Students learn the ethics of cell phone snapshots

Stephen Vujevich, a 21-year-old senior, said he hopes the class will teach him how to be a responsible citizen journalist — by capturing and disseminating images from newsworthy moments — “instead of being the awkward onlooker.”

“Society is rapid … it’s viral,” said Vujevich, of New Kensington, Pa. “When something happens, people want to know about it.”

About 20 students enrolled in the course this semester, the first time it has been offered. The university plans to offer again it next spring, though Martin said they may begin requiring smart phones.

About a third of the current class has older, less sophisticated phones that are unable to eMail pictures or download photo editing apps; some cannot take horizontal photos, Martin said.

Flannery and Martin plan to exhibit the students’ cell phone photos at a campus art show in April.

Immaculata is a private Catholic university that serves about 1,000 full-time undergraduate students in Malvern, Pa., about 20 miles west of Philadelphia.

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