Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Mass Communication

Document Type



The British phone hacking scandal in 2011 raised questions about the influence of powerful media conglemorates, most notably, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, on the culture of the media and democracy on both sides of the Atlantic. Both American and British media are the world’s leading examples of a free market press built on the same ideological foundations. This study argues that the phone hacking scandal calls for a revised and nunanced look at the differences and similarities between the American and British media systems. This comparative analysis uses British and American news media ethic codes as an unit of analysis. It undertakes a qualitative analysis using grounded theory of 48 American and seven British media ethic codes to get an indication of why one journalistic culture transgressed more than the other at the hands of the same media owners. These codes are also examined against the difference and similarities between the philosophical traditions, accountability systems and media ownership patterns of both countries. The analysis shows American ethic codes project a stronger sense of a journalist’s duty to democracy, communities and to the media. Meanwhile, British codes place more of an emphasis on outlining the legal and ethical boundaries within which journalists should work.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Student has submitted appropriate documentation to restrict access to LSU for 365 days after which the document will be released for worldwide access.

Committee Chair

Reynolds, Amy Lyn