Issues to Impact: Ethical Challenges in Everyday New Media Use

Dateline: student newspaper

By: Katie M. Donovan

File Under: community, ethics, issus to impact

This past semester, I have had the privilege of taking Professor Robert Bodle’s class titled “New Media Ethics” (COM 354). In this class we studied current ethical issues in every day new media use. Some of these topics included illegal downloading of music, bootlegging movies and pseudonyms. Any and every topic that could potentially become controversial and spark ethical discussion was covered during the weeks of the second semester. It was extremely eye opening and was among my favorite credits taken here at the Mount.

Over the course of the semester, our class decided that we wanted to share our new found knowledge with the rest of the college campus. We did this through an “Issues to Impact” panel with open discussion. It was titled “Ethical Challenges in Everyday New Media Use”, and four of the topics discussed in class were covered. The panelists included four students from the COM 354 class—myself (Katie Donovan), Dominique Springs, Tyler Stiles and Bryan Twilling.

During the panel, we discussed Internet addiction, nudity, sexting and illegal downloading.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when the day of the panel discussion finally came. I sat in my chair looking out at the small crowd of about 20 people. Sweaty hands held my glass of water and presentation outline; my pounding, racing heart was loud as could be.  

Once things got going, I was finally able to relax. I felt that all of the talks were extremely interesting and my fellow panelists did an incredible job delivering their topics of choice. I was excited by how many people engaged in discussion and asked thoughtful questions to me and the other panelists. Ideas and comments of students and faculty were passed back and forth through the room. A full hour and 15 minutes. Tiny as the audience was, I felt by listening to the sharing, they alone could have solved the world’s most challenging problems.  It was so amazing to see people so hungry for knowledge and so eager to share it with others--especially with such a current topic.

All in all, I thought it was a wonderful afternoon and event. Having the opportunity to take part and share what I had learned with others was quite an experience. It really allowed me to see what a strong community the Mount is home to, and what kind of incredible students are being prepared to go out in the professional world. 

If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these discussions in the future, I highly recommend you attend. It is certainly and educational experience you won’t want to miss.