Traditional discussion of media ethics is usually confined with legal case studies, codes of ethics, and stiff admonitions of sex and violence in the media. This course then is not about these little ethics but about morality—that is, the consequences of media consumption and production to the very meaning of our humanity. Media & Morality asserts that our everyday choices with the media—from poking, friending, and flaming online to taking photos of tourist destinations to watching foreign-language films—reflect how we see, hear, and touch distant others and how we ultimately regard ourselves.
Some of the questions we ask include: How social are social networking sites? Are Facebook users narcissistic poseurs or can they also be self-aware beings-with-others? What is emo-journalism and how can it contribute to identifying with distant others? How well did The Guidon report on the Ateneo suicides? In using the words “suicide incident” over “tragedy”, what moral claim did they make about the living and the dead? When is a joke only a joke? What can we learn about Teri Hatcher’s and Malu Fernandez’s “jokes” about OFWs and their fiery aftermath? What charity ads encourage donation—those that invoke happy thoughts or those that invoke shame and guilt?
As a brand new elective, M&M is ideal for pop culture aficionados and aspiring media producers. It encourages creative work, as students will participate in a) designing humanitarian campaigns and presenting them to advertising professionals, b) pitching other-oriented documentary and telenovela story concepts to GMA executives, and c) organizing a media studies conference headlined by a Cambridge professor. This course is taught by Jonathan C. Ong, creator of the MediaTalk@admu series, former advertising and broadcasting executive, and firm believer that the media is at the heart of our moral future.
Sign up for Com 106: Media and Society [Media and Morality]!
(Schedule Wednesdays 930-1230NN)