ERIC Number: ED220834
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
The Fear of Lying: Examining a Source of Bias for PR Students in an Ethics Course.
Cline, Carolyn; Motes, Susan
A 1981 survey of public relations teachers revealed two primary ethical concerns of their students: relationships with employers or clients and deliberate distortion of information. A study analyzed nine textbooks and three books of selected readings to determine the extent to which they exposed students to the concept of the public relations "flack" as a purveyor of "half-truths." Results indicated the majority of the texts presented highly ambiguous views of the relationship of public relations to advertising, the history and development of persuasive communication, and the nature of public relations in general. Some of the major problems were in the description of public relations and of how public relations operates. Only four of the texts dealt with the functions and duties of the public relations practitioner. For the others, public relations was either a shrouded activity or the mere generation of publicity. Only two texts mentioned the public relations professional organization and correctly identified the concept of accreditation. Public relations trends are identified as increased professionalism and increased reliance upon modern research and communication tools. The issues centered on ethics and the reputation of public relations practitioners. Most of the books presented public relations as a prostitute profession. Students are shown the public relations practitioner as a posturing flack deceiving, pushing, and employing techniques that run the gamut from handouts to junkets, from press conferences to bribes, with one ultimate goal: to control the content of the media. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).