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TitleEthics in communication: introductory note
Author(s)Fidalgo, Joaquim
Christofoletti, Rogério
Issue date2014
PublisherUniversidade do Minho. Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Sociedade (CECS)
JournalComunicação e sociedade
Abstract(s)[Excerpt] The new media landscape has brought to public debate a set of new concerns and challenges, regarding the problems of ethics in communication. It is rather clear that ethical issues associated to communication have always provoked strong public controversies, but they didn’t necessarily become very present in the research agendas of academic and scientific institutions. Often associated to simple moralistic perspectives, or just reduced to a set of common-sense assertions about good or bad social behavior, the ethical dimension of public communication has not always been adequately valued as a rational, conscious and critical process of choices based on principles committed with truth, trust and the human dignity. In spite of this, more and more voices have come to stress the importance of an ethical commitment regarding all the actors involved in public communication; at the same time, they point precisely to the lack of ethics as one of the most worrisome signs of a communicative activity that often disrespects the basic requirements of a healthy social life. This means that the subject of ethics remains highly topical and relevant in the field of the communication studies, calling for more and more research that may help us to better understand and improve the communicative processes in complex societies like those we live in nowadays. Moreover, the technological developments of the digital age, and particularly the dissemination of Internet and its multiple opportunities for on-line communication, brought new problems and new challenges to the media environment, either in what concerns the professional context of some specific sectors (journalism, advertising, public relations, multimedia production), or in what regards the citizens in general, who presently have (or may have) in the public sphere a voice they hadn’t in the past. More and more, ethics isn’t anything that only matters to professionals or to mainstream organizations of communication and the media; instead, it also affects and involves the audience, which is becoming more and more an active participant and a co-author of the communicative process in the public sphere. Furthermore, ethics is now (and will be more in the future) a decisive element to distinguish between what is acceptable and what is not, between what is right and what is wrong, between what actually respects the human dignity of all people and what doesn’t. [...]
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CECS - Artigos em revistas nacionais / Articles in national journals

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