The 4th Annual Spuler Ethics Symposium – Broadcast Ethics During Presidential Elections- hosted by Matt Cabot, an associated professor in San Jose State University‘s School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was held yesterday at San Jose State University. Guest speakers included Rigo Chacon, Ysabel Duron, Jane McMillan and Bob Rucker. Various clips from presidential candidates as well as the Trayvon Martin case, were shown and discussed. The panels then discussed if the media had the right to do what they did and what they should have done if they made a mistake. Of all the information I received yesterday from the presentation, one stood out to me. When Cabot asked the panel, ” Why should we make the difficult ethical choice.” Each panelist gave their own reasons why, but Jane McMillan gave the most simple yet best answer of the day. McMillan said ” We make the ethical choice because it’s the right thing to do.”Throughout the presentation, the four panelists would give various reasons on why everyone in the profession should have good ethnics and morals. However Jane McMillian first line, “We make the ethical choice because it’s the right thing to do,” really got me listening. I began to think about the profession I want to be in (Public Relations), and how the public viewed people in that profession. Whether a person communicates by social media, television, radio, or print, the ethic, moral, or simply the right thing to do should not be forgotten.
As someone who is trying to break into the social media scene, I have to ask myself what I am willing to do to get there. Do I lie to the public get them to support a brand/product to make myself look better or should I only state the truth even if it means losing my job. Social media is a very powerful tool where almost anyone can be the source where people get news and information. I can learn and get mentored from people who supports a little white lie here and there, or someone who supports no lie at all even if you say its just “with holding information.” Either way each of us are are own person. We decide what we want to eat, sleep ,drink and almost every decision we make in our lives is our decision. This event has confirmed to me that if it came down to my job or my ethics/morals, I would quit the job so I would not have to face myself if I make the wrong decision. Ethics and morals are very important to a person and Bob Rucker said it best at the event, “Your good name is important.” “Don’t let anyone ruin it especially yourself.” The next time you make a decision to promote a person, brand, or product, think about how it will affect you as a person because if we can’t live with ourselves then who can?