Teaching Notes

You must become the flame on the candle. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, March 8, 2010

Study Guide

The first five to post should describe what kind of issues the TARES model is best suited to and what the acronym TARES stands for.

The next five should describe the difference between prima facie duties and duty proper and identify the philosopher associated with these concepts.

The next five should describe the difference between rule and act utilitarianism and identify the philosophers associated with each.

The next five should define the first and second formulations of the Categorical Imperative and identify the philosopher associated with this principle.

The last five to post should describe describe the difference between the Golden Rule and the Golden Mean (and the philosopher associated with the latter). And for your tardiness, should also explain:

1. What "phrenemos" is or means?

2. What "narrative fidelty" is or means?

All responses are due by Wednesday, March 10, 4 p.m.

26 comments:

Meg said...

The TARES model is best suited when dealing with persuasion and ethical advertisements.
T- Truthfulness
A- Authenticity
R- Respect
E- Equity
S- Socially Responsible
When dealing with advertisements, the TARES model suggests that ad creators ask themselves a series of questions. With T, the creator must ask themselves if the ad claims are true both verbally and visually. With A, the ad must depict a sincere need for the product/service as well as represent reasons for purchasing the product that would not only motivate consumers, but the creator of the ad as well. The R means that the ad must show respect for the person who will receive the persuasive message. The E means that the creator must look at the ad and determine if the receivers of the message are on the same playing field as the creator. The S is said to be the most difficult for ad creators in that there are so many social responsibilities out there towards consumers, agencies that they work for, other clients, etc that the creator must be conscious of. When all of these questions are answered "yes" , the ad "passes the test".

Kim Dubin said...

TARES model gives creative people, marketing directors and strategic communication planners a tool to help solve ethical problems with ads.

T-Truthfulness, which provides truthful information.

A-Authenticity, showing that doing the right thing is important but also to do it with the right attitude

R-Respect, respect for the person who receives the persuasive message

E-Equity, Is the receiver of the message on the same level as the creator

S-Socially responsible, social ethics, does ad increase or decrease trust for persuasive messages

The TARES model is best suited to persuasion dealing with advertisements. It goes beyond looking at an ad in a basic sense. The model goes further in depth to show the critical aspects creators look at in order to have a successful ad. It focuses on how people think when viewing an ad, and the way a certain ad can have an affect on their lifestyle. The role of an advertiser is much bigger than just promoting their product. It's about researching the behaviors of people, and the way they interpret things. Everything from the scenery to the models, to the words on an ad all have an effect on a person. Thinking about the negative and positive effect an ad can have on people is important which is where social responsibility comes into play. If people see the ad as negative or harmful, their can be away to avoid that and make the ad better in a positive way. The TARES test is an effective way to go about creating an ad. It's important to relate to the target audience as well as the ones who are not. The ad that is produced will be seen by potentially millions of eyeballs, so it's crucial to follow the TARES model to have a successful profitable ad.

Kim Plummer said...

TARES is an acronym and a five-part test for making more ethical decisions in advertising.

T—truthfulness: Is this ad telling the truth verbally and visually? Is what’s being left out of the ad deceptive?

A—Authenticity: Is this claim an authentic one?

R—Respect: Ad makers should have respect for the people they are targeting with their commercials. Advertisers should ask themselves if they’d be willing to publicly accept responsibility for the ad.

E—Equity: Is the recipient of the advertisement on the same playing field as the ad’s creator? Ads that take advantage of consumer ignorance are unethical, and would fail this part of the test.

S—Socially Responsible: Is the ad socially responsible? Does the product help society as a whole? Are there any groups that might be harmed by it?

The TARES model is one designed to test the ethical components of advertising and commercials. Upfront, the TARES model says it is not intended to solve all problems, but is to be used as a step by step tool towards more ethical decision making. Baker and Martinson suggest that the creators of every advertisement ask themselves the series of questions involved in this five-part test to determine whether or not the advertisement is ethical.

