Monica Codina (Ed.) (2002): Informacion, ficcion, persuasion: Es la etica una utopia? (Pamplona, Espaﾤa: Ediciones Eunate), 312 pp. ISBN 84-7768-135-X, $15 (paper).
The theme of this book is about ethics in the professions of communication, which here consists of information, fiction and persuasion. The book includes papers and lectures by professionals and academics at the International Congress of Communication, which was held at the School of Journalism in the University of Navarra.
The purpose of these researches was to answer the question: Can professionals in communication bring some values to contemporary society? Do deontological deficiencies endanger the essence of the professions of communication? Separate answers were given by the 25 speakers of the Congress. The book is a record of very different issues whose unique link is ethics in the area of communication.
A particularly important chapter is by Peter Cole, veteran journalist and current director of the Department of Journalism in the University of Sheffield, England. He explains the Press Complaints Commission, created in the United Kingdom as a key instrument for self-control of the press in order to restrain governmental press regulation. Another chapter also worth highlighting was written by Armando Fumagalli, professor of Semiotics in the University of Milan, Italy and adviser on film and TV scripts, about the necessary unity of ethics in professions of communication, especially in audiovisual areas.
The other chapters dealt with a extremely wide range of topics. For instance, advertising stereotypes and their ethical contention, values in advertising, ethical effects of 9/11/01 on the mass media and ethical implications of the new technologies of communication, as well as older ways of making journalism that influence how professionals communicate. One unique contribution is on advertising in the Tarot or in Pokemon, the successful Japanese cartoon.
To sum up, this book offers an overview that helps professional and academics deal with situations related to deontological issues that professionals have to face every day.
Josﾂ J. Sánchez-Aranda
The above article was published in Media Ethics , Fall 2003 (15:1), p. 47.