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16. Justice and Media Ethics

From the book Communication and Media Ethics

  • Shakuntala Rao


This chapter advocates for an understanding of justice, one that focuses on globalism rather than localism. The task is to develop improved conceptions of justice and move toward them in our discussions of global media. While contemporary philosophy, as well as various other disciplines, have attempted to address the differences between distributive and retributive justice, in this chapter I advocate for a theory of transformative justice for media ethics that focuses on a global perspective based largely on the work of economist and noble laureate, Amartya Sen. Media ethics literature has been replete with analyses of justice theorists such as John Rawls, Jurgen Habermas, and Michael Sandel, but not much attention has been paid to the work of Sen. In developing a notion of transformative justice for media, this chapter reviews Sen’s capabilities approach and how it can be useful to media ethicists. I use the coverage of rape by Indian media as an example to suggest the successes and possible changes that could take place through the use of journalism practices based on transformative justice as a foundational ethical principle guiding democratic media.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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