost of ethics: Influence peddling in the Blogosphere, 2005: http://www.jdlasica.com/2005/02/17/the-cost-of-ethics-influence-peddling-in-the-blogosphere/

Mackay, W. E., Ethics, Lies and Videotape… http://www.sigchi.org/chi95/proceedings/papers/wem1bdy.htm

Nassanga, L. G., Journalism ethics and the emerging new media culture of radio talk shows and public debates (Ekimeeza) in Uganda, http://jou.sagepub.com/content/9/5/646

Starck, K. What’s Right/Wrong with Journalism Ethics Research? https://www.scils.rutgers.edu/~susank/jethicsbibliostark.pdf or http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1461670042000246061#.VL5BCNKsW-0

Voakes, P. S., A Brief History of Public Journalism, National Civic Review, Fall 2004, 25.

Ward, S. J. A., Global Journalism Ethics:  Widening the Conceptual Base, http://www.gmj.uottawa.ca/0801/inaugural_ward.pdf

Wilkins, L., Brennen, B. Conflicted Interests, Contested Terrain: journalism ethics codes then and now USA, http://dl.franko.lviv.ua/medialiteracy/journalism_codes.pdf or

Witt, L. Is Public Journalism Morphing into the Public’s Journalism? National Civic Review, Fall 2004, 49.




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