But, when thinking about our discussion in class yesterday, I think this might be a good model for PR professionals to consider when writing press releases and producing VNR’s. It would be beneficial. Sure, it may be harder to apply some of the categories to such work that kind of demands omissions at times, but I think it would be a great way to determine if a certain press release is unethical, or how unethical it is. At the very least, it makes you think about your actions beforehand.

KHutchinson said...

The TARES model is one usually used to evaluate commercial and promotional material like advertisements and PSA's. It's a good model to use for materials of a business related nature. The acrynym stands for
Truthfulness of the facts or information being presented in the message.
Authenticity of the presenter or developer of the message being presented.
Respect for the audience receiving the message.
Equality of the plea being made. (ie: where does the persuader stand, and where do the audience members stand.)
And Social Responsibility, which considers if the speech dictates a message that is for the good of the people.
It makes sense that this model would be used the most in a business world, because these are very logical questions to ask oneself if an advertising or public message if ethical. It is very to the point, and could probably be done well quickly.
After all the questions have been considered thoroughly, and if the answers are yes (or positive) for all the questions, the evaluated message has passed the test of ethicallity.

Chelsea LaDue said...

The TARES model is best suited for the ethics of persuasion in advertisements.
T- truthfulness... Are the ad claims, both visual and verbal, truthful? If the ad contains only part of the truth, are the omissions deceptive?
A- authenticity... It is important not only to do the right thing, but also "to do it with the right attitude;" sincerity.
R- respect... respect for the person who will receive the persuasive message. Those putting out the ad must ask themselves if they are willing to take full responsibility for the content of the ad
E- equity... In order to interpret the ad, does the receiver have to be abnormally well informed, unusually smart, and without prejudice?
S- socially responsible?... does the ad increase or decrease trust for persuasive messages?

Samantha said...

Prima Facie duties are acts that are always considered ethical no matter what the circumstances or consequences are. These include beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, gratitude, fidelity, reparation and self-improvement. However, when two of these duties are in conflict it is up to the person to decide which they are going to act under. For example, the act of fidelity to keep a promise to be at a certain place at a certain time may be in conflict if someone needs your help in an emergency at that time, which would be an act of beneficence. Whichever duty that the person chooses to pursue over the other becomes the duty proper in that it trumps all other duties. The man who came up with this "Theory of Pluralistic Values" is W.D. Ross who was a critic of utilitarianism and instead thought that these duties were more applicable to ethical decision making.

Allison said...

Prima facie duties and duty proper are the basis of W.D. Ross's moral theory. Ross developed seven prima facie duties that are ethical under all circumstances. Fidelity, the duty to keep your promises. Reparation, the duty to right the wrongs previously done to others. Gratitude, the duty to repay those for past favors. Justice, the duty to prevent or correct a mismatch. Beneficence, the duty of improving the conditions of others. Self-improvement, the duty of improving one's own condition with respect to intelligence, pleasure, or virtue. Nonmaleficence, the duty not to injure others. When a situation presents itself with more than one Prima facie duty, one must be chosen over another. That end decision is called the duty Proper, your moral obligation. For instance, you're reading the morning paper in a local coffee shop, brushing up on current events to say current with the issues of today. While glancing up from the paper, out of the window you see a young child wonder into the busy street. Cars speeding past the shaken youth, swerving to avoid hitting him. Now, any morally sound person would put down the newspaper and rush to the child's aid. Beneficence tends to prevail over Self-improvement. The child's safety was the moral obligation, the duty proper.

Sarah Boalt said...

W.D. Ross' Theory of Pluralistic Value consists of prima facie duties, which is something that is always morally right. Included in these duties is fidelity, being true to your word implicitly and explicitly. Reparation, making up for wrongful acts committed against others. Gratitude, repayment for favors. Justice, correcting "mismatches" between a person's merit and happiness. Beneficence, improving the conditions for others' virtue, pleasure, or intelligence. Self-improvement, improving upon your own intellect or virtue. Nonmaleficence, not hurting others. The duty proper is what results after considering the duties and it is what you are morally obligated to do. This happens when there is more than one prima facie duty to be considered in a situation, such as choosing gratitude over self-improvement.

