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This paper presents a novel content-aware joint media error and authentication protection scheme based on error correcting coding (ECC). The innovation of the proposed scheme lies in the true joint design of error protection and authentication verification. This is fundamentally different from many existing schemes in which they consider media authentication separately from other media processing components such as error protection in media communication systems. By making use of the channel information and integrating the authentication with error protection necessary in contemporary media communication systems, we are able to achieve 100% complete verification with low authentication overhead. With such integration, the end-to-end media quality and media security guarantee can be obtained. Based on this joint error and authentication protection framework, an optimal rate allocation algorithm under certain source and channel models is also developed. Simulations based on JPEG 2000 images have been carried out to validate the proposed scheme and the simulation results show that the proposed approach is indeed able to achieve simultaneous error and authentication protection for JPEG 2000 images.