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CA 302 Communication Ethics and Law
Vasquez, Ashley


Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Course

CA 302 Communication Ethics and Law

Semester

F2J 2008 IN

Faculty

Vasquez, Ashley

Title

Assistant Professor of Communication Arts/Adjunct Faculty

Degrees/Certificates

Bachelor's of Arts in Communication/Journalism from Park University
Masters of Arts in Communication and Leadership from Park University

Office Hours

30 minutes before and after class

Daytime Phone

816-694-5442

E-Mail

Ashley.Vasquez@park.edu

Semester Dates

Oct. 22-Dec. 10

Class Days

---W---

Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:

Patterson, Media Ethics: Issues & Cases, 6th edition, McGraw Hill, 2002. ISBN: 0073511897
Bok, Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life, Random House, 1999. ISBN: 0375705287
 

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
CA302 Communication Ethics and Law: A study of the law and ethics for journalists and other communicators. The course will analyze libel law, privacy, objectivity, responsibility, freedom of speech and censorship, and the role of the press in society. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The facilitator's educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, quizzes, examinations, writing assignments and more. The facilitator will engage each learner in what is referred to as disputatious learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues and contradictions.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  • begin the process of developing a framework for making ethical decisions in the field of communication
  • engage in the discussion of ethical issues in a peaceful, thoughtful atmosphere and, thus, be better prepared to make ethical decisions as a communications professional in a crisis
  • participate in ethical dialogue illustrating the dynamic nature of philosophical practice
  • develop a working understanding of the basic principles of communication law

    MoStep Requirements 1.2.1.1 standards for CA302



    Core Assessment:


    Goals of the core curriculum in communication arts journalism: 



    “Ethical thinking:



         In the core curriculum successful students consider at least these elements of the profession:



    ·        Consider the role of the communication professional in the community and what role they will personally play in the community as professionals



    ·        Consider the role of communication in the cultural conversation of the community



    ·        Consider their professional values and their personal values with an eye toward whether these values are in harmony



    ·        Consider their own purpose as professional communicators



    ·        Consider the specific role the journalist plays in society; duties and power begin the process of developing a framework for making ethical decisions in the field of communication” 



    CA 302 Communication Ethics and Law -- Course Objectives: 



    Engage in the discussion of ethical issues in a peaceful, thoughtful atmosphere and, thus, be better prepared to make ethical decisions as a communications professional in a crisis  



    Participate in ethical dialogue illustrating the dynamic nature of philosophical practice  



    Develop a working understanding of the basic principles of communication law  



    Core Competency  



    “Final paper -- Four-page reaction paper.  Topic to be announced.  Will examine ethical problem-solving techniques.” 



    Here is the final paper from Spring 2006 with the working rubric: 



    Final reaction paper



    Communication Ethics and Law CA 302



    Spring 2006 / Mr. Lofflin



    Directions: Write a succinct four-page paper in which you apply all the philosophers and philosophies we have studied this semester to evaluate and clarify the story written by Roberta Clemente about the high school teacher from and ethical point of view rather than a legal point of view. (100 points) Due at the final. 



    1.        Begin by briefly discussing the ethical conflicts that make this story a problem for the reporter.



    2.       To introduce the issue of lying, let's say Roberta Clemente obtained her interview with the principal by telling him she was working on a positive story about Leslie Gore's accomplishments as a teacher. Your reaction should be based on Professor Bok's decision-making strategy? Does Kant have anything to say about this question? What about Aristotle?



    3.        Issues of public vs. private persons are part of this scenario. Adapt Professor Bok and use John Rawls to draw the line here on whether you think the reporter ought to investigate this teacher's past and publish the results.



    4.        How does this story raise issues of loyalty? Use Royce and Potter to thoroughly evaluate loyalties.



    5.        Your key question should be whether or not to write the story this way and your answer should constitute most of the paper. Be specific about this: Your opinions are important and respected, but the real question here is your ability to manipulate the material from class to clarify an ethical question. In other words, which ideas we've studied this semester would persuade you in this particular case?  



