Ethical principles and compromises in communication concerning the new generation of journalists, PR professionals and public officials — a scholar’s remarks
In the article the author examines the problem of moral choices made by people faced with a dilemma between effectiveness and ethical principles. Drawing on his own he looks for the actual and dominant motivations behind public relations actions of people who are now studying communication and in the future will work as public officials, journalists and PR specialists. The hypothesis that in morally equivocal situations choice is based on effectiveness in achieving one’s goal and not on codes of ethics has been confirmed. At the same time the subjects continue to think highly of their own ethics. The author also presents the results of a survey dealing with situations that constitute acceptable justifi cation of violation of professional ethics in public relations and journalism. The respondents were 389 students from 7 Polish universities studying public communication, i.e. the problem concerns the future and the ethical standards we may have to deal with in public life over the next few years, when these individuals will begin to follow their decisions in practice in their chosen professions.