Responsible Communitication

By Le-Var Rowe

Editorial: Learning from the hijab hoax, January 16,2018.

This article acknowledges that everyone was taken in by the events surrounding an 11-year old girl having been "attacked" by an "Asian man" who tried to cut her hijab, "twice".  The article sets out to point that everyone believed our victim and upon discovering the incident was false, why was our government not at the forefront to "stress the dangers of anyone falsely claiming to be the victim of a hate crime".  The idea of condemning, it would seem, should flow both ways. Support the victim and condemn the perpetrator, real or imagine.  If it turns out the victim is not a victim, then condemn their actions, especially since it affects yet another set of victims: real hate crime victims. It would seem, from the article, the implied notion that Public leaders are not human, they do not suffer embarrassments. Plus, we are supposed to accuse our victims of lying first by being cautious and postpone judgements and avoid sweeping conclusions, regardless of our outrage.  Politicians are people, I think, and if they violate their responsibility, they most be bold enough and own up to their mistakes--Yes.  But the are in their right to exercise caution, especially when they occupy a position of great public presence, to keep their mouths shut. 

The ideas of the article are not simple and the issues are real, and difficult.  It seems easy to assign responsibility and discount certain actions and inactions.  But it is not easy to unravel who is to be blamed.  

Another example of Responsible Communication: A Teacher's Responsibility

Zwaagstra, Michael.  "Teachers must expose students to more than one perspective." The Vancouver Sun. January 15th, 2018.

The article addresses how the biases of teachers can affect the instructions of their students.  This oversight can lead to one sided lesson plans and a failure to introduce breath and perspective to students.  As teachers, their first responsibility is to developing thinkers and not mindless drones (my emphasis). 

The article, "A teacher's responsibility" caught my attention along with learning from "the hijab hoax."  At first, I thought the two articles I choose were two ideas and separate.  As I read both and thought about the message, it became clear, my Podcast should be about Responsible Communication.  Instructions of any type is the only way to develop into a responsible communicator; when we communicate responsible, we can be proud we did not mislead any of our listeners, and no matter the arena in which we express our opinions, we know we are true to ourselves and confident in our message and need to, and we can, own them and be open to the responsibility we have addressed.  

FOCUSING: Responsible Communication--Ethics

Arneson, Pat.  "Introduction".  Exploring Communication Ethics. 2007.  Article.  

An except:  "Ethics are an integral dimension of human communication. Richard L. Johannesen explains that ethical issues may arise in communication whenever one’s behavior (i) could have “significant impact on other persons,” (ii) “involves conscious choice of means and ends,” and/or (iii) “can be judged by standards of right and wrong” (2002, 1). Engaging in thoughtful communication that positively contributes to interactions and relationships requires the exercise of critical thinking. Thinking before one speaks enables a person to consider the place of ethics in one’s communication. Ethical communication concerns itself beyond one’s right to free speech to consider the responsibility one holds toward others in communication." (Xiii)

Zeroing on the message, It is a matter of my opinion that we are now noticing that Communication Ethics are being violated often.  In a world of information overload, we need to fact check and investigate any ideas, accusations, messages that are brought forward into the public's discourse.  When we talk about not addressing concerns or, for the lack of a better word-- telling Lies, especially in the public media, we are being irresponsible and unethical because these messages affect the lives of those it addresses.  Leaders are not necessarily allowed to either remain silent, or they are not allowed to speak as well.  This is to say they do not get to simple express their feelings.  




February 4th 2018


Responsible Communication begins from a young age.  The Editorial: Learning from the hijab hoax can attest to this fact.  It says that, "the problem with the Toronto's now infamous hoax is that it will make Muslims and others who are actual victims of hate crimes more afraid to come forward for fear of not being believed". It goes on to say, it will make the public more cynical about the reporting of hate crimes.  Once it was released {that it was an hoax),  why did Trudeau, Wynne, Tory not stress the dangers of anyone falsely claiming to be the victim of a hate crime or for that matter any crime? {Question is stressed, editorial stated this as a fact}. Instead, according to the editorial, "They were glad that no attack had occurred but that it was important to continue to be vigilant about fighting hatred and racism.  There is much surrounding this story, and the details from which the story was actually told that fueled the emotions of every individual who heard it, to the point where everyone was willing believe and willing to participate in the story.  It is important that we remember how important this was! Because it goes towards our public discourse and "in fact" fuel the idea that ethics is important, and we can "in fact" train, and should train our children in proper and responsible communication.  This is were it begins--and parents are "in fact" going to find themselves in situations more often than not--but in this situation, it is not only a political one, it is a home base one.  And that cannot be forgotten, or looked, or overlooked. So come with me has we find out how is it that households impart these lessons to their younger generation---IN A Matter of My Opinion, There is a story here...