    Hint: One way to answer question five is to write about each philosopher one at a time clearly labeling each paragraph with the philosopher's name and clearly stating his or her ideas, then telling how you think they apply to the question of whether or not to write the story and, or, whether to write the story the way it is written. Include at least these philosophers and/or ideas: Bok, Aristotle, Kant, Potter, Royce, Rawls, Utilitarianism



    If one philosopher or philosophy doesn't apply to this case, specifically tell why.






    Criteria for evaluation of your paper:



    ·         Understanding (accuracy) of description of philosophies and concepts 



    ·         Application of each philosophy to this specific case 



    ·         Discussion of lying to get this story 



    ·         Discussion of the tension between public vs. private people in this case 



    ·         Discussion of loyalty in  this case 



    ·         Support from the material we have studied for your positions on the case; quality of citations 



    ·         General depth of your answer (Is your answer comprehensive? Does it show understanding? Does a theme emerge in your answer?)  



    ·         How many philosophers did you use successfully? 



    ·         Clarity of writing 



    Be aware I will not be evaluating your answer based on whether I think your decision is right or wrong. The evaluation will be based on how you use the materials to reach an answer. 



    Core Competency: 



    The core competency for CA 302: Communication Ethics and Law will be a four-page reaction paper. The paper will follow a mock libel trial the final week of class. Students will be assigned roles in the trial (example attached), including a reporter, an editor, two attorneys, a libeled party and a jury. The heart of the trial will be a news article; the article will test these issues: 



    ·         Defamation


    ·         Privacy


    ·         Public vs. private citizens


    ·         Good journalistic practice


    ·         Truth


    ·         Fair comment


    ·         Privilege


    ·         Lying to obtain information


    ·         Objectivity


    ·         Loyalty


    ·         The role of the communicator in society 



    A separate in-class examination will evaluate the libel issues. The core competency will take the issues raised in the mock trial and ask students to analyze the story used in the mock trial from an ethical perspective, not a legal perspective. The reaction paper will ask students to utilize each philosopher or philosophy examined in the course to analyze the story. Example questions: Would you write this story? Would you write this story this way? How would these philosophers or philosophies urge you to change this story or the method you used to get this story to make it more ethical? 



    The goal is to put the student in a position to internalize the assignment, imagining herself in the writer's shoes, guided by the philosophical principles examined across the entire course. 



    Core Competency (syllabus description): 



    “The core competency will be a four-page reaction paper analyzing the story used in the mock libel trial from an ethical perspective, not a legal perspective. Students will utilize each philosopher or philosophy examined in the course to analyze the story. Example approaches: Would you write this story? Would you write this story this way? How would these philosophers or philosophies urge you to change this story or the method you used to get this story to make it more ethical? 



    “The goal of the core competency reaction paper is for the student to internalize the assignment, imagining herself in the writer's shoes, guided by the philosophical principles examined across the entire course.”

    Link to Class Rubric

    Class Assessment:
    The class assessment will be based on examinations, quizzes, written work including two reaction papers and class discussion and participation.

    Grading:
    Participation – 26%
    Participation – 20 points will be awarded each week for being present and participating in class lectures and discussions. Total points: 160. Percent of Grade: 16%.
    Mock trial participation – 100 points will be awarded for actively participating in mock trial experiment. Points will be awarded on attendance, participation and “role” knowledge. Total points: 100. Percent of Grade: 10%.

    Written work – 23%
    Weekly articles – 20 points will be awarded each week for reading and discussing provided journal article along with short response paper. Total points: 120. Percent of Grade: 12%.
    Personal creed paper – 80 points will be awarded for completing a personal creed written paper about personal life ethics. Total points: 80. Percent of Grade: 8%

    Tests – 26%
    Quizzes – Three quizzes on course material will be administered throughout the semester. Total points: 60. Percent of Grade: 6%.
    Final Exam – Exam will be administered in class on final night. Short answer and essay. Total points: 200. Percent of Grade: 20%.

    Core Assessment/Competency – 25%
    Final reaction paper – 100 points will be awarded for a four-page research and discussion paper to clarify the story written by Roberta Clemente about the high school teacher from and ethical point of view rather than a legal point of view. Total points: 100. Percent of Grade: 10%.
    Mock trial reaction paper – 150 points will be awarded for a four-page reaction paper to mock trial experiment. Total points: 150. Percent of Grade: 15%.

