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1 Ethical Issues for Professional Communicators For use with Technical Editing, 4 th ed.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Ethical Issues for Professional Communicators For use with Technical Editing, 4 th ed."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Ethical Issues for Professional Communicators For use with Technical Editing, 4 th ed.

2 2 Overview  The basis of ethics  Categories of ethical decision making for editors safety of users intellectual property codes of conduct contracts environmental ethics

3 3 The basis of ethical controversies  expediency, profit, convenience versus  the common good People agree to work for the common good because they can benefit as well.

4 4 Categories of ethical decision making  Safety of users, access  Intellectual property  Professional ethics  Employer/employee ethics  Environmental ethics

5 5 Stakeholders and priorities  Users: safety, access, quality, ease of use  Clients: economy, time to produce, marketability, quality, safety  Employer: ability to do business  Profession: reputation, fair wages  Environment: safety, health

6 6 Users, safety Responsibility to users  Self-interest: Get the job done quickly, without conflict versus  Common good: Allow users to thrive

7 7 Users, safety Responsibility to users  Safety issues, warnings  Access/fairness issues disability gender, race, ethnic group  Quality of products: efficient use, breakdowns

8 8 2. Intellectual property Intellectual property  Creative work: publications, inventions, art, music, computer programs  Can be owned, sold—and stolen— like any “real” property

9 9 2. Intellectual property Benefits of protections  The world benefits from creativity.  Inventors, writers, and other creative people need incentive to create. (copyright, patents)

10 10 2. Intellectual property Copyright  Protects all expression as soon as it is fixed, including student papersclient lists photographstrade secrets material on the webemail  Permission to use must be written

11 11 2. Intellectual property A copyright conflict: example  Copy someone else’s manual. OR  Write your own or pay for the other manual.

12 12 2. Intellectual property Cyberspace  “Deep link” to information, bypassing the opening pages with advertisements. OR  Link to the first page.

13 13 2. Intellectual property Cyberspace  Copy source code for a website. OR  Write your own.

14 14 3. Professional ethics Professional ethics  Defined in “codes” of conduct  STC Ethical Principles: legality honesty confidentiality quality fairness professionalism

15 15 3. Professional ethics Codes of conduct in TC  Competent and responsible performance of duties accurate and complete information readable, accessible, clear information warnings  Loyalty to the profession (e.g., avoid unfair competition with other professionals)

16 16 4. Employer-employee ethics Contractual relationship  Theft (of property, client lists, trade secrets, product information) It is unethical and illegal to take a job with another employer and reveal secrets of a previous employer.  Conflict of interest  Favoritism prohibits

17 17 5. Environmental ethics Environmental ethics  Use resources responsibly (for the common good). paper, ink, plastic wraps, electricity  Help clients understand the environmental consequences of their choices.

18 18 Applications to editing  Editors work with technology that may present safety or access issues to users.  Editors create and use intellectual property.

19 19 Applications to editing  Editors work as members of a profession and have a responsibility to uphold the reputation of the profession.  Editors work in contractual relationships with employers.  Editors use materials that damage the environment (paper, electricity, plastic).

20 20 Ethics in professional life  Most ethical decisions are tiny and daily. Few reflect life-death issues.  But daily ethical behavior creates work groups, businesses, and a society in which individuals can thrive.

21 21 Ethics in professional life  Know limits on your personal freedoms, and respect the opportunities they make possible.  Accept your responsibilities to a number of stakeholders, including users, clients, employers, the profession, and the environment.

22 22 Return to companion website for Technical Editing 4e

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