Victoria said...

W.D. Ross proposed seven duties that are always ethically correct. These duties are referred to as the prima facie duties. Prima Facie means on the face / surface. These duties consist of:
1. Fidelity - promise keeping (either implicit or explicit)
2. Reparation (righting a wrong that you have previously commited)
3. gratitude (thanking people for previous acts)
4. beneficence ( help others improve themselves)
5. Justice (right wrongs if you can)
6. Self-improvement (prove yourself)
7. Non-maleficence (do no harm)

Duty proper refers to when two or more prima facie duties are in conflict with each other and you must choose the duty that is more important, which usually depends on the situation.

Lindsey said...

The theory of pluralistic values was created by W.D. Ross. He came up with 7 duties known as prima facie duties(on the surface), which were right because they’re right. The 7 duties are:
1. fidelity-promise
2. gratitude-bound to people who have done us kindness
3. justice
4. self-improvement-prove ourselves, prove our talents, reach potential
5. nonmaleficence-do no harm
6. beneficence-help improve others
7. reparation-making up for a committed wrong

Duty proper is when 2 or more prima facies are in conflict with each other, it’s the duty you chose when in conflict. You try and look at the facts, attach appropriate value, make the best decision or best guess.

LImpagliazzo said...

Utilitarianism- Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill

Act- act that creates most good for most people is ethical
Rule- acts that you do has to illustrate rule to be ethical

Howie Good said...

A little too sketchy, Lynn. You wouldn't get full credit on the exam. What is ethical under utilitarianism? Illustrate what about the rule?

Chanel Arias said...

Utilitarianism is the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Through British philosophers, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, it is explained that a specific action must fit into a rule, in order for it to be considered utilitarian. In the case of journalism, one of the rules may be listed in the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics. Whereas the greatest good for the greatest number of people involve truth, minimization of harm, public's right to know, and accountability. A utilitarian journalist's duty goes side by side with John Stuart Mill's view on utilitarian ethics as, "the maximization of good and the minimization of harm."

MBachmann said...

Jeremy Benthan and John Stuart Mill were two 19th century philosophers that believed strongly in Utilitarianism. Bentham quoted, "Act that creates the most good for the most people." This is the main idea for which utilitarianism is understood. Bentham believed in individual and economic freedom. They both were pro utilitarianism although Mill's views were a bit different. His idea was known as the "greatest-happiness principle" and it meant that one must act to create the greatest good for the greatest amount of people, but within reason. Their main difference in views are that, "Bentham treats all forms of happiness as equal, whereas Mill argues that intellectual and moral pleasures are superior to more physical forms of pleasure."

J.Rodriguez said...

As Both Chanel and MBachmann stated, I agree that Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart mill were two 19th century philosophers that believed strongly in Utilitarianism. Before Utilitarianism was actually an ethics discussion it was a mere "novel notion". I don't necessarily agree with how Mill focused on the "Outcome" while Kant focused on the "action". A lot of people think about the situation and just think about the outcome of the situation. I would say that this is not a good idea because then you are not paying attention to the ethical dilemmas (whether they are right or wrong) you are taking to get to that outcome.
Bentham stated how the "Act that creates the most good for the most people." This is how I feel how utilitarianism is really believed. Once can't do something considered ethically wrong in order to have a good outcome. Just like in the Big Nell's case, the reporter's used deception in order to obtain their story.

Julia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maxim Alter said...

To begin, utilitarianism generally means the decision you make is the one that benefits the greater good and creates the best outcome for the greatest amount of people. It is a theory in which the ends justify the means.

The act of utilitarianism is defined by the results or consequences of a single action. For example, if you followed the act of utilitarianism and were given the opportunity to steal the answers to a test before you took it, you would decide what would produce the most happiness for you. If you took the answers, you would get a good grade and your family and friends would be proud of your success. Perhaps you would go to a better college as well. By calculating the outcome of this one action, you would probably take the answers

The rule of utilitarianism is defined by the consequences that result. If you followed the rule of utilitarianism, you would also consider the long term consequences of taking the answers. The process that would go through your mind would reflect an overall outcome. For instance: if everyone stole the answers, then nobody would study and nobody would learn. Then there would be no real professionals and everybody would be stupid. So by calculating the overall outcome, you would not steal the answers and you would take the exam fairly.

