Chapter 12

Chapter Goals

  • To discuss issues of responsibility for libelous material, especially how they affect Internet service providers and journalistic websites
  • To discuss the issues of obscenity and indecency and how they apply to online content
  • To examine aspects of copyright on the Internet, including the concept of fair use and digital copying
  • To introduce the issues involved in online journalism sites’ user agreement contracts
  • To discuss the concept of reporter’s privilege and how it applies to “non-traditional” journalists such as bloggers
  • To introduce ethical issues involved in blogging, commenting, linking, publishing secret information, and editing images and sounds


Communications Decency Act:
Circular 66:
Creative Commons:
Model Code of Ethics:
Shield laws by state:
RTNDA Code of Ethics: