Somewhere, sitting in a theoretical grey area, lies the next tradition we’re going to look at. The ethical tradition deals with how people interact with others in just and beneficial ways.
Sounds like it’s legitimate, right? So why would it be excluded from our little list? Why, oh why did they make the ethical tradition into that red gummy bear?
No? Too much? Okay…moving on awkwardly…
The ethical tradition is very often disregarded by scholars because they believe its regulations should apply across the board of theory. The mere fact that it stands in the middle ground of and floats between scientific and humanistic theory means those scholars might actually be onto something.
But we, my dear friends, will include the ethical tradition in our discussion because some traditions have their own stipulations about how to be ethical communicators…and because all gummy bears should be treated with an equal amount of love and respect!
Still no? Okay, I’ll stop now.
The National Communication Association devised a ‘Credo for Communication Ethics’. Basically the NCA’s aim is to promote communication as this multifaceted discipline and to find explanations for all the forms, modes, media and consequences of communication via observative, interpretive and aesthetic inquiry.
They ask a bunch of educated questions about every little part of the communication process. And trust me, there are a lot of parts.
We’re particularly interested in that part of their mission statement where they say “fostering of free and ethical communication”. It says a whole lot of other important stuff too, but we’re really just looking at the ethics.
I haven’t forgotten about that Credo by the way.
There are 3 basic principles:
- Communication should be true, accurate, honest and for a reason. So please tell your mother if you ate her chocolate bar because it will be better than blaming it on your dad and her finding out you lied. The truth shall set you free. #BeEthical
- Communicators should accept full responsibility for any short-term or long-term consequences of communication. So accept that she’ll be mad that you ate her chocolate bar at first, but she’ll be happy you told her the truth. Not saying she won’t miss that Cadbury milk chocolate bar, but still..
- Communicators should strive to understand and respect the views of others before evaluating and responding to messages. So please listen to mother dearest about why you shouldn’t have eaten the chocolate before you come up with some excuse as to why you think you were entitled to it in the first place.
And that’s it. Simple wasn’t it?
Cyndi, the Traditionalist
(who believes no one should hate on my red gummy bear)