Political Communication Ethics

An Oxymoron?

by Robert E. Denton, Jr., ed.


Analyzes ethical dimensions of contemporary political campaigning and governing.

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Cover image for Political Communication Ethics

May 2000


Pages 288
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/General
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This essay collection examines ethical concerns related to the traditional areas of political communication, including campaigns, media, discourse, and advertising, as well as new technologies, including the Internet. In total, the collection provides one of the few volumes to examine political ethics from an academic perspective rather than from a moralistic or rule orientation.

Bruce Gronbeck provides an assessment of presidential campaigns, arguing that ethical judgments of citizens are based on candidates' actions and motives, character, and competence. Ronald Lee explores the ethics of campaign discourse, and he charts the relationship between presidential candidates' projection of civic virtue and the political arrangements that dictate the course of the campaign itself. Steven Goldzwig and Patricia Sullivan examine what happens to discourse when the divide between the haves and have-nots translates into a local community disconnected from virtual politics. The nature, types, and impact of the growing use of hate speech in contemporary politics is explored by Rita Whillock, while Robert Denton investigates television as an instrument of governing and its impact on the nature of democracy. Gary Woodward looks at the ethics of political journalism, and Lynda Lee Kaid analyzes the ethical issues raised by political advertising in all forms. Clifford Jones looks at the impact of campaign finance rules on campaign communication strategy; Gary Selnow explores the ethics of politics on the Internet; and Robert Denton concludes by examining the relationship between constitutional authority and public morality. An important text for students as well as scholars investigating contemporary American politics.

Table of Contents

Series ForewordPrefaceThe Ethical Performances of Candidates in American Presidential Campaign Dramas by Bruce E. GronbeckImages, Issues, and Political Structure: A Framework for Judging the Ethics of Campaign Discourse by Ronald LeeElectronic Democracy, Virtual Politics, and Local Communities by Steven R. Goldzwig and Patricia SullivanEthical Considerations of Civil Discourse: The Implications of the Rise of "Hate Speech" by Rita Kirk WhillockDangers of "Teledemocracy": How the Medium of Television Undermines American Democracy by Robert E. Denton, Jr.Narrative Form and the Deceptions of Modern Journalism by Gary C. WoodwardEthics and Political Advertising by Lynda Lee KaidSoft Money and Hard Choices: The Influence of Campaign Finance Rules on Campaign Communication Strategy by Clifford A. JonesInternet Ethics by Gary W. SelnowEpilogue: Constitutional Authority, Public Morality and Politics by Robert E. Denton, Jr.BibliographyIndex



This book is accessible enough for undergraduate students and the general public, yet has enough substance for more senior scholars. Anyone still using Denton's earlier text in class will appreciate the freshness of this book.—Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

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Talk of Power, Power of Talk cover imageWith Malice Toward All? cover imageMaking Pictures in Our Heads cover image
Communication in the Presidential Primaries cover imageLosing Our Democratic Spirit cover imageSeeing Spots cover image

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