Image Ethics in the Digital Age

Image Ethics in the Digital Age

Image Ethics in the Digital Age

Image Ethics in the Digital Age

Synopsis

From Photoshop to CNN, confronting the moral, legal, and professional dilemmas posed by digital technologies. Over the past quarter century, dramatic technological advances in the production, manipulation, and dissemination of images have transformed the practices of journalism, entertainment, and advertising as well as the visual environment itself. From digital retouching to wholesale deception, the media world is now beset by an unprecedented range of moral, ethical, legal, and professional challenges. Image Ethics in the Digital Age brings together leading experts in the fields of journalism, media studies, and law to address these challenges and assess their implications for personal and societal values and behavior. Among the issues raised are the threat to journalistic integrity posed by visual editing software; the monopolization of image archives by a handful of corporations and its impact on copyright and fair use laws; the instantaneous electronic distribution of images of dubious provenance around the world; the erosion of privacy and civility under the onslaught of sensationalistic twenty-four-hour television news coverage and entertainment programming; and the increasingly widespread use of surveillance cameras in public spaces. This volume of original essays is vital reading for anyone concerned with the influence of the mass media in the digital age.

Excerpt

Depending on where you came in, there are many ways in which you have experienced the dramatic changes in technology, in the practices of journalism, entertainment, and advertising, in the visual environment itself, that together contribute to labeling this the digital age. In the past quarter century, the world of mediated images has undergone transformations that have profound implications for the moral and ethical, as well as the legal and professional, dimensions of image-producing practices. Most notable is the emergence of widely accessible digital manipulation technologies, but the list also includes significant developments in the legal status of ownership rights over images and other forms of “intellectual property”; the worldwide, nearly instantaneous distribution of images via the Internet, unfiltered by editorial professionals; the erosion of privacy under the onslaught of media sensationalism and competition for “live” images of celebrities or private citizens caught up in “newsworthy” events; and the spread of police (and media) surveillance cameras, now common in the United Kingdom and popping up around the United States.

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