Apply Ethical Communication Principles and Practices
The issue of ethics is an extremely important factor to consider in every facet of life, and the discipline of communication is no exception. In fact, one could make the argument that ethics are more important in this realm as unethical communication can impact people on an worldwide scale. I have learned about several issues when it comes to ethics in communication, and have even taught a workshop on the subject for high school students during my time at the National Student Leadership Conference. Communication ethics and my passion for media meet in the realm of media literacy.
For my class in media literacy, my group was assigned the medium of film. Our semester long project involved extensive research on a topic within the medium relating to media literacy, and our work was dedicated to the influence of teen movies, the role of the MPAA, and the way these films were advertised to younger audiences despite mature content.
The paper compares older movies such as American Pie and The Breakfast Club with newer counterparts like Superbad and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The newer movies add more inappropriate content but sometimes receive a lower rating from the MPAA, which we called out as unethical. We also questioned the motives of these filmmakers and marketers for trying to make the films appealing to children of tweens, who ethically may not be the best audience for said movies. While in the long run marketing these movies to a younger crowd may be more profitable, we didn't see it as the most ethical business practice.
The assignment also called upon us to identify and explain the relevance of the ethical practice of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) – an association designed to protect children from being exposed to inappropriate content. We accomplished this by evaluating the questionable ethics of some branches of the motion picture industry and gave solutions for the industry, parents, and children when it comes to making a wise choice on which movie to watch.
Attached is my team’s final paper for our media literacy project.