Patrick L. Plaisance Ph.D.

Patrick Lee Plaisance is the Don W. Davis Professor in Ethics in the Bellisario College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University. He also is Editor of the Journal of Media Ethics. His research focuses on media ethics, moral psychology, media sociology, and the value systems and ethical orientations that influence the decisions of media professionals. He has published several book chapters and more than a dozen academic journal articles on media ethics-related topics. He is the author of a widely used textbook, Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice (SAGE, 2nd Ed., 2013). His second book, Virtue in Media: The Moral Psychology of Excellence in News and Public Relations (Routledge), was published in 2014. His edited volume, The Handbook of Communication & Media Ethics (De Gruyter Mouton), was published in 2018. He received a Ph.D. in mass communications from Syracuse University in 2002 after a career of nearly 15 years as a newspaper journalist in New Jersey, south Florida and Virginia, where he specialized in state political reporting. He received a master’s degree in English literature from the College of William & Mary and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

Author of

Virtue in the Media World

Behavior in media is scrutinized as never before. As a former journalist long interested in the factors that both help and hinder media professionals who aspire to conform to ethical norms and standards, I hope to bridge the gap between professional practice and media ethics scholarship. I also hope to offer some perspective on what media professionals do and why they do it. Drawing on my own research and that of other media ethicists, I explore ethical questions in media behavior and how moral psychology research can help journalists and other communicators embody virtuous practices.

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