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...

Rinaldi, Christina M and Spencer A. Rathus. Voyages in Development. 2nd Canadian edition. Nelson Education Ltd, 2015.

This is the development of childhood and Adolescence from the physiology to cognitive.  I wanted to understand the science behind the brain and the various perspectives that child's development can be viewed.  Just to gain a handle on it complexity.  In particular,  I wanted to focus on Moral Development.

Leonard, Eugenie Andruss. Concerning our girls and what they tell us. AMS Press, Inc., 1972.

This text discusses adolescence and its complexities from a specific gender: the female.  This is an area I am vested within and I believed it would be relevant to explore what has been written by the expert to form some idea as to why it may not have been Khawlah Noman's intention to create such a detailed hoax, at least not on her own.  Social pressures can be difficult to navigate, and given her culture's expectations on the female, I wanted some gender specifics.

Harris, Collete. Muslim youth: tensions and transitions in Tajikistan. Westview Press, 2006.

In this text, a case study was done in another country exploring the Muslim youth and the struggle they experience from many of the social conventions we struggle with these days.  I was particularly interested in the family relations, education, tensions and transitions, to see if their beliefs had any systemic notions that cause potential cycles that seems difficult to gain freedom from. I figured an historical, geological perspective to build on would expand or complicate my idea.

Banerjee, Bani. Modernization of Muslim Youth. Sarup and Sons, 1997.

In this text, very outdated in its ideas, but scientifically relevant.  It suggest a systematic breakdown of the struggles that would be overcome should the Muslim society be studied at the micro level and it inhabitants be given the opportunity to speak for themselves so maybe a real definitive solution to whether assimilation is possible or maybe it should never have been proposed. I hope to further my understanding so as to not necessarily over look my opinion piece but incorporate my concern with it and further my agenda as well. 

Levesque, Roger J.R. Adolescents, Media, and the Law. Oxford University Press, 2007.

This text explores the idea of how saturated we have become by information that due to this exposure, adolescents live in this state that their connection will never be as the children of old.  In the case of my opinion piece it is difficult to know exactly Khawlah has any idea of the damage she may have done. So gone are the days when reporters only report stories, no stories are coming to them from activists, bloggers and fake news, creating a new type of advocacy and redefining the idea and concept of free speech.  So what happens to the psyche and information thought processes of a person with limited cognitive function to reason in the manner necessary to understand their actions; brought up in an informational culture of this type, she may have thought it was only fun and games.

Eppel, E.M. and M. Adolescents and Morality. Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966.

I was caught up in the idea that morality was only a philosophical idea, the psychology and criminology and sociology and anthropological ideas became clear.  Developmental psychology especial expands on this idea to inform its forensic branch.  I wanted to explore this concept and this text allowed me to gain a broad but specific look.  I especially enjoy the its perspective of the adult of authority take of the subject.  I do not have any authority in this podcast, put I was hoping to take an expert approach.  I believe this will help. 

Livingstone, Sonia, and Julian Sefton-Green. The Class Living and Learning in the Digital Age. New York University Press, 2016.

This was a more targeted text with a class room at it forefront. A study of 13 year olds studied from 2011 to 2012.  The main interest I had was its perspective to give "parents, teachers, and others responsible for young people's learning." It sets out to help but highlights the difficulty of the age, and how challenging it is to determine their wants.  I wanted to see if they were successful in countering the notion in England that "today's youth... are so immersed in the online world that they cannot concentrate on learning". I for one hoped not, because the ability to learn is how they will combated manipulation.  And these are the greatest challenges to our youths: because for some parents easier to manipulate when you are controlling, but harder to help when you are libertarian.