Jeremy Bentham is associated with the act of utilitarianism and John Stuart Mill is associated with the rule of utilitarianism.

Julia said...

The Categorical Imperative was a main part of Immanuel Kant's moral philosophy. It has three formulations and is the standard rationality from which all moral requirements derive. The first formulation commands that the subject must ask oneself if the action they are about to do adheres to a rule that can be applied universally, which Kant titled a maxim. So an action should only be taken when the maxim is morally right when applied universally. The second formulation states that one should never use people for their own benefit, never as means to an end. The benefit of other people should be part of the goal.

JustinMcCarthy said...

The Categorical Imperative was created by Immanuel Kant. The two “categorical” imperatives of this principle are: a) “that the choices one makes for oneself could become universal law” and, b) “that you should act so that you treat humanity always as an end and never as a means only.”
Under this principle, it is “imperative” that all individuals don’t lie, don’t murder, and don’t do any of harms that practically all people can agree on. The Categorical Imperative also says that individuals should aid others and show gratitude among other meritorious duties, which are less “morally mandatory” than the strict duties of not killing and not lying.

George Selby said...

Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative is a very clear-cut way for one to figure out if his or her actions can be considered ethical. What Kant means by categorical is that the morality of an act is not situational.
The first formulation of Kant’s ethical theory is that every action should be performed as though it’s performance creates a universal law. The actor should consider whether he is willing to create a universe where lying for personal gain is universally acceptable, should he be considering to do so. An ethical person considers how the world would be if everyone acted like he’s about to act.
The second formulation tells us not to treat others as means for our ends. If our actions affect others and our actions are ethical, then the actions cannot involve trampling over other people in order to succeed. We should be concerned for others, and not concerned about getting others out of the way.

DevonP said...

The Categorical Imperitive was developed by a philosopher known as Immanuel Kant. The first formulation in this is that an individual should act as if the choices they make for themselves becomes universal law. The second formulation is to always treat humanity as an ends, and never only as a means to get to your own personal ends. Kant believed these two rules were universal, and never not valid in any situation. Therefore, this would not be classified as "situational ethics."

DevonP said...

Also, Kant believed that "moral force" resides in the action, rather than the person. Meaning, someone may not have a strong moral character, but they are still able to perform moral acts.

Anonymous said...

The categorical imperative is associated with the philosopher Immanuel Kant. The first formulation of the categorical imperative The first formulation talks about that when a moral decision is being made it can not be affected by a situation or the person who is making the decision. Moral decisions should be universal and apply to any rational situation and not change according to different situations or different people who are making the decision. Every decision should be treated as a universal law. The first formulation also talks about perfect and imperfect duties. Perfect duties are ones that are basic duties required for human beings and can be punishable if not met, like if you steal then you can be prosecuted. Imperfect duties are based on reason and are not as black and white as perfect duties.

The second formulation states that we should not treat people as a means to our ends. Meaning that we need to see people as more than just someone that can help us get where we want to go and then when we are done with them, we drop them. We need to treat people with more humanity than just tools to help us get somewhere we want to go.

Andrew Limbong said...

Aristotle's "Golden Mean" is the mid-point between to extreme actions. Essentially, what it means, is that any action/virtue, can be taken too far, and usually, the best thing to do when facing a situation is to stray from extremes. This is not to be confused with the "golden rule," which is the old "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" adage.

"Phrenemos," another Aristotlean term, is a person who regularly exercises practical wisdom in their day to day lives. An exemplar of some sorts, he/she is to be imitated.

"Narrative Fidelity," means believing a story because we want it to be true. This can cause problems, not only as a reader, but as a journalist as shown by Peter Saarsgard's character (I forgot his name) in Shattered Glass. He wanted to believe Phillip Glass's stories were true because they were entertaining. It blurred his ethical vision, and he allowed himself to publish them without fully checking the facts.

Alana Davis said...

The Golden Rule is the one everyone would like to believe they can live by and which everyone strives to achieve in life. It is to treat others how you wish to be treated. While the Golden Mean (estalished by Aristotle) is based on the idea that happiness is the ultimate human good and by setting high standards and "flourishing" one can be able to make ethical decisions. It often is described as "virtue lies between two extremes of excess and deficiency." It is more involved than the Golden Rule in that to know how to behave ethically you must learn it through practice and experience, and the decision must come from a "firm and unchanging character." Aristotle primarily based the Golden Mean on admired heroes in the community and to model your own ethical decision making skills after theirs.

I'm just going to also post the late answers as well, just to be safe.

The term "phrenemos" can be defined as a person who uses practical wisdom throughout their daily lives, living by way of the Golden Mean.

And "narrative fidelity" is when a journalist, or really anyone, wants strongly to believe something solely because it is a good story. They may not have credible sources or a relevent story to the public at all, but they make themselves believe it is important to all.

pspengeman said...

The difference between the Golden Rule and the Golden Mean (from Aristotle) is that the latter is used more introspectively when it comes to decision making, while the Golden Rule is simply a reciprocal doctrine. While the Golden Rule is simply a universal rule that promotes justice, doing unto others that you yourself would accept, and the Golden Mean acts more as a compromise between excess and deficiency.

To me, the Golden Rule seems more of a way showing how people should treat one another, the Golden Mean acting as a guide for responsible decision-making.

"Phrenemos" describes a person of practical wisdom, a habit of choosing wisely and avoiding extremes.

"Narrative Fidelity" deals with the one's understanding of the convincing of a story. Narrative fidelity directly deals with how true to story seems based on the situation, how realistic it is, and how the story relates to the audience it's being told to. This term is discussed in studying journalism techniques.

Is Media Ethics Education DOA?

It sounds like a joke Jay Leno would tell during his opening monologue on The Tonight Show. Hear about the graduate students at the prestigious journalism school? They got caught cheating on an ethics exam. Ha ha ha. Except that’s actually what happened at Columbia University in late 2006.

Students had been given 48 hours to sign onto a Columbia Web site to take the final exam in a required course called “Critical Issues in Journalism.” They then had 90 minutes to answer two essay questions.

The students were warned to not discuss the questions with each other, but apparently they did. As the headline over a story reporting the scandal put it, “Ivy J-Schoolers Fail Ethics, Ace Irony.”

No one admitted cheating despite pressure from the school’s administrators and pleas from classmates, who feared the scandal would damage the market value of their degrees. Meanwhile, the teacher of the course, New York Times columnist Samuel G. Freedman, refused to comment. But if the disgruntled posts on RateMyProfessors.com are any indication, his students hadn’t exactly been soaking up knowledge. “Maybe he could e-mail his ‘speeches’ to the students instead of making everyone suffer through the most wasted class in j-school. . . ,” one read.

There’s an old cowboy saying that goes, “When your horse dies, get off.” Journalism ethics education is a dead horse. Or else those aren’t vultures circling in the sky.

A Question for Socrates


The question of how ethics is learned, or even if it can be, is as old as Western philosophy. In Plato’s dialog Meno the title character asks, “Can you tell me, Socrates, whether virtue is acquired by teaching or by practice; or if neither by teaching nor practice, then whether it comes to man by nature, or in what other way?” Of course, Socrates, being Socrates, resists giving a definite answer. But we can’t. The sad fact is, students had better get an effective ethics education now or they may never.


Last summer I conducted an ethics workshop for some reporters and editors at the Poughkeepsie Journal, a small daily in upstate
New York owned by Gannett Co., Inc. The woman in charge of organizing the workshop had supplied us with several case studies to examine. I remember one dealt with a classic conflict of interest, a copy editor who moonlighted at a local radio station.

