Chapter Three

Ethics and Free Speech

 

Ethics are the beliefs, values, and moral principals which we determine what is right and wrong.

 

·        Refusing to cheat on exams

·        Not calling in sick when healthy

·        The property owner who does not overstate property damage

 

These are all examples of ethical choices.

 

Ethical choice and considerations also affect public speaking.

 

We have a twin  heritage

 

THAT GUARANTEES FREEDOM OF SPEECH

AND THE PROTECTION OF FREE SPEECH BY LAW

 

EXAMPLE: KEGSTRA TRAIL

 

The priviledge of free speech, however, carries with it the responsibility of ethical speaking.

 

EXAMPLE: ACADEMIC FREEDOM

 

·        Your speech goal, arguments, and evidence must take into account morals, values, and beliefs of your audience.

·        Ethical public speaking is audience-centered speaking.

 

Unfortunately for ethical public speaking, ethics are not hard and fast objective rules.

 

·        What about propagating hate, racist, agiest or sexist remarks?

 

Ethcial decisions are affected by individual values, cultural norms, and religious beliefs, preventing univeral principals for those decisions.

 

History of free speech in Canada and the laws governing freedom of speech in Canada.

 

Examples:

 

Restricting obsenity on the Internet?

Demontrating during the G-8 Summitt.

 

1.    Socially irresponsible speech includes brainwashing, as in Adolph Hitler’s speeches, inciting German people to genocide.

 

2.    Chinese speeches exhorting Chinese citizens to reveal the whereabouts of student leaders of the 1989 uprising in Tiananmen Square.

 

Socially responsible, ethical speakers use critical thinking skills(analysis and evaluation) to formulate arguments and draw their conclusions.

 

Sensitivity and tolerance is increasingly labelled as ACOMODATION.

 

Sensitivity and tolerance, or accommodation suggests avoidance of language that might be interpreted as biased or offensive.

 

Ethical speakers must be honest.

 

EXAMPLE: PRESIDENT CLINTON’S 1998 troubles stemmed from using false and misleading statements, as with his denial of having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.

 

A most serious aspect of ethical speaking is the avoidance of plagiarism, which warrants a separate treatment.

 

Plagiarism is typically and properly defined as: presenting the words and ideas of others without crediting them (to their proper authors).

 

 

Most academic institutions impose stiff penalties on students who plagiarize. At the University of Calgary, this falls under Academic Misconduct.

 

Avoid plagiarizing others by:

 

1.    Doing your own work.

2.    Avoiding turning someone else’s speech into your own.

3.    Acknowedge your sources

4.    Credit direct quotations, statistics, non-original visual materials.

5.    Credit opinions and assertions of others, even if you paraphrase rather than quote directly.

6.    In speaking, make sure the audience hears the crdits.

7.    Be sensitive to and tolerant of speakers whose messages and deliveries reflect differtent ethnicities and cultures.

 

Listen critically.

 

·       Is the speaker presenting both sides?

·       Is the speaker disclosing the available information.

·       If the sepaker’s message troubled you, check afterward for possible misunderstanding, or confer with others, and seek a forum for expressing your dissent.

·       Do not yourself resort to unethical messages and tactics while seeking to express your opions and beliefs about others’ messages.

 

 

CLASS ACTIVITY: A CONSENTUAL LIST OF UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR AND A GUIDELINE OF WHAT SHALL NOT BE DONE DURING THE TERM FOR COMS 361.

 

http://www.nsahouston.org

 

CLASS ACTIVITY: REVIEW U OF C PLAGIARISM SECTION.

 

 

 

 

 

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SOURCES:

 

Beebe, Steven., and Beebe, Susan. (2003). Public Speaking. “An Audience-Centered Approach. Fifth Edition. Pearson Education Inc. Boston, Mass.

 

Villagran, Morris; Wise, Charles and Ivy, Diana. (2003). Public Speaking. “An Audience Centered Approach”. Instructor’s Resource Manual for Beebe annd Beebe. Pearson Education Inc. Boston, Mass.

 

Zeuschner, Raymond. (1997). Communicating Today. Allyn and Bacon. Needham Heights, Massachusetts.