Re: Who cares about ethics?

Subject: Re: Who cares about ethics?
From: "Edwin Wurster" <eawurster -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 12:17:53 -0400

"Dawn Whitlock" <dawn -dot- whitlock -at- tait -dot- co -dot- nz> wrote

| I'm a professional technical communicator and I'm writing an essay (as part of a
| course I'm taking) on ethics.

| How do you feel about the following statement:

| "Most professional technical communicators largely ignore the subject of ethics,
| despite regular articles in the STC's Intercom magazine, believing ethics to be
| largely irrelevant to their professional development."

Not a member of STC, so I can't comment on that part of your question.

I belong to ICCA and subscribe to their code of ethics, which can be summarized in this way:

- be honest and do not misrepresent facts
- install and use only properly licensed software
- divulge potential conflicts of interest prior to accepting work
- offer independent opinions and reveal when you will make money from client
- accept projects that you can complete with available skill and time
- keep client informed as to all aspects, even if it jeopardizes the contract
- safeguard confidential information
- do not take advantage of proprietary information
- do not engage in contracts which violate law

I don't believe that technical people largely ignore the subject. Rather, pressure is placed on individuals to bend the rules. Happens all the time. It helps to deal with expectations up front, with a contract.


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