In the Project assessment, you will identify a media output (referred to as an ‘artefact’) that you believe has the potential to be discussed in terms of ethical or unethical professional practice.

Your task
In the Project assessment, you will identify a media output (referred to as an ‘artefact’) that you believe has the potential to be discussed in terms of ethical or unethical professional practice.

1800 words

The artefact
You must choose a real-life media artefact, within which you consider there to be a potential issue regarding the ethical representation of vulnerable and/or diverse groups in relation to journalism, media and communications/public relations/marketing practice. The artefact must be authentic and specific, for example, the television series 13 Reasons Why, NOT a broad issue, such as “suicide depiction on TV”.

The type of artefact may include (but is not limited to):

A controversial post on social media
An advertising campaign (choose a particular advertisement, which may be an image or a commercial)
A social justice campaign (choose a particular advertisement, which may be an image or a commercial)
A music video clip
A news story broadcast on television
An opinion piece in a print newspaper
You MUST NOT use examples covered in great detail during the lecture or tutorial.

The media artefact may be a positive or negative example of ethical practice.

To ensure that you have chosen an appropriate media artefact, you must share your example with your tutor at the end of Week Six, using the submission point on the course website.

The ethical issue
When considering the representation of vulnerable and/or diverse groups you may wish to focus on a media artefact that address topics such as (but not limited to): marginalisation faced by Indigenous peoples; religion; domestic violence; body image; race; multiculturalism; marginalisation faced by Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and/or Queer individuals or groups; the rights of children; disability; mental health. This is not an exhaustive list.

What to do
In your project, you will analyse your media artefact using ethical theory.

Write your assignment in the style of an essay, with an introduction and conclusion.

In the body of your essay you should cover these four main areas using the following headings:

Introducing the artefact – describe the artefact (media output), in detail. Provide as much detail as possible to ensure that the tutor understands the situation – don’t assume prior knowledge regardless of the prominence of the case.

Ethical issues – outline the ethical issues at play in relation to the representation of vulnerable groups and/or sensitive issues.

Ethical guidelines – identify the relevant ethical codes, legislation or other support material that may be drawn upon, to consider the artefact from a professional perspective

Analysis – analyse the case study using ethical theory to argue why it is, or is not, an example of unethical professional practice/ good ethical decision-making. Draw on one ethical theory (e.g. utilitarianism, deontology) to do so. Identify and discuss the main issues that should have been addressed, or were addressed, regarding the ethical representation of diverse and vulnerable groups.

You are encouraged to outline an alternative approach that may have been taken to avoid the problems you have identified above. In the case of a positive example, you are encouraged to identify the potential problems that were avoided to produce the positive artefact.

While you will be taking a position on the quality and issues at stake, this must be informed by other commentary that may have been made about your chosen case study, as well as materials discussing ethics and ethical theory. Use peer-reviewed, academic sources whenever relevant and possible to support your analysis.

This assessment should have a minimum of seven references (inclusing the media product and at least one code of conduct, legislative document or other similar resource), formatted using the UniSA Harvard Style of referencing.

You must only reference material that is specifically cited in your assignment in a reference list. A bibliography is not required.

This assessment is an opportunity for students to apply the ethics and legal components of the course to an authentic media example (referred to as an “artefact”).