Media codes of ethics for health professionals and media professionals: a qualitative study
Media is an opportunity for health professionals; however, it is not free of threats. Fixing the threats requires professional systematization through developing practical guidelines, which brings us to the goal this study was designed to achieve.
The study was conducted qualitatively through literature review, semi-structured interviews, and a focus group discussion with health and media experts, as a result of which 486 codes were extracted and classified into 4 groups. The first group was addressed to media professionals and contained 126 codes in 5 categories: seeking and reporting the truth, harm minimization, integrity, independence, and respect for the rights of others. The second and third groups were addressed to health professionals, the former (150 codes) dealing with formal media, and the latter (190 codes) dealing with cyberspace. These groups were both categorized into 6 categories: scientific demeanor, beneficence, harm minimization,integrity, maintaining the dignity of the profession and professionals, and respect for the rights of others. The fourth group was addressed to the public audience and contained 20 codes categorized into 2 categories: ethics of belief, and ethics of (re-)publishing.
Since the study was conducted during the pandemic/infodemic, the proposed codes can help reduce possible conflicts in similar future situations.
Phillips K. Mediacracy: American Parties and Politics in the Communications Age. New York: Doubleday; 1975.
Meraz S. The fight for ‘how to think’: traditional media, social networks, and issue interpretation. Journalism. 2011; 12(1): 107-27.
Hampton M. Understanding media: theories of the press in Britain, 1850-1914. Media, Culture & Society. 2001; 23(2): 213-31.
Lull J. Family communication patterns and the social uses of television. Communication Research. 1980; 7(3): 319-33.
Dakers JR, Hallstrom J, Vries MJ. Reflections on Technology for Educational Practitioners. Netherlands: Brill Sense; 2019; p. 179-91.
Markham MJ, Gentile D, Graham DL. Social media for networking, professional development, and patient engagement. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2017; 37: 782-87.
Anwar A, Malik M, Raees V, Anwar A. Role of mass media and public health communications in the COVID-19 pandemic. Cureus. 2020; 12(9): e10453.
McNeil DG. Wikipedia and W.H.O. join to combat COVID-19 misinformation. [cited March 2022]; Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/22/health/wikipedia-who-coronavirus-health.html
Ventola CL. Social media and health care professionals: benefits, risks, and best practices. P T. 2014; 39(7): 491-499, 520.
Wardrope A, Reuber M. Medicine and the media: the ethics of virtual medical encounters. Clin Med (Lond). 2019; 19(1): 11–5.
Clarke AE, Shim JK, Mamo L, Fosket JR, Fishman JR. Biomedicalization: technoscientific transformations of health, illness, and U.S. Biomedicine. American Sociological Review. 2003; 68(2):161-94.
Flanagan C, Banyard P. Ethical Issues in Psychology. UK: Routledge; 2011. P. 132-34.
Jawaid SA, Jawaid M. How to ensure effective use of media to communicate with healthcare professionals and general public. Pak J Med Sci. 2018; 34(5): 1054-7.
Graneheim UH, Lundman B. Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Educ Today. 2004; 24:105–12.
Candela AG. Exploring the function of member checking. The Qualitative Report. 2019; 24(3): 619-28.
Li D. Trustworthiness of think-aloud protocols in the study of translation processes. International Journal of Applied Linguistic. 2004; 14: 301-13.
Ponterotto JG. Brief note on the origins, evolution, and meaning of the qualitative research concept “thick description”. The Qualitative Report. 2006; 11(3): 538-49.
Renz SM, Carrington JM, Badger TA. Two Strategies for qualitative content analysis: an intra-method approach to triangulation. Qualitative Health Research. 2018; 28(5): 824-31.
Cloutier C, Ravasi D. Using tables to enhance trustworthiness in qualitative research. Strategic Organization. 2021; 19(1): 113-33.
O’Brien BC, Harris IB, Beckman TJ, Reed DA, Cook DA. Standards for reporting qualitative research: a synthesis of recommendations. Acad Med. 2014; 89(9): 1245–51.
Brown F. Media Ethics: A Guide for Professional Conduct. USA: Society of Professional Journalists Foundation; 2020. p. 129-36.
Anonymous. Ethical Guidelines for Journalists. [cited March 2022]; Available from: https://www.unicef.org/afghanistan/media/2136/file/afg-publication_UN%20Ethical%20Guidelines%20for%20Journalists%20-%20English.pdf%20.pdf
Anonymous. Denouncing Sexual Exploitation. [cited March 2022]; Available from: https://photos.unicef.org/guidelines-childrights-denounce-exploitation
Anonymous. Standards and Guidance. Scope of nursing and midwifery practice framework. [cited March 2022]; Available from: https://www.nmbi.ie/Standards-Guidance/Scope-of-Practice.aspx
Zahir A, Khojasteh H. Professional ethics in the Islamic Republic of Iran media: concepts and examples. Ethics. 2020; 10(39(61)): 41-65.
Shamsi-Gooshki E, Parsapoor A, Asghari F. Developing "code of ethics for medical professionals, medical council of Islamic Republic of Iran". Arch Iran Med. 2020; 23(10): 658-64.
Anonymous. [Rahnamaye raftare herfey dar fazaye majazi]. [ in Persian] [cited March 2022]; Available from: http://medicine.tums.ac.ir/filegallery//cyberethics%20guideline%2096.5.31%20(1).pdf
Ethical physician conduct in the media. principles of medical ethics. AMA. [cited March 2022]; Available from: https://www.ama.com.au/articles/guide-social-media-and-medical-professionalism
Anonymous. Guide to social media and medical professionalism. [cited March 2022]; Available from: https://www.ama.com.au/articles/guide-social-media-and-medical-professionalism
Koocher GP, Spiegel PK. Ethics in Psychology and the Mental Health Professions: Standards and Cases, 4th ed. UK: Oxford University Press; 2016.
Brighton P, Foy D. News Values. USA: SAGE Publications Ltd; 2007.
|Issue||Vol 15 (2022)|
|Media ethics; Codes of ethics; Media professional; Health professional; COVID-19 pandemic.|
|Rights and permissions|
|This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.|