October 17, 2015
Question 1: What kind of ethical duties does a strategic communications professional or a web designer have? Where do these duties come from?
Question 2: Are there some ethical values that you believe are relative to one’s own culture, religion or personal opinion? Are there some that are universal? What makes them different?
Question 3: Having watched the lecture and completed the ethical style quiz, which philosophical ethical style seems the most practical? Or would a hybrid of the styles best describe a practical ethical style?
Q1. As strategic communications professionals, we are tasked with providing fair, accurate information on all of our channels, but especially digital. We are responsible for ensuring that the “speed-to-market” with the ease of online and social channels doesn’t impede or diminish the quality, value or integrity of the message we’re communicating. Ethically, this forces us to be aware of the tone, nature, substance, in addition to the subject and sense our messages convey. Our audiences and publics are relying on baseline facts and information that force us to ensure we are factually accurate, unbiased (where appropriate), and that we are transparent in our dissemination of our messages. These duties largely come from the organizational source of our communication, whether it be our employer, our volunteering organization, or our own personal belief systems.
Q2. I absolutely believe that a person’s ethical values are derived from the experiences and information obtained within an individual’s culture, religion and interactions within society. While potentially the argument of “nature vs. nurture,” it is what we are taught and experience that can have the largest impact on who we are as individuals, and therefore, how we act, behave, interact, and the choices we make overall. That isn’t to say that good or bad ethics are unalterable and unchangeable, but that the knowledge and information – which can be based on previous experiences with ethical decisions or dilemmas – shape the beliefs and next opportunities within an ethical situation. Additionally, while I believe some ethics are, or should be universal, does universality come with it that EVERYONE has universally accepted it, or that should everyone accept? I think of the ethical right to human life and the debates that shape around it. If life is valued differently in another culture or country, does that make it any less so universal, assuming you believed in its universality to start? I wouldn’t argue that personal ethics are mutually exclusive of universal ethics, or that they are all the same, but there are within each culture and individual within a culture, possibilities for overlap and disjoining beliefs between the two.
Q3. The quiz defines a user as either ethics of justice or ethics of care. Personally, I landing 6-3 on the scale of justice, which didn’t surprise me, but perhaps made me think I was a bit low in this category. I tend to make most of my decisions on fact, justice and my understanding of what is right and wrong. That isn’t to say that I think one is better than the other, and as the article associated with the quiz indicates, they both have a place within our society and groups of individuals. I believe both styles can provide a perspective on a situation that allows for increased dialogue on a subject or scenario. While facts and data can provide an emotionless or potentially valueless approach to a situation, it’s the what I would perceive as “personal” side to a situation, potentially based on emotions, religious or cultural beliefs that can provide a greater context to the conversation that data or facts may omit.
Communications, Ethics, MMC6213, Strategic Communications,