Patrick Lee Plaisance joined Colorado State University in 2002. He worked as a journalist at numerous American newspapers for nearly 15 years in Virginia, New Jersey, California and Florida, and received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University. His research focuses on media ethics theory, moral psychology, journalism values and media sociology. He is author of Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice (SAGE, 2009; 2nd ed. 2014) and Virtue in Media: The Moral Psychology of Excellence in News & Public Relations (Routledge, 2014). He is editing the forthcoming volume, Handbook of Communication Ethics (DeGruyter, 2017). He was named Editor of the Journal of Media Ethics for the 2014-2019 term. He also has published several book chapters and more than a dozen articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of CommunicationCommunication Theory, Communication Research, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly and Journalism Studies. He teaches media ethics, reporting and communication theory. He writes a blog for Psychology Today magazine on issues of media ethics and moral psychology.

Select Publications:

Plaisance, P.L. (2016). Media Ethics Theorizing, Re-oriented: A Shift in Focus for Individual-Level Analyses. Journal of Communication 66 (3), 454-474.

Plaisance, P.L. (2014). Virtue in Media: The Moral Psychology of Excellence in News & Public Relations. New York: Routledge.

Plaisance, P.L. (2014). Media Ethics: Key Principles for Responsible Practice (2nd Ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.

Plaisance, P.L.(2104). Virtue in media: The moral psychology of U.S. exemplars in news and public relations.Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 91 (2), 308-325.

Plaisance, P.L., Skewes, A.E., & Hanitzsch, T. (2012). Ethical orientations of journalists around the globe: Implications from a cross-national survey. Communication Research 39(5), 641-661.

Plaisance, P.L., & Deppa, J.A. (2009). Perceptions and manifestations of autonomy, transparency and harm among U.S. newspaper journalists. Journalism & Communication Monographs 10 (4), pp. 327-386.

Plaisance, P.L. (2007). Transparency: An assessment of the Kantian roots of a key element in media ethics practice. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 22 (2-3): 187-207.

Plaisance, P.L. (2005). The mass media as discursive network: Building on the implications of libertarian and communitarian claims for news media ethics theory. Communication Theory 15 (4): 292-313.

Plaisance, P.L. (2005). The Propaganda War on Terrorism: An Analysis of the United States Shared Values Public-Diplomacy Campaign after Sept. 11, 2001, Journal of Mass Media Ethics 20 (4): 250-268.

Plaisance, P.L. (2005). A gang of pecksniffs grows up: The evolution of journalism ethics discourse in The Journalist and Editor and Publisher, Journalism Studies 6 (4): 479-491.

Plaisance, P.L., & E.A. Skewes. (2003). Personal and professional dimensions of news work: Exploring the link between journalists values and roles. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 80 (4): 833-848.

Plaisance, P.L. (2000). The concept of media accountability reconsidered. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 15 (4), 257-268.


  • Media Ethics & Issues (JTC 411)

  • Reporting (JTC 320)

  • Processes & Effects of Communication (JTC 501)

  • Communication Ethics & Media Technology (JTC 793)