What are shaping the ethical bottom line? Identifying factors influencing young readers' acceptance of digital news photo alteration

Qingjiang Yao, David D. Perlmutter, Josie Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


While most research on digital ethics has focused on professional codes or case studies in manipulation, there has been little formal research on what the readers thinks about what is and what is not visually ethical in a digital age. This study examines what affect young readers' acceptance or rejection of digital alteration of news images. The major finding is that the perceived prevalence of photo alteration, media credibility, and personal Photoshop use and knowledge are the major influencers of "non-professional" standards of acceptance of photo alteration. The study implies the necessity of intervention from scholars, media professionals, and ethical activists to discuss photo alteration and advocate ethical standards for it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalTelematics and Informatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Digital ethics
  • News photo alteration
  • Perceived alteration prevalence
  • Readers' "Qualified Expectation of Reality"

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