Monday, November 26, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Schedule changes and other business

We'll *not* be meeting on Monday, Nov. 19--that has changed to a research day for you to work with your group (or independently) on your final projects.

We *will* be meeting on Monday, Nov. 26, which is now a class meeting day. The chair of the ethics committee for Dallas PRSA will be a visitor that day, and we'll discuss diversity in communication a bit more that week as well.

A quick Google search helped me find these resources about the Three-Mile Island nuclear scare. This is an example of a classic case you could select.

The second site is one perspective or case study on this incident, and it refers to other sources you may easily access. It takes exception to a case study written by an LATimes reporter in 1994, and I think that would be something important to obtain through Lexis-Nexis.

This last link is to information at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and it would give you an official governmental viewpoint:

As stated in class and in the assignment, you'll need to access opinion written after the accident, to help you discern the many ethical and legal issues attached to this case. It has a long history that continues through today, even though the incident took place in 1979. Primary sources would include news reporting in the weeks after the incident; through these, you may obtain company and government statements to the public and to the media.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Classic case study (plus ethics) guidelines

Develop an outline for your case that makes sense in terms of the story you want to tell. Your “classic” case should be something that happened before 1990; your research will not be involved with collecting primary sources about the case itself, but rather, after summarizing a well-known or “classic” case, you’ll be researching for information that sheds light on the ethical dimensions of the case.

Basically, it should go like this:

Introduction (a beginning anecdote, as discussed in class).

Background and review of scholarship (here’s where you tell the case story and you review existing research that is pertinent to your ethical discussion); here you might reconstruct the four parts of PR process (“what happened” part of paper).

Discussion of the ethical dimensions of the case (your analysis and evaluation of “what happened”), first, through the two models of utilitarianism and communitarianism, using principles; and second, through cosmopolitanism, and how this model fits or doesn’t fit the actions in this case. Here, you may want to include scholarship about how others have viewed the ethics of this case. Is the organization on record about its own actions?

Conclusion, which will include your critical analysis about how others have viewed the ethical dimensions of this case and the long-term implications of the organization’s actions.

Other assignment requirements:

Spend about 2/3 to 3/4 of your paper on the discussion and conclusion sections, and less space on the first two sections (above);

10 or more sources;

8-10 pages, double-spaced (if using bullets, that part should be single-spaced, i.e. timelines);

References page using APA style (not footnotes); appendix with vital documents;

Use of PR ethics textbook vocabulary and concepts (“humaneness,” etc.);

Few if any errors in spelling, grammar, etc.;

Headings for sections of paper;

Place similar information in proximity to other similar information, so that paper isn’t repetitive or hard to follow;

Carefully cite outside sources, using attribution for ideas and words that are not your own.

Handouts are outside my office door

Be sure to pick them up to prepare for class Monday. Also, it looks like the PRSA speaker will be able to visit with us on Nov. 26, so let's think about another research day. What about the Monday before Thanksgiving? Bring your ideas for those final projects to class Nov. 19. See you then.