For the course “General Business Law”—You are required to submit 1 current event blog postings addressing legal and ethical issues. The three primary purposes of this exercise are: 1) to encourage you to keep up with the world around you; and 2) to help you recognize just how much our society and your everyday life is regulated and controlled by law; and 3) to help you identify and reflect on some of the ethical challenges in society today.
Specifically, for each blog, summarize the article, indicate why it is important or how it is relevant to the law, provide a brief analysis of the ethical issue(s) and provide a link to the article. Although I encourage you to seek out various sources of information on a regular basis, you are not required to do so for purposes of this exercise. You are welcome to write about an article that you come across in your general daily reading. For example, if you are a sports fan, there are a lot of articles about the intersection of sports, law, and ethics, e.g., steroid use/abuse, concussions in the NFL, etc. If you read Sports Illustrated or other sports news on a regular basis, you may just blog about those types of legal issues. If you prefer fashion or celebrity news, you will surely come across articles about contract issues, copyright, trademarks, privacy, etc. If you read the WSJ or Bloomberg, you will find plenty of articles discussing business practices that you may consider unethical, e.g., failure to recall dangerous vehicles or other products; endocrine disrupters, steroids or antibiotics in the food chain; questionable advertising practices; manufacturing of products in sweatshops in third world countries; companies relocating to other countries to avoid paying corporate taxes; etc.
Remember, just because something may be lawful does not mean it is ethical. Also, what you may view as unethical may well be viewed ethical by others. I’m looking for your analysis of ethical issues as well as your opinions.
Note that if you reference another source in your analysis or opinion, you must provide appropriate attribution. Also, websites such as Wikipedia, ask.com, about.com, facebook, etc. are not acceptable academic references and you will lose points for citing them. Articles must be from reputable sources such as major newspapers (e.g., New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg.com), major magazines
(e.g., TIME, The Economist, etc.), or academic journals. Other sources that are acceptable are Sports
Illustrated, ESPN.com, Vanity Fair, CNN.com, major broadcast news sites such as from ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS, etc. Though they have had some difficulties lately, Rolling Stone has been a good source of information on the financial crisis and subsequent follow-‐up (or lack thereof) by the federal government. In some cases, it is the author of the article that makes the difference between whether the information is reliable or reputable.
You need to be able to identify and differentiate good information from poor information on the
Internet. Generally blogs are not viewed as reputable sources of information. There are however some blogs that are very reputable, e.g., Nate Silver’s https://fivethirtyeight.com/ blog focuses on statistical analysis of election polls, sports, and other issues. Other places to look for reputable blogs can be University websites (in the U.S. they use .edu). For example, Harvard’s School of Public Health has a fabulous blog where their researchers and professors write articles about their research (in language the average person can understand).
In addition to being cautious about relying on blogs for information, readers must also be acutely aware that many sites are now blending news content with advertising content. Such information is being called “sponsored content” or “native advertising”. Such content is generally, and very intentionally, written in the same style as the actual “news” content on the site – but it is advertising and not unbiased news.
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