CFP: ‘Teaching Ethics: Why Bother?’ Conference

ethicsEthics is now well established as a compulsory subject in the many communication studies degrees (journalism, public relations, media production, etc). Yet while universities might encourage ethical working routines in their students, very often when the student arrives in the workplace they find they have very little influence on the overall operation. Communication organisations tend to be hierarchically structured with power tending to be held by a small group of executives (often male) at the top. Why then bother with ethics at universities?

The conference aims to provide a space for timely reflection on some of the many issues confronting teachers of ethics in universities. Topics might then include:

  • Highlighting innovative ways of teaching ethics
  • A critique of the major textbooks in the field
  • What examples of ‘good’ practice are used?
  • Critiquing professionalism: the pros and cons of industry codes
  • What place has the political economy critique in ethical debate?
  • Best practice: Promoting inclusivity and challenging discrimination
  • The ‘guest speaker from the industry’ syndrome: Pros and cons
  • Using Facebook, Twitter as teaching aids: The ethical issues
  • The dangers of anglo-centrism: Promoting the international perspective
  • Post-Edward Snowden revelations: Transforming the privacy/confidentiality debate
  • Beyond the free press myth: Ethics and the Secret State
  • How important is it to cover the classics (Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Bentham, Mill, MacIntyre, Rawls etc)?
  • Considering women war reporters: Beyond male stereotypes

These possible issues – and more – will be of interest to those teaching in a range of disciplines: media ethics, journalism, public relations, political communication, media sociology, surveillance studies.

Please send 200-word abstracts to Dr Fiona Thompson ( <>) by 1 July 2016.

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