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Paganini, Claudia (15. September 2011): Gibt es (die) eine Medienethik? Ein Vergleich der ethischen Anforderungen von Journalismus, Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Werbung, Bildarbeit und Neue Medien. XXII. Deutscher Kongress für Philosophie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 11. - 15. September 2011. [PDF, 65kB]

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Today's debate about media ethics is no longer a discussion of individual cases or scandals but is characterised by the conscious endeavour to place the ethics of its sub-areas on the solid ground of scientific reflection. The interdisciplinary orientation of media ethics and the distinct character of its fields of application have undoubtedly enriched the discussion but have also lead to the consequence that problems are addressed from diverging perspectives and that solutions are proposed with diverse methodologies. There are hardly any proposals, however, for a comprehensive media ethics including all sub-areas. If it turns out to be impossible, however, to discuss, judge and 'shape' media reality as a whole and if in the place of one comprehensive media ethics small and smaller ethical sub-domains come to exist next to each other, the media ethical discourse risks to relegate itself to insignificance. The aim of this article is to develop a media ethics which comprises the sub-areas of journalism, public relations, publicity, visual media communication, and new media and which does justice to all of them. In a first step we analyse the characteristics and challenges of the individual media sectors as well as the strengths and limitations of the existing approaches to the subject. We then intend to apply the findings of "Principlism" which is well established in medical ethics, to the media. In the same way as it has been done by Tom Beauchamp and James Childress in medical ethics, the attempt will be made to 'reconstruct' and establish ethical core elements on the basis of both existing laws and codices and ethical claims made in everyday media work, which come to represent a so-called "common morality". These core elements find their expression in a limited number of mid-range principles which generate prima facie duties but have to be put into perspective and weighed against one another in each individual case. They thus can respond to the challenges of a pluralistic and changing media landscape. As we shall see, the principles of 'respect', 'autonomy', 'transparency', and possibly of 'publishing' seem rewarding in view of the claim to include all sub-areas of the media.

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