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Media ethics more important than ever amid rapidly globalization, leading ethics scholar says

Clifford Christians: "We must always uphold to the ideal.”


It is vitally important to uphold ethical ideals amid changes caused by globalization and technology, a leading American ethicist told Global Business Journalism students on Nov. 20.

Clifford Christians, Research Professor of Communications at the University of Illinois, said concepts of truth, media and journalism ethics are more important than ever with globalization of media happening at such a rapid pace. Three universal principles are constant, he said: human dignity, truth, and non-violence.

“There’s a distinction between the ideal, the principles, and the practice,” said Dr. Christians. “Yet we must always uphold to the ideal, no matter how difficult the practice is.”

Dr. Christians lecture, “media ethics and the cosmopolitan ideal,” was delivered in Professor Hang Min’s “Economics and Accounting Basics” class. Dr. Hang’s Global Business Journalism students were joined by other Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication colleagues.

Professor Hang, GBJ co-director and Dean for International Development at the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication, made introductory remarks. TSJC Executive Dean Chen Changfeng also welcomed the American guest.

Christians, now an emeritus professor at Illinois, is a leading global scholar on ethics in media and human dialogue. His most recent publication is Media Ethics and Global Justice in the Digital Age, published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.

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