Media Ethics in the Era of Clickbait Journalism: Ethical Dilemmas and Solutions in Online Media


  • Habib ur Rahman M.Phil. Scholar, Department of Journalism, AIOU, Islamabad, Pakistan.



Media Ethics, Clickbait Journalism, Ethical Dilemmas, Online Media


This article explores the complex terrain of media ethics in the context of modern clickbait journalism. It examines the pervasive ethical dilemmas arising from the widespread adoption of sensational and misleading content to maximize online engagement and revenue. Drawing upon a multidisciplinary approach, this research elucidates the impact of clickbait on traditional journalistic values such as accuracy, objectivity, transparency, and public interest. Furthermore, it highlights the ethical quandaries faced by media professionals, the potential erosion of public trust in media, and the broader societal consequences. In addition to elucidating the ethical dilemmas posed by clickbait journalism, this article proposes viable solutions and strategies to mitigate its adverse effects. Exploring the role of media literacy, technological tools, and evolving ethical frameworks it offers a comprehensive perspective on how the media industry can navigate the ethical challenges of the digital age while upholding the principles of responsible journalism. This research contributes to the ongoing scholarly discourse surrounding media ethics, providing insights and guidance for media practitioners, scholars, and policymakers seeking to promote integrity and credibility in online media.


Api, S. (2023, July 13). How does social media influence journalism? SocialStar.

Baranova, E. A., Anikeeva, I. G., Shiryaeva, O. V., Caselles, C. G., & Shnaider, A. A. (2022). Ethical principles of journalism communication: Media convergence as a transforming factor. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 12(4), e202245.

Bazaco, A., Redondo, M., & Sánchez-García, P. (2019). Clickbait as a strategy of viral journalism: Conceptualisation and methods.

Chew, M. (2021). From clickbait to independent journalism? Media startups are new entrants in the journalistic field.

Ciboci, L., & Labaš, D. (2019). Digital media literacy, school, and contemporary parenting. Medijske studije, 10(19), 83-101.

Ferré, J. P. (2008). A short history of media ethics in the United States. In The Handbook of Mass Media Ethics (pp. 29-41). Routledge.

Harte, D. (2021). Clickbait and banal news. In The Routledge Companion to Journalism Ethics (pp. 346-353). Routledge.

Hurst, N. (2016). To clickbait or not to clickbait?: an examination of clickbait headline effects on source credibility (Doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri--Columbia).

Jung, A., Stieglitz, S., Kißmer, T., Mirbabaie, M., & Kroll, T. (2022). Click me. . .! The influence of clickbait on user engagement in social media and the role of digital nudging. PLOS ONE, 17(6), e0266743.


Lider, R. K., & Riyanti, E. D. (2021). Clickbait in the perspective of journalistic code of ethics: A study on al-Mawarid Jurnal Syariah dan Hukum (JSYH), 3(1), 48-58.

Lischka, J. A., & Garz, M. (2021). Clickbait news and algorithmic curation: A game theory framework of the relation between journalism, users, and platforms. New Media & Society, 25(8), 2073-2094.

Simmons, T. (2019). Media literacy and fake news. Journalism and Ethics, 163-176.




How to Cite

Rahman, H. ur. (2023). Media Ethics in the Era of Clickbait Journalism: Ethical Dilemmas and Solutions in Online Media. Journal of Social Sciences Review, 3(4), 11–20.