Journalism 4470- Blog 8
Ethics and My Career
The best thing I have learned all semester is that the application of ethics is practical. If understood, ethical models can be applied to one’s career and every day life.
I plan on assessing my decisions using the various ethical models surveyed in Journalism 4470. Instead of making decisions strictly based upon intuition, I will make an effort to back up my professional decisions with reputable information. Bosses tend to like informed decisions better than others.
I particularly like the Potter Box method of decision making. It identifies stakeholders, allows the decision maker to list all facts in an unbiased manner while listing applicable ethical theories. Every thing is put on paper.
In Public Relations, there are big and small decisions to be made each day. Clients may ask me to carry out certain activities that I may not agree with at first glance. With the decision making processes I have learned, I am now able to sit down and pick through the situation.
Instead of giving the client a negative answer, I may be able to come up with a more ethical plan and still meet objectives. It is possible the client may not have known the task they asked me to complete was unethical or may not have been aware of alternate methods to reach their desired outcome.
Working for a company requires me to be able to think about not only my interests and morals but the company’s also. Ethical models taught in Journalism 4470 have definitely changed my outlook on decision making. I am now fully equipped with the knowledge I need to make professional informed decisions I can defend.
Ethics and the Decision Making Process
Before taking Journalism 4470, I did not realize that ethical decision making was a step-by-step process. I always thought decision making only consisted of thoughts about a situation and assessing those thoughts using religious values, past experiences etc. Eventually, I learned that ethical decision making can take on many different forms depending on what a person believes and deems most important.
General review of different ethical models put everything into perspective. The realization that some organizations make means-based decision rather than ends-based decisions allowed me to better understand why certain decisions are made versus others. Many people probably wouldn’t be so quick to judge a decision if they knew all aspects of the decision making process.
Another “wow” moment for me, was realizing how much my decision making process was similar to various ethical models. For instance, based upon my religious beliefs, most of my decisions are communitarian or means- based but they do take into account the outcome (ends-based). Generally, my process can not be exclusively classified as one or the other.
I admit, I thought the class was pointless at the beginning of the semester. I did not see the purpose of teaching adults how to make decisions, when they have been making decisions most of their life. Soon, I realized the significance of teaching a decision making process. Using a process allows one to consider perspectives and stakeholders they may have otherwise disregarded. The process itself is a good way to validate and defend one’s decisions. Employers are most likely to support a well-informed /thought out decision rather than one solely based on intuition. I plan to apply what I have learned to my career decisions as well as my daily life.
Sharon Angell: Controversial Immigration Advertising
Picture it. A political candidate desires a seat in the U.S. Senate. Instead of appealing to the fastest growing people group in America, the candidate decides to release offensive ads about them. Is this a good idea?
Many would describe the latter action as plain stupid, but U.S. Senate candidate Sharon Angell felt this method was appropriate.
This year, Angell released anti-immigration advertisements depicting Latinos as terrorists. In the ad, brown skinned men crossed the border near a fence in tattered clothes on mischievous looks on t heir faces. The ad insinuated that illegal immigrants are responsible for American safety concerns and unemployment.
Angell’s ads coincide with the utilitarian approach where the ends justify the means. Obviously, she does not mind offending Latinos in order to get her party agenda across and win the election. However, Insensitivity toward diverse groups may come back to bite her in the butt, especially when the offended group is a political powerhouse.
Angell could have been more sensitive to Latinos with a communitarian approach, choosing to uses tact instead of extremes could have made popular in the court of public opinion. Her utilitarian approach may not only cost her the Latino vote, but the minority vote as well.
Tiger Woods’ PR Campaign
Tiger Woods released an apologetic essay in NewsWeek on November 22nd. In the essay, he apologized for his moral decline in the past couple of years. The question is: Was this really an apology or a plea for some positive publicity?
Some believe the essay didn’t help improve his image. They did not feel his apology was sincere and described it as a “failed PR move (bleacherreport.com).” Others may feel that since Tiger Woods’ press conference was inefficient, the essay was needed to improve his image. Either way, who can really blame the guy for trying?
The Tiger Woods’ case is a great example of what happens when PR is reactive instead of proactive. If he came clean before the press leaked his infidelity to the public, he may not have lost as many fans and endorsements at such a rapid pace. His refusal to address the allegations as soon as they hit the fan set him up for immediate destruction and mockery in the media.
Most of what Woods needs can be found in a competent PR team. With effective image building consultants and hard work, his reputation can be restored. It is definitely easier to repair the reputation of one who has changed than one who fakes an attitude change. If he is indeed a changed man, the PR team’s job will be easier.
Many celebrities have suffered from moral blunders and returned with a better image and reputation. If he is dedicated, he can get back on top. He is not the first celebrity to make a fool of himself and he definitely won’t be the last.
Kanye West Gets Coached
Though PR people are underrated and barely appreciated, there comes a time when even the elite really need us. Even celebrities like opinionated (to the point of being rude) Kanye West realize they may need to clean up their act in certain situations.
Many know Kanye because of his bold nature. From his willingness to jump on stage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to his bold comment about the president after Katrina, there is nothing he will not say or do to get his point across.
According to the New York Times, Kanye was scheduled to speak in response to Former President Bush’s interview on Monday night. In that interview Bush exclaimed that Kanye’s statement accusing him of not caring about black people was the most terrible moment of his presidency.
Kanye chose to consult Rubenstein Communications, Inc. to help him frame his answers in preparation for his “Today” show interview. I believe Kanye knew he needed to approach the situation delicately, and his natural nature doesn’t warrant him the ability to do so on his own. His decision to get a coach was a wise one, but …….guess what he did next.
Kanye’s team and media coach agreed to cancel the interview on Monday because they felt there was no reason for Kanye to address Bush’s comment. However, Kanye’s team recanted this decision and decided to go along with the interview Tuesday morning. His coach from Rubenstein had to rush to the studio to prep him.
Though his decision to get a coach was a good one, he did not follow through on his end of the bargain. A person like him should never do interviews without a substantial amount of coaching. Regardless of his efforts, his interview was extremely rocky and his snappy attitude shined through. More preparation could have made him more comfortable. One thing is for sure: it does not matter how much PR practitioners coach their clients for the media the client as to take responsibility for their own actions. Willingness to tone it down and be more eloquent in certain situations is the dividing factor when measuring preparation effectiveness.
Pedophilia and Amazon.com
The title caught you off guard didn’t it? Sadly, there is a link between these entities. The book entitled The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child Lover’s Code of Conduct, promotes the idea of making “pedophile situations safer (officialwire.com).”
Sadly, the book was sold on Amazon.com until Wednesday, November 10th. They can’t possibly think this kind of publicity will cause people to like them.
In fact, many people were and are still completely outraged. The FBI and other authorities complained. Customers cancelled their accounts and refused to buy another thing until the book was taken down.
At first, Amazon.com refused to stop selling the book. Their argument was that not selling the book condones “censorship” and would be a violation of the First Amendment.
Molestation is illegal guys. It’s okay for people to make their own decisions about what they want to purchase, but that does not mean Amazon has to make it easy for perverts to access “guidelines.”
The “First Amendment” mumbo jumbo can be summed up as a terrible excuse for Amazon to keep making money from the book sales. If they keep this behavior up, they will not have a company to make money from.
Americans are very aware of their rights, but most normal people would not condone anything involving the victimization of children.
Truth is, Amazon’s reluctance to pull the book will tarnish their reputation for years to come. Everyone will always remember their reaction. They will definitely have to do some customer butt-kissing to make up for this.
link for more information- http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2010/11/10/ac.amazon.pedophile.book.cnn