Global Media: Ethics of Representation

Conference Statement of Purpose

Brooklyn College, in collaboration with the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, will host a two-day conference on the topic of Global Media: Ethics of Representation (March 15 – 16, 2013). A conference on this topicistimely and important. It will allow students and faculty to examine and explore values of right and wrong, good and evil, and responsibility as it pertains to the creation of media and media industries. This topic needs to be addressed in this day and age of global crisis and widespread social protest, misunderstanding, religious fundamentalism and issues of development.

Global Media Conference

Although the topic of "ethics" dates back to the days of Aristotle, "media ethics" and other topics are of great relevance at this time. These issues include representation of underserved and vulnerable populations; privacy, censorship and surveillance; the blurring of observer and observed in an age of ubiquitous social media; the persistence of stereotypes alongside discourses of post-racial and post-feminist equality; defining and defending the public interest against commercial desires; and continuing to interrogate media strategies of manipulation of truth.

The creation of media and media usage may be subject to pressures to maximize economic profits, entertainment value, information provision, the upholding of democratic freedoms, and the development of art and culture, fame and vanity. How do producers, directors and journalists reconcile these, at times, conflicting goals? In addition to discussions with leading scholars and thinkers of our time, Global Media: Ethics of Representationwill provide participants with a balanced understanding of the issues faced by those in the media industry trying to cope with ongoing economic pressures.

These issues become all the more complex when we take into account the fact that our media systems are global. Not only do the media industries operate on a global scale, but media representations circulate, often in unpredictable ways, across a range of new media platforms, creating new kinds of contact zones across the globe. These global flows have required media practitioners, audiences and scholars alike to ask what it means to think about ethics and ethical standards on a global scale. What does it mean to behave ethically when thinking across national, linguistic and cultural boundaries? What does ethical media practice look like when considered in relation to broader sociopolitical and historical dynamics such as colonialism, economic disparities, and fundamental philosophical and ideological divides?

Through panel presentations, screenings and discussion groups, Global Media: Ethics of Representation will encourage in-depth discourses on these issues with some of today's leading scholars, filmmakers, thinkers and ethicists.