• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The discipline of communication has grown in popularity from the time professors of journalism and speech decided, in the mid-1960s, that the term “communication” was an excellent general descriptor for the theory and research that each group aspired to create.  Over time, the two groups grew closer and recognized significant overlap in their theoretical and research interests, but there were also differences in their traditions that kept them apart.  While both groups agreed that communication is a practical discipline, journalism professors focused a great deal of their attention on the education of media professionals.  Speech professors, on the other hand, often were more oriented to the liberal arts and valued the fact that communication could be approached from a variety of traditions, including the arts, ...

Ethical and Unethical Communication
Ethical and unethical communication

This chapter explores the relationship of communication to ethics. Introductions to general guidelines for ethical communication, related dialogic virtues and skills, and additional tools for recognizing and addressing ethical issues are included. The principles, guidelines, and tools outlined below reflect insights from numerous disciplines and are applicable within and across diverse 21st-century contexts.

Communication—the use of available resources to convey information, to move, to inspire, to persuade, to enlighten, to connect—is an inherently ethical undertaking. Regardless of context, communication involves choice, reflects values, and has consequences. These three key elements of communication form the basis of its ethical makeup.

Ethics is the study of values, of what is more or less important, of the “good,” of behavioral guidelines and norms. ...

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