A values; advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty,

A code of
ethics is defined as a set of rules about good and bad behavior (Code of
Ethics, 2017).  For this analysis, I
selected the Society of Professional Journalists and the Public Relations
Society of America.  Journalism has
always been a passion of mine, and understanding how people in public relations
balance the need to inform the public and what is in the best interest of their
client intrigued me.  Digital and
mediated communication involve technology and can be contrasted to face to face
communication.  The code of ethics for
the Society of Professional Journalists declares four principles as the foundation
for ethical journalism; seek truth and report it, minimize the harm, act
independently, and be accountable and transparent.  Seek truth and report it is about taking
responsibility for the validity of your work and ensuring that what you are
reporting is verified.  Minimize harm is
about respecting your sources and understanding that there must be a balance
between informing the public and causing potential harm.  Act independently reminds journalists that
their obligation is to the public; journalists must refuse gifts, special
treatment, or anything that could possibly compromise their integrity.  Be accountable and transparent warns
journalists abut trying to hide unethical conduct especially within their
organization and advises journalists to quickly respond to concerns about
accuracy, clarity, or fairness.  The code
of ethics for the Public Relations Society of America outlines six core values;
advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty, and fairness.  Advocacy reminds members that their job is to
serve the public interest by responsibly advocating for whomever they
represent.  Honesty refers to the fact
that when advancing the interests of whomever you are tasked with representing,
the information that you communicate with the public must be accurate and
true.  Expertise refers to responsibly
using specialized knowledge and experiences. 
Independence refers to the fact that members must be objective and
completely accountable when providing information to clients.  Loyalty explains that members must find the
balance between being faithful to the people they represent and honoring their
obligation to serve the public.  Fairness
refers to the fact that members must respect all opinions and support freedom
of expression.  The links to both codes
of ethics can be found in the reference section of this analysis.

            The first amendment protects
journalists; the government is not allowed to prevent news from being released
to the public unless it is a matter of national security.  Common themes that apply to digital and
mediated communication are transparency, obligation to the public, and honesty.  I found the similarities between the two
codes of ethics that I chose to analyze and compared those to a third code of
ethics, Radio Television Digital News Association, to find common themes. 

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Based on these common themes, I developed a list of ethical guidelines
or best practices.  I used the code of
ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists, the Public Relations
Society of America, and the Radio Television Digital News Association as a
guide for this list.  The first ethical
guideline would be to avoid all conflicts of interest.  The second would be to check all facts before
reporting to the public or advising a client. 
The third would be to keep the first amendment in mind.

             
 An ethical person in this
situation would combine their own values, the values of the organization they
work for, and the values of society to do their job.  Conflicts of interests are like cancer to
ethical communication which is why I included it in my list of ethical
guidelines.  Fact checking is an
essential ethical guideline because it deals with accountability and integrity.  Once the public or your client sees that you
report stories or advise them without verifying where the information came from
or if it is even the truth, you are done for. 
When it comes to digital and mediated communication, your audience or
clients must trust you, your ethics should never be something that they
question because it stops you from being able to do your job effectively.  I included to keep the first amendment in
mind because it serves as a daily reminder to honor the people who created it
and to remember why they felt that it was so important to specify that government
has no rights when it comes to informing the public.