Living Ethics across Media Platforms is written for students interested in careers in advertising,  public relations,  journalism, broadcasting, newspapers, magazines, photojournalism, digital/multimedia, social media, technology, communication, strategic communication, and communication studies  at the undergraduate level (with some crossover to other disciplines with media-related content including but not limited to marketing, political science and business).

Unlike other top-selling ethics texts, which focus on news-editorial, Living Ethics focuses on all platforms because practitioners of each deal everyday with other journalists and professionals and so must understand their policies and practices. Moreover, while circumstances of ethical issues may vary, the moral processes are usually the same.

Professors may wish to use Living Ethics for the emphasis on values, for the exercises or for ethics code and portfolio information. Although the work cites traditional philosophy, it does not rely heavily on that, as do other media ethics books. Philosophy-based media ethics texts require students to memorize arcane terminology, understand obtuse concepts, and then try to relate them to professional circumstances in the high-tech media world. That is not to say Socrates, Confucius, Schopenhauer and other philosophers do not make contributions; indeed, these and other philosophers are cited when appropriate. However, a better philosophical and applicable grounding is derived from media history. Thus, students will learn the ethics and approaches of such figures as Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and Eleanor Roosevelt who arguably had more impact and influence on media than traditional philosophers whom students routinely study in liberal arts/general education classes.


Living Ethics seeks to: (a) evoke emotional intelligence associated with conscience and consciousness, so that students feel as well as know their values; (b) spark discussions via case studies from a morally informed perspective; and (c) encourage students to develop values in the work place by assembling personal ethics codes in online portfolios–key in securing employment in the digital age.

Click here to view the online portfolios of students studying media ethics with author Michael Bugeja at Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

At the end of each chapter the book will contain an ethics/journal exercise. Students should use those journal exercises as content for their own “living ethics” blogs featuring their media-related work.

Additionally, each chapter will contain:

  • Content about values that applies across all media platforms. (Because content focuses on values, teachers will be able to adapt it to support existing lectures or generate course revisions, deepening the level of instruction.)
  • Exercises to build, test and enhance individual value systems. (End-of-chapter exercises provide instructors with a convenient system to monitor the ethical development of their students.)
  • Writing and creative assignments to assemble a professional ethics code and online portfolio.The work is written in an engaging style, meant to encourage readers to explore and analyze their own values and that of the various media, with the ultimate goal of aligning their values with that of a company for which they hope one day to work.

Market Considerations

Living Ethics is designed, primarily, as a required book. The text builds, challenges and enhances the individual value systems of students in a precise, step-by-step manner, culminating in a practical digital document to help secure internships and first jobs. No other ethics text in use today focuses exclusively on values with personal codes in digital portfolios.

The book will be a new edition. The author has six years of updated content material already collected. The work should come in at 60,000 words. In my capacity as director of a major journalism school, I have access to top practitioners in all fields. They will be interviewed on the role of values in their work.

The author estimates delivery of the manuscript in December 2019.