Technology and the Ethics of Professional Writing: Journalism, Public Relations, and Copywriting

Nowhere else, but in journalism is there greater need for the highest standards of professionalism in writing. Writing is the life-blood of journalism. The journalistic code’s rudimentary principles are to seek truth and report it, minimize harm, and act independently and accountable, effectively remain at the heart of respectable journalism ethics. It is notable that proper ethics relies more on good-decision making rather than on rules. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics has always been of one’s own volition. Therefore, there is no formal channel that exists to investigate formal complaints. The act of communication binds journalism and public relations most closely and is also the most ethically problematic. Copy-writing and ethical misconduct exist in various forms, and its frequency is more common than the ethical violations in journalism and public relations. However, these ethical understand have not kept up with technology.


Journalism and technology go hand in hand, inextricably linked, especially in contemporary society. In a democracy, journalists have a significant political purpose and responsibility. A functioning democracy founded on a communications base that functions wholesomely to allow intelligent public opinion to develop without interruption. For instance, long ethics policies for newsrooms are a simple case of lack of updates in the ethical codes of conduct. Too many of them exist mostly to document reasons to fire people. Additionally, too many of them are mostly lists of imperatives rather than helpful guides to making ethical decisions in situations that are not as simple as the policies sometimes make them. Digital journalism is the essence of journalism (blogging is an aspect) in the twenty first century. Contemporary society allows for any person to take up the narrative and run with it in an effort to make their voice heard. Technology is progressing at a truly alarming rate necessitating the need for brisk review of ethical codes of conduct to feature in the daily conduct of affairs. Principles are the cornerstone of ethical conduct, even if meritorious conduct also requires practical wisdom and virtuous character. Consequently, principles are not the only means journalists must develop their reasoning skills of leveraging principles to circumstances and vice versa.

Public Relations

Usually, the most frequent complaint against any form of communication is that of trying to persuade unethically, often via some form of deception. Public relations messages ultimately refer a target population, and they must go to the media to reach that audience. Subsequently, the primary audience for most PR messages is obviously the media itself. Furthermore, these messages tend to be crafted in the style of the medium for which they intend. Advance in public relations technology highlighted by a heavy online presence still comes up short in leveraging technology to advance ethical codes of conduct. Public relations practitioner has to keep up with the changing tides of technology in regard to ethical codes of conduct.


The words of a copy-writer hold much weight in trying to convince an audience. Just like any other professional writing, ethical sensitivity is of essence, especially with regard to technology. Great copy-writing is simple and logical. It captures the soul of its nature while linking directly with the reader. Copy-writing failed to keep up with technology, and this causes breach in code of conduct, especially between traditional and digital copy-writing. Ultimately, equal transition with technology enhances positive ethical stances.


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