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ERIC Number: ED314774
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
An Analysis of Ethical Issues in Governmental Communication.
Turner, John R.
A research review examined the ethical responsibilities of a communicator in contemporary American society, particularly in governmental communication. Various scholars have suggested standards of ethical governmental communication and have questioned the ethics of governmental officials in several cases. Ethical analysis of President Ronald Reagan's rhetoric by Green and MacColl (1983), for example, shows a speaker considered "negligent or reckless" with the truth. Presidents Ford and Nixon's discourse has also received attention from communication ethics scholars. Scholars have identified several criteria of ethical governmental communication. Among these criteria are avoidance of the following: misrepresentation in the use of evidence and in the assertion of expertise; deception in the statement of governmental purpose; misuse of the practice of classifying documents; and criticism of the press to assure that governmental acts are viewed only in favorable terms. The philosopher Sissela Bok's view is that a governmental practice of telling minor lies in times of crisis can expand into what Bok calls "vast practices where the harm to be averted is less obvious." Another scholar suggests that to fail to keep abreast of public issues or to accept unacceptable answers from officials is to abdicate the responsibilities of citizenship. (Seventeen references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A