Elina Erzikova

European and US perspectives on teaching ethics to public relations students

To examine university professors' perceptions of ethics instruction in the PR curriculum, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 52 US (n=32) and European (n=20) educators. Both European and US educators perceived ethics instruction as an important aspect of the PR education. However, while American educators call for a more thorough instruction in professional ethics, European professors emphasise the need to educate communication professionals to become experts in ethics in the philosophical sense. Although American PR educators feel obliged to help the industry thrive, European educators distance themselves from the industry seeing universities as autonomous enterprises.

Keywords: public relations, ethics, education, university curriculum


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Note on the contributor

Elina Erzikova is an assistant professor of public relations in the Department of Journalism at Central Michigan University. She holds her doctorate in mass communication and a Masters degree in journalism from University of Alabama, and a Bachelors degree in journalism from Tashkent State University (former USSR). Erzikova's research interest is located at the intersection of journalism, public relations, and political communication. Her studies have been published in Political Communication, Journalism Studies, Public Relations Review, Public Relations Journal, and Russian Journal of Communication. Contact details: Department of Journalism, Moore 412, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859; (989)-774-1665 (office), (205)-292-6819 (cell); email: erzik1e@cmich.edu.