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COVID-19: Important information for AU Learners and Team Members.
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AU support services are available Mon to Fri from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (MST). It is now 12:47 pm (MST). See important calendar dates
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AU has temporarily closed telephone services.
Office Hours at all locations:Mon to Fri from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m (MST)
View previous syllabus
Delivery Mode: Individualized study online
Area of Study: Social Science
Prerequisite: CMNS 301 or a course in communication theory is recommended but not required.
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
Communication Studies home page
CMNS 445 is not available for challenge.
This is a course about the ethics of journalism. It provides students with an introduction to the different philosophical views of ethics; a critical examination of the rights, responsibilities, limitations, and abuses of media in democracies such as Canada and the United States; and an analysis of emerging pressures to redefine journalism as a reliable, responsible process of accurate reportage and critical commentary on our society.
Students completing the course will better understand the use and abuse of sources, research materials, quotes, the positioning and concealment of information, plagiarism, ethics (as it relates to the coverage of criminal and terrorist acts), and the role of the news media in exposing or validating public prejudices.
After completing this course, students should be able to:
Part 1: The Ethics of News Gathering (Units 1 to 4)
Part 2: Real Information vs. Pseudo-Information (Units 5 to 7)
Part 3: The Warping Effect of Economic and Political Interests (Units 8 and 9)
Part 4: Justice, Violence, and Codes of Conduct (Units 10 to 12)
To receive credit for CMNS 455, students must complete all assignments and achieve a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of the composite mark is as follows:
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.
All of the materials required to complete this course are available online through links on the course home page. These materials include an online Student Manual, Course Information, Study Guide, and various online readings.
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.
Opened in Revision 2, October 17, 2016.
Updated October 24, 2019 by Student & Academic Services