This unique study is the first to focus specifically on political communication ethics. Denton has brought together a group of works that address ethical concerns related to political communication, including political culture, campaigns, media, advertising, ghostwriting, discourse, politicians, and new technologies. All of the contributors raise a number of salient questions and discuss various methods, criteria, and issues for exploring and addressing ethical concerns.
These ten chapters cover a range of topics that include the ethics of popular culture, political advocacy, ethics and morality in American presidential campaigns, virtue and character, the role of television in modern politics, the ethical implications of ghostwriting, polls and computer technology, and narrative form in political news. The central theme that emerges from these varied contributions is that we cannot depend on politicians, their handlers, or the media to correct real or perceived problems of ethics in American politics and that the greatest threat to democracy is neglect of the public forum. In analyzing the weak ethical links in the American political process, the authors call for a return to civic culture based on communication and persuasion, active citizen participation, and a high level of information. This work will be an important new resource for courses in political and mass communication, political ethics, and political science, as well as for students of sociology and American studies.
About the Author
ROBERT E. DENTON, JR. is Head of the Department of Communication Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is also the series editor of the Praeger Series in Political Communication, the author of The Primetime Presidency of Ronald Reagan (Praeger, 1988), and co-author of Presidential Communication, with Dan Hahn, (Praeger, 1986), and Political Communication in America, with Gary Woodward, (Praeger, 1990), now in its second edition.
Table of Contents
Series Foreword by Robert E. Denton, Jr.
Political Communication Ethics: An Oxymoron? by Robert E. Denton, Jr.
The Ethic of Popular Culture by Marshall W. Fishwick
Ethical Dimensions of Political Advocacy from a Postmodern Perspective by Martha Cooper
Ethical Pivots and Moral Vantages in American Presidential Campaign Dramas by Bruce E. Gronbeck
Virtue Ethics, Character, and Political Communication by Richard L. Johannesen
Primetime Politics: The Ethics of Teledemocracy by Robert E. Denton, Jr.
Ghostwriting: Two Famous Ghosts Speak on Its Nature and Its Ethical Implications by Lois Einhorn
Ethical Dimensions of Political Advertising by Lynda Lee Kaid
Polls and Computer Technologies: Ethical Considerations by Gary W. Selnow
Political News: Narrative Form and the Ethics of Denial by Gary C. Woodward