    Late Submission of Course Materials:
    Late Work
    All course work is expected to be completed on time. If you know you will not be able to complete an assignment before the assignment due date during particular class period, talk to me or email me with at least 24 hours notice and you will be allowed to turn the assignment in late. The instructor must receive all authorized late assignments before the beginning of the next class period to avoid a 10% grade deduction.

    The 24-hour Rule
    As mentioned above, anytime you need to schedule an alternative day to turn in an assignment, you must contact me 24 hours prior to the assignment deadline you are trying to avoid. Additionally, if you are dissatisfied with a grade on an assignment, you must wait 24 hours to talk to me about it. There are no exceptions. In case of sudden illness on a day a major assignment is due, you must contact me, or at least leave a message, before the class meets, not the next class period.

    Classroom Rules of Conduct:
    Group Work
    Often during the semester we will be working in groups. Get your group members’ phone numbers and call them when you are absent to get notes, assignments, etc. When an activity or assignment is designated as a group activity, collaboration is expected. When an activity is not specifically designated as a group activity you are to be the only individual to work on that assignment. If you collaborate on an activity not designated as a group activity and there is enough evidence of that collaboration to catch my attention you and your collaborators will receive a 0 for that assignment. I will neither ask for, nor accept, any explanations.

    Communication Devices
    All communication devices must be turned off, or set on silent, during the class session. No phone calls or text messages are to be sent or received without the instructor’s permission. If you are expecting an important message, notify the instructor in advance. You must have permission from the instructor to answer messages during class.

    Class Cancellations
    If class is canceled for any reason, the class period following the canceled class will cover the material that should have been covered on the canceled day. Be sure to check your Park University email for any canceled class information and what to expect when you return after a canceled class.

    Instructor Availability
    Please feel free to discuss papers, presentations, and any problems you are having. I am available by email at least once per day and often more. Also, I will provide students with a cell phone number to reach me in case of emergencies since I do not have a permanent office. However, abuse of this privilege – forcing me to change my number – will result in limited email contact only in the future.
     
    Extra Credit
    At various times during the semester, extra credit opportunities will be given. You must have at least a C grade at the time the extra credit is recorded to be able to attempt the extra credit assignment. No extra credit will be allowed during the last two weeks of class.

    Student/Teacher Responsibilities
    • As a college student you must accept responsibility for your own actions. Reading for class, preparing for tests, completing assignments on time, and contributing to class discussions are the major responsibilities I expect from you as your part of the learning process.  
    • My responsibility is to give you my best teaching effort, to create a positive learning climate, and to challenge you.  It takes work from both of us to make this a worthwhile experience. I vow to do my very best for you and if you have any suggestions for improvement, those are welcome in a private setting.
    • Additionally, at times we will discuss controversial topics and have people who disagree with each other. You and I both must remember that while each of us has a right to our own opinion, we must respect the right of others to have differing opinions. Calling someone or some idea “stupid” creates a defensive communication climate and hampers the ability of all of us to learn. Think before you criticize.  
    • Finally, come talk to me when you have questions, concerns, or suggestions about the class. It is less frustrating for both of us if you ask questions before the assignment is due, rather than after it has affected your performance. Additionally, if someone in the class or I make a comment you are uncomfortable with, please contact me immediately and first. Apologies and policy changes are best handled as soon as possible.

    Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

    Tentative Schedule - Subject to Change
    Week Topic Reading Assignment Due
    Week 1

    Ethical Decision making, general media ethics

     

    Patterson, Chapters 1 and 2
    Bok, Chapters 1 and 2
    Week 2

    Loyalty, privacy and media in democracy

     

    Patterson Chapters 4, 6 and 7 - Article and response
    Week 3 Personal Ethics, Libel

    Patterson, Chapter 12; Bok Chapters 3 and 4

    - Article and response

    - Quiz No. 1         
    Week 4 Advertising, Visual and Photography Ethics Patterson, Chapters 3 and 9; Bok Chapters 5, 6 and 7
    - Article and response
    - Personal Creed paper

    - Quiz No. 2

    Week 5  Public relations and media economics Patterson Chapters 4 and 8; Bok Chapters 8, 9 and 10

