COMM2035 Communication, Ethics and Law (3 units)
- Medium of Instruction:
This is a core course for all undergraduate students of the School of Communication.
The growth of digital media has largely reshaped the media ecology. The law and regulations which regulate the practice of media workers have also been updated significantly. Media practitioners have been facing increasingly sophisticated, unprecedented and challenging real-life ethical and legal dilemma(s). This course combines theoretical concepts related to the study of philosophy, social theory, communication and law. We will examine the ethical theories of a variety of thinkers/writers and see what light they shed on the topic of living and communicating with integrity. Codes of practice in different communication contexts will be analysed. We will look at all of the ethical values and codes for behaviour in communication and examine how changing technologies, digital communication and media delivery systems are influencing those core values. Both ethical concerns of the past and those contemporary concerns in our digital technological era will be examined. Real-life ethical and legal challenges will be incorporated for discussion, analysis and deliberations. Basic knowledge of laws and major court rulings affecting the practice of media and communication workers will also be introduced. The ultimate goal is to help students to develop a professional standard that will help them find their way through their career.
When they are faced with a pressure intensive situation, they will be able to make a considered ethical and legal decision regardless of the nature of the media organization that they are working for.
(1) This course provides some basic understanding of key concepts and ethical theories, codes of practice, legal knowledge and major court rulings etc. affecting the practice of communication;
(2) This course will also provide a framework that will enable students as working media professionals to identify ethical dilemmas and to formulate a solution;
(3) This course will examine how changing technologies, digital communication and media delivery systems influence the application of core ethical values; and
(4) This course's emphasis is on current developments and trends in Hong Kong. Asian and/or Chinese perspectives will contribute to the understanding of the real-life ethical and legal challenges. Overseas case studies from around the world will be used to illustrate some specific topics.
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