1. Debate the legal and ethical issues for the media arising from the secret/hidden filming or recording of people and the use of that material by the media. You should refer to legal and ethical frameworks and materials used in this Unit of Study as well as your own wider research. Illustrate your response using at least one recent (2017) media story involving the use of secret filming or recording. You should refer to relevant Australian laws and codes in your analysis.
2. The use of material from government and corporate whistleblowers poses ethical and legal questions for the media. Using current media examples, consider how media codes, shield laws and exemptions or exceptions for journalists assist and constrain the media in using this material. Illustrate your answers using specific current media examples, focusing on the legal and ethical issues for media practitioners.
3. Prior to the amendment of the Commercial Radio Code of Practice, John Laws responded to concerns about “Cash for Comment” payments, "I am an entertainer - not a journalist. I don't have a hook for ethics" (John Laws). From 1 March 2017 Social influencers are subject to new AANA guidelines. How far do these guidelines address the concerns of “Cash for Comment” on social media? Should social influencers on Instagram or similar platforms be held to the same ethical expectations of transparency and disclosure as talk back radio hosts for payment or other material benefit they receive in exchange for their opinions?
4. Personal data created by individuals using the internet creates both ‘footprints’ and ‘fingerprints’. Discuss the ways that data-matching on the internet pose new legal and ethical issues for media platforms and media practitioners. [Data matching means the use of personal information given in one context (or held on one database) with data given (or held) in another]
5. Privacy is one of the enduring legal and policy hotspots in the media and communications industries. Explain, with reference to Australian media codes and laws in what ways the public interest is served by the media in revealing what would otherwise be considered revealing an individual’s private information.
6. Outline and discuss in a detailed, critically reflective manner the ethical & legal considerations for media practitioners raised by a CURRENT (2017) media story or case. You must identify ethical and / or legal principles involved and refer to specific media texts as well as to academic and critical texts in your answer.
Do NOT choose a story/issue that you have already covered for your comment piece. The story should have had some substantial coverage or notoriety in English language media. It can come from any area of media practice looked at in this Unit of Study.
7. Discuss the view that ‘The media are free to publish what they want unless there is a law against it. Freedom ends where the law begins.’ You should discuss this in the context of matters of either (a) taste and decency; OR (b) hate speech (vilification). You should consider where and how the line is drawn for media between freedom and the law in the chosen context. You should make reference to specific current media examples. Reference should be made at least primarily to Australian laws and codes, although some comparison with international approaches may be relevant.
8. There is a view that commercial pressures and corporate business priorities are necessarily in conflict with ethical media work. Is unethical conduct by media practitioners an unavoidable consequence of the commercial pursuit of profit and audiences? What can be done in commercial media organisations or industries to promote or ensure ethical practice? Discuss and elaborate on your response through the use of specific media example(s) in ONE area of media practice such as journalism or PR or advertising or other area of media practice.
9. ‘Fake news’, the word of the year in 2016, but it is not a new phenomenon. However, new media technologies and new use of old media technologies can exacerbate the problem. Today, a dystopian view argues that search algorithms and social media undermine public discourse as online media spread fake news, divide users into “filter bubbles” of like-minded people and enable users to close themselves into virtual echo chambers hearing only their own biases. Consider the ways that the media itself can address these concerns and whether regulation by government or media platforms would provide better outcomes. Illustrate your answers using specific current media examples. “Regulation” in this context is not limited to external government laws and may include self-regulation or the other regulatory tools explored in this Unit of Study.
10. Discuss the role of codes of ethics in the context of ONE area of professional media practice, examining its problematic and positive aspects and whether codes are the most effective way of securing ethical media practice without unduly restraining practitioners? (‘media practice’ refers to a professional area such as PR, journalism, advertising, online platforms, or social media). You should draw on Australian codes and current (2017) media examples.