Media Ethics


Early Ethics


1644- John Milton's book //Areopagitica// is published.


1791- Bill of Rights ratified.

Video about the Bill of Rights.



1909 Copyright Act
1910 Wireless Ship Act
1912 Radio Act
1914 Congress Creates the Federal Trade Commission to prevent unfair trading
1934 Communication Act created the Federal Comminication Commission (FCC)
1984 Cable Telecommunications Act
1985 Computer Ethics Institute Comes out with Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics.
1988 Video Privacy Protection Act
1919 "Clear and present danger"ruling to limit an individual's free speech rights under the First Amendement.
1947 Social Reponsibility theory of the press
1954 The Media and The TrialThe State of Ohio Vs. Sam Sheppard (1954)- Media involvement with the case made it a “mockery of justice”. The media involvement with the case was unethical: they were accused of bias against Sheppard and of influencing the jury.
1964: New York Times Vs. Sullivan was a civil rights case that lead to the interpretation of how libel is understood today. The Supreme Court stated "for a public official to successfully sue for libel, he or she would have to prove actual malice."
1990: The First National Computer Ethics Conference. Formed by IBM, the Brookings Institution and the Washington Theological Society.
1996 Telecommunications Act stated that Internet providers could not be charged with libel suits for information placed on their websites by third parties.


2000 Attorney General Janet Reno wrote a letter to parents asking them to instill computer ethics and responsibility in their children.
2000 A new website, is made to help parents, teachers, and children learn responsible computer use.

2001- U.S. Patriot Act passed.
2002 President Bush pushed for Federal efforts to increase Online Safety.
2003: Ben Stein gets fired from New York Times by violating the papers ethic policy.Think Again: Media Ethics "So Last Century"
Ben Stein

2003 World of Privacy was founded
2004 The media becomes a major factor in the Security vs. Liberty debate.
2008- Jan. 4, 2008 Pope Benedict XVIreleased a message stating that "Rather than reporting on reality, mass media sometimes create reality".