    - Article and response

    - Quiz No. 3

    Week 6 Mock Trial, Lying Bok chapters 11, 14 and 15

    - Article and response

    - Mock trial in class

    Week 7

    Internet, arts and entertainment ethics

    Patterson Chapters 10 and 11; Bok Chapters 13 and 14

    - Article and response

    - Mock trial reaction paper
     
    Week 8 Final          
    - In-class final
    - Clemente paper

    Academic Honesty:
    Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

    Plagiarism:
    Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
    If you have a question about whether you may or may not be plagiarizing, just ask! There are some significant gray areas in plagiarism and there are no “stupid” questions. It is always safe to side with caution.

    Attendance Policy:
    Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

    1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
    2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
    3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
    4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
    5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
    6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

    Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90
    In communication classes, regular attendance is a necessity if the student expects to master the course content. Participation in class exercises, listening, contributing to discussion and analyzing the communication efforts of other students are primary means of learning. Absence from class has a direct bearing on performance quality and final grade. Further, when you are absent it is your responsibility to get the assignments and notes you missed. It is not the responsibility of the instructor to see that you are caught up. If you anticipate missing any classes, let me know as soon as possible.

    Disability Guidelines:
    Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .



    Rubric

    CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
    Synthesis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Student applies all the major ideas examined in the course to the news article in question. Her application is specific to the news article and she is able to draw conclusions about the article or the reporting method using each of these ideas. Student applies some of the major ideas examined in the course to the news article in question. Her application is frequently specific to the news article and she is frequently able to draw conclusions about the article or the reporting method using each of these ideas. Student restates many of the major ideas examined in the course but does not apply them to the specific news article provided for the paper. The paper does not utilize the ideas of the course to answer the question. No citations are provided. 
    Analysis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Student articulates the connection, or lack of connection, between each ethical principle examined in the course and the central elements of the mock news article provided for the reaction paper. Student articulates the connection, or lack of connection, between several ethical principle examined in the course and the central elements of the mock news article provided for the reaction paper. Student articulates the essence of each ethical principle examined across the course but does not apply them to the mock news article. The student does not provide evidence of understanding the principles of the course. 
    Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Student articulates a position on how the mock story should be assessed in terms of the ethical principles raised across the breadth of the course. The position is supported by evidence from several philosophical principles Student articulates a position on the ethical strength of the mock news article but does not support the position with principles raised in the course. Student analyzes the mock news article but does articulate a position on the ethical strength of the news article. The student does not approach the ethical issues raised by the article. 
    Terminology                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Student describes all philosophers and their ideas accurately. The paper is comprehensive in utilizing all the major points of the course. Student describes most philosophers and their ideas accurately. Inaccuracies still show modest understanding of the principles. Student demonstrates modest understanding of general principles but does not provide either a comprehensive discussion of them or the ability to match philosophers or ph8ilosophies to ideas. The student does not recognize the ethical issues involved in the article. 
    Concepts                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    The student utilizes the ideas to clarify the issues involved in the mock story. The student articulates the nature of the connection between the communicator and the community. The student utilizes the ideas to clarify the issues involved in the mock story The student describes some philosophical principles to the question but does not articulate the connection between communicator and community and does not utilize these ideas to clarify the issues involved in the mock story. The student does not deal with community connections or professional issues. 
    Application                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    The student articulates understanding of the existence of all expected ethical concerns about the mock story. The student articulates understanding of the existence of some expected ethical concerns about the mock story. The student articulates only a few ethical concerns raised by the story. The student does not deal with ethical issues raised by the story. 
    Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    The student creates a comprehensive discussion of the principles, reaches conclusions and supports those conclusions. The student creates a discussion of some principles and utilizes those principles to reach conclusion about the mock story. The student demonstrates realization of some ethical problems with the story and uses at least one ethical principle from the course to approach it. The answer does not demonstrate processing of any ethical material or discussion from the course. 
    Component                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    The paper shows careful, clear writing, is thematic and organized in a matter that demonstrates thought about content. The paper shows careful, clear writing, is organized but does not appear to be guided by a general theme. The writing is adequate. The paper is not organized. The paper is unclear and not organized. 

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    Last Updated:9/23/2008 2:13:52 PM