But what I remember most is the air of defeat that clung to the staff as we sat on hard plastic chairs in the break room discussing the cases. I could hear in their voices the bitterness and cynicism of employees forced to follow corporate policies they despised. Recently, for example, the paper had started running display ads on the front page and section fronts, a much more grievous ethical lapse, their mumbled asides suggested, than anything the case studies might have to offer.

I don’t want my students to ever wear the gray, defeated expression I saw that day on the faces at the Journal. But given the downward direction in which the media are moving, and fast, how in the world can I prevent it from happening?

Teaching Media Ethics by Telling Stories

A friend of mine who teaches at a big Midwestern university recounts in class the events of her first week as a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune. She was sent to Duluth to cover Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey on the campaign trail. When they were introduced, Humphrey vigorously shook her hand. “Oh yes, Susan,” he said, “I read your stuff all the time.” He couldn’t have read her stuff, though; she hadn’t written anything yet. “Just a few words,” she explains to her students, “but words that taught this fledging reporter a great lesson about pols and the little lies they tell.”

I usually find occasion during the semester to quote I. F. Stone’s dictum, “Every government is run by liars and thieves, and nothing they say should be believed,” to make the same point. But Susan’s story makes the point better. That’s because it has existential force. Her story vividly captures in a way a secondhand quote can’t the realities of a reporter’s life.

Some might think telling “war stories” is a waste of precious class time. I’ve a colleague who didn’t want to fall into the “trap” of regaling students with stories ad nauseam (“which, let’s face it, is easier than teaching or grading,” he said). So one semester he kept track. When he toted it all up at the end, he was surprised that he’d used less than an hour - out of 45 – talking about his newspaper experiences. And yet, he admitted, it was his stories that students seemed to remember most.

“Stories teach us how to live,” Daniel Taylor said in his essay, “The Ethical Implications of Storytelling.” What he meant was that stories preserve our experience for contemplation and evaluation. Although not all stories carry a heavy message, there’s an entire category of stories, so-called “exemplary tales,” that are told to convey a moral.

Our war stories are potentially just such tales. They can provide evidence, in ethicist John Barton’s words, of “how real human beings live through various crises and trials and remain human.” My colleague who kept tabs on his storytelling has described his stories as cautionary. Most, he said, deal with “screwups I learned from.”

But sometimes the storyteller and the audience can’t agree on what exactly the moral of a story is.

When Susan was a cub reporter on the Tribune, she interviewed the Beatles, who were on their second tour of the States. She got into their hotel room by dressing up as a waitress in an ugly, mustard-colored uniform and accompanying an actual room service waiter upstairs. Ringo took one look at her little plastic name tag – it read “Donna Brown” – and snorted, “What kind of name is that?” The waiter nudged her in the side. “Tell them what you real name is,” he urged. She did, as well as her reason for being there. Rather than throw her out, the Beatles politely answered her questions. They even let her phone for a photographer. The next day her story ran on the front page, with a photo of John sitting at a table and looking up at her and laughing as she poured coffee in his cup. She still has a glossy print of that photo somewhere.

Many of Susan’s students think she’s nuts for not having the photo hanging up in her office. They also think she’s nuts for saying she’d never participate in the same kind of stunt today. To her celebrity-struck students, disguising herself as a hotel waitress to get an interview with the Beatles seems soooo cool. They lose all sight of the fact that it wasn’t a story of vital public interest that demanded undercover methods.

Susan intends one lesson when she talks about her hard day’s night, but her students, living in a paparazzi-saturated culture, draw another. “It may be a lost cause,” she remarked to me.

Or maybe not. Negotiations over what the point of a story is can be part of the point of the story. In the process of negotiating, we test different interpretations, try out different themes. This is helpful. This is educational. Lawrence Kohlberg, the Harvard psychologist famous for his research on the stages of moral development, contended that “the teaching of virtue is the asking of questions. . . not the giving of answers.” Stories don’t necessarily have to yield clear moral rules to be of value. It’s enough sometimes if they just give us something to think about.