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17. Principled Advocacy

From the book Communication and Media Ethics

  • Sherry Baker


We live in an age of advocacy that is characterized by an omnipresent and persistent environment of persuasion, partisanship, sponsorship, and endorsement. All members of society are engaged in these practices of advocacy in one way or another (professionally, socially, and via social media). Because advocacy has real and significant social and moral consequences (good and bad) for individuals and for every aspect of civic life, it is incumbent on anyone engaged in advocacy and persuasion of any kind (i.e. all of us) to do so ethically. The chapter (based in an applied neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics perspective) identifies and focuses on the moral principles that must be enacted and demonstrated in ethical advocacy. An archetype of a principled advocate (juxtaposed to that of a pathological partisan) is described as a heuristic for gaining ethical insight and for making ethical decisions in advocacy, persuasion, and partisanship. The moral virtues and principles embodied and enacted by an ethical advocate include being truthful, fair, authentic, respectful, transparent, and in being concerned for others and for the good of society.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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