The publishing industry is facing a digital dilemma. In a world where it’s possible to make content available electronically at a fraction of the cost of printing hard copies, publishers are struggling with how to balance wide access to their content with the bottom line.
“It’s a moral balancing act,” said Richard Brown, director of Georgetown University Press and president of the American Association of University Professors. “Do we provide material to a lot of people or do we keep our employees in jobs?”
Mr. Brown was speaking at the fourth annual Ethics and Publishing Conference, presented on July 11 by GW’s Master of Professional Studies in Publishing program and the College of Professional Studies. The conference posed questions about the ethical issues publishers must consider as their field reaches a crossroads, spurred by the digital innovations of the last decade.
Arnie Grossblatt, a GW associate professor in the College of Professional Studies and director of the publishing program, said the conference serves dual purposes: providing ethics training for GW publishing students, and offering professional development and continuing education for members of the publishing community. Of about 90 attendees to the free conference, two-thirds were publishing professionals while one-third was students from the CPS program, participating as part of their class’s capstone project.
“There are a lot of forums for discussing ethics in journalism, but there’s no other venue that we’re aware of for talking about ethics in publishing,” Dr. Grossblatt said. “We’re unique in talking about editorial policy, implications for copyright on education and culture, preservation of content and books for the poor. We touch on a lot of things.”
Source: George Washington Today