WEEK 8: Ethics in the Media Economy

We’ll discuss three cases this week.

The first case is an episode on This American Life called “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory” and its following episode “Retraction.”

This American Life adapted the stage show “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” by monologist Mike Daisey for an episode of their program. Later, they produced another show “Retraction” on 16 March 2012 after problems with Daisey’s account emerged. Retraction explores the problems in the original show. Listen to the full podcast on the TAL site www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/460/retraction.

Mike Daisey responded in two blog posts:

For a great overview of the controversy, see Ethan Zukerman’s The Passion of Mike Daisey: Journalism, Storytelling and the Ethics of Attention:


For a critical assessment of the controversy, read Playing the Pain Card: The Retraction of Ira Glass


The second case is a group project called “Another Crimea” produced by a group of photographers from Magnum, Noor and VII. Go through the website and take a look at the work.

The work was soon questioned by a group of photographers from Ukraine and Russia about its objectivity, its transparency about its sources of funding, and the agenda of the funder. Read “Whose Crimea: Photographers Are Divided on Another Crimea Project” to see the divided views on the project.


The third case is a photoshop scandal of Steve McCurry, and it has stimulated discussions on a wide range of topics from manipulation to the current media economy.


For a more in-depth look on manipulation and ethics in relate to this case, read “Eyes of the Afghan Girl- A critical take on the ‘Steve McCurry Scandal'”


Read Robert Danning’s letter on Steve McCurry and the wider media economy.