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As we learned in class, ethics involves systematizing, defending and recommending right and wrong behavior based on a set of principles. Communication ethics extends this discussion specifically by providing a set of principles one can use to improve ethical speaking and listening situations.   To answer this thought question please begin by:

1) Review the National Communication Association’s (NCA), Credo for Ethical Communication.  Attached below is a pdf of the CREDO .

2) For this week’s question, identify 2 communication experiences that happened to you in 2 separate paragraphs. One should be a communication experience that depicts ethical communication and the other should be a communication experience that depicts unethical communication.

3) In each of your paragraphs write an analysis that (a) Explains the type of ethical/unethical communication situation you experienced and (b) Why do you think the “communication” actions were ethical or unethical based on the credo.   Use at least one of the principles from NCA’s Credo on Ethical Communication to support your stance that a given communication action was ethical or unethical.

NCA Credo for Ethical Communication
(approved by the NCA Legislative Council, November 1999)
Questions of right and wrong arise whenever people communicate. Ethical communication is
fundamental to responsible thinking, decision making, and the development of relationships and
communities within and across contexts, cultures, channels, and media. Moreover, ethical
communication enhances human worth and dignity by fostering truthfulness, fairness,
responsibility, personal integrity, and respect for self and others. We believe that unethical
communication threatens the quality of all communication and consequently the well-being of
individuals and the society in which we live. Therefore we, the members of the National
Communication Association, endorse and are committed to practicing the following principles of
ethical communication:
We advocate truthfulness, accuracy, honesty, and reason as essential to the integrity of
We endorse freedom of expression, diversity of perspective, and tolerance of dissent to achieve
the informed and responsible decision making fundamental to a civil society.
We strive to understand and respect other communicators before evaluating and responding to
their messages.
We promote access to communication resources and opportunities as necessary to fulfill human
potential and contribute to the well-being of families, communities, and society.
We promote communication climates of caring and mutual understanding that respect the
unique needs and characteristics of individual communicators.
We condemn communication that degrades individuals and humanity through distortion,
intimidation, coercion, and violence, and through the expression of intolerance and hatred.
We are committed to the courageous expression of personal convictions in pursuit of fairness
and justice.
We advocate sharing information, opinions, and feelings when facing significant choices while
also respecting privacy and confidentiality.
We accept responsibility for the short- and long-term consequences for our own communication
and expect the same of others.

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