Stephen J. A. Ward, PhD

Media Ethicist, Distinguished Lecturer of Ethics

Stephen J. A. Ward, PhD

Stephen J. A. Ward is an internationally recognized media ethicist whose writings and projects have influenced the development of the field in theory and practice. He is an educator, consultant, keynote speaker and award-winning author. Ward has extensive experience in media both academically and professionally.

He resides in Fredericton, N.B., Canada Email:  [email protected]   

He is Honorary Fellow, School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Distinguished Lecturer of Ethics at the University of British Columbia, Courtesy Professor at the University of Oregon, and founding director of the Center for Journalism Ethics, University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2014, he served as interim director of the international Organization of News Ombudsmen.

Academically, he helped to create a school of journalism, founded a center for journalism ethics, and directed a center for multi-media journalism and communication. He has been a tenured professor at three major universities in Canada and the United States, and has 15 years of teaching at the graduate and undergraduate level.

Professionally, he is an ethics columnist for the US web site, Media Shift,, for the web site of the Center for Journalism Ethics,, for the Canadian portal, and for the Canadian magazine, Media. He also writes regularly for the journalism site About Journalism at

Ward is founding chair of the Ethics Committee of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and a co-author of the CAJ’s two codes of ethics. He continues to work as a consultant for journalism associations from the United States to Guatemala.

Ward was a reporter, war correspondent, and newsroom manager for 14 years. He covered conflicts in Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Northern Ireland. Ward then became the British Columbia bureau chief for The Canadian Press news agency in Vancouver.

His current research is on the future of media ethics in a global interactive world. Although media morals is his central concern, he acts as an expert in other areas of ethics. For the past two years, he served on a U.S. study of the ethics of emerging technologies with military applications, sponsored by the National Academies of Science. He appeared before the U.S. Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

Ward has been director of and professor in the George S. Turnbull Center at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication in Portland. He was the first James E. Burgess Professor of Journalism Ethics and founder of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is co-founder and former director of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. While at UBC, Ward founded the school’s science journalism initiative on the public communication of controversial science.

He is the author of the award-winning The Invention of Journalism Ethics: The Path to Objectivity and Beyond. In addition, he is the author of Ethics and the Media and Global Journalism Ethics. He is co-editor of Media Ethics Beyond Borders: A Global Perspective. His latest book is Global Media Ethics: Problems and Perspectives. His new book, Radical Media Ethics, will appear in early 2015.

Prof. Ward’s articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as Journalism Studies, Ecquid Novi: African Journalism StudiesHarvard International Journal of Press/Politics and the Journal of Mass Media Ethics. He serves on many editorial and advisory boards for ethics organizations and for journals on media ethics and science.

Ward has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Waterloo, Ontario.

email: [email protected]