Loath to Admit: Pressures on the Ethical Disclosure of News ...

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Loath to Admit: Pressures on the Ethical Disclosure of News ...

served when it can make decisions about thecredibility of the information based on clearidentification of the source and balanceddiscussion of motives.News release information comes from a sourcewith an interest in presenting the informationin the way that it is presented in the release.Public relations relies on the flow of information,but the provision of information is ameans ong>toong> an end, not the ultimate goal ofpublic relations.It [information] must always be seen as‘instrumental’ or contributing ong>toong> persuadingand mobilising the target audience ong>toong> buy aproduct, support an issue or vote for a particularcandidate (Linning 2004: 67).The ability ong>toong> craft news releases in a style thatis indistinguishable from news is a foundationalskill in public relations. The transfer ofinformation from organization through publicrelations officer and journalist ong>toong> mediaconsumers can occur rapidly and almost seamlessly.According ong>toong> Poling, the popularity ofVNRs may be attributed ong>toong> the ease of theirdistribution (2005: par. 11).‘The goal of a VNR project is ong>toong> receive thewidest possible airings of the key messageswithin’ (Simon 2005: par. 18). Public relationspeople are taught that ‘reporters and ediong>toong>rshave no obligation ong>toong> use any of the informationfrom a news release in a news song>toong>ry’(Wilcox and Cameron 2006: 357), and that thekey ong>toong> effective news releases is in the placemenong>toong>f the release....knowing when something is newsworthyand when it is not, and knowing yourcontacts in the media and their schedules andguidelines, are the most important elementsof news release writing (Bivins 2005: 103).training is a dominant focus in the trainingof undergraduate public relations practitioners,particularly at schools and colleges ofjournalism and mass communications.Through this training the image of the publicrelations practitioner as journalist is created.Students are taught ong>toong> use the AssociatedPress style book, and all the formats of newsreleases, video releases and other mediaforms. (Holtzhausen 2002: 258-9).The public relations industry survives in largepart because of its ability ong>toong> provide a helpinghand with media song>toong>ries. The value of theplacement of news release material varies withthe audience and the medium, but the stakesand the motivation for public relations peopleare high. In her testimony ong>toong> the S.967 hearingthe PRSA president said PRSA believed thatVNRs play an important part in strategiccommunications planning and the free flow ofinformation, and that most of their 20,000members and the 120,000 public relations practitionersin the US hold the view that sponsorsof the causes and interests served by VNRsshould be disclosed ong>toong> the media (Phair 2005).She also said PRSA believed that the publicshould be kept ‘ong>toong>tally informed about thesources of information” (Phair 2005: par. 11).What was not discussed at the hearing waspublic relations practitioners’ attitudes ong>toong>, andperceived value of, non-disclosure of newsmaterial source ong>toong> the public. News releasematerial presented ong>toong> the public as ediong>toong>rialnews, without attribution of source, acquiresthe implied endorsement of the news organization.This enhances the credibility of thematerial and makes it a more powerful instrumenong>toong>f persuasion. Linning has said that theability of public relations ong>toong> secure third partyendorsement for people who cannot or are notprepared ong>toong> says things is public relations’greatest asset (2004: 65).PAPERBivins tells readers of his public relations writingtext: ‘As a writer of news releases you willbecome a reporter’ (ibid). Critics of public relationsmedia practice have drawn attention ong>toong>public relations college training ‘wherestudents are trained ong>toong> write, act and think likejournalists’ (Holtzhausen 2002: 258), andstudents of public relations and journalismlearn skills ong>toong>gether without adequate explanationof the ‘professional differences of attitudeand motive’ (Moloney 2006: 159).The emphasis on writing skills and journalismWhen news release material is published with ajournalist’s by-line and without acknowledgemenong>toong>f the source ‘the public relationsconsultants concerned do not generally objectong>toong> having their material presented in this wayong>toong> an unsuspecting audience’ (Richards 2005:63). While the public relations industry peakbody might claim in good faith ong>toong> support fulldisclosure of news release as source, it bettersuits public relations campaigns if the helpinghand with media song>toong>ries is unseen, because thenews release material acquires the credibilityof the news organization.LOATH TO ADMITCopyright 2007-3. Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics. All rights reserved. Vol 4, No 3 2007 35

Peter Simmons‘Not a significant source of news’Calculating the exact amount of influence thatnews releases and public relations have onnews is methodologically problematic becauseit tends ong>toong> rely on self-reporting by journalistsand public relations practitioners, or analysisand tracing of the origins of news, or trackingmedia use of a sample of news releases. Davissays that public relations’ influence on newsproduction has always been greater than‘scholars recorded, journalists admitted, ornews consumers were aware of’ (2003: 31).When asked about the extent of public relations’influence on the news, journalists pointong>toong> garbage bins crammed with press releases asevidence of their media gatekeeping, whilepublic relations practitioners talk of highsuccess rates (Zawawi 2001).Quantitative tracking studies have consistentlyfound that public relations material has a largeinfluence on news. In 2005 and 2006 the Centrefor Media and Democracy tracked US televisionstations’ use of 36 VNRs from three public relationscompanies working mostly for profitmaking corporations. They found 77 stationsused the VNR material in different ways withoutdisclosing the client source. Collectively,the stations had audience reach of more thanhalf the US population.In each case, these 77 television stationsactively disguised the sponsored content ong>toong>make it appear ong>toong> be their own reporting. Inalmost all cases, stations failed ong>toong> balance theclients' messages with independently-gatheredfootage or basic journalistic research.More than one-third of the time, stationsaired the pre-packaged VNR in its entirety(Farsetta and Price 2006: par.1).Much of the news read in newspapers isbelieved ong>toong> originate in press releases (Wilcoxand Cameron 2006) and researcher estimates ofthe amount of news content influenced insome way by public relations have been as highas 80 per cent in the US (Cameron, Sallot andCurtin 1996). An Australian study of majormetropolitan daily newspapers found that 47per cent of news articles were the result ofpress releases and other activity, and that thearticles overwhelmingly reflected the perspectiveof the entity issuing the release, ratherthan a balance of viewpoints (Zawawi 2001).In her testimony at the S.967 hearing Cochransaid that third party materials are ‘not a significantsource of news for most operations’ (par.3). Referring ong>toong> conversations with news direcong>toong>rs,she concluded that VNRs are used in theirentirety ‘very rarely’ (Cochran 2005: par. 10).‘Very rarely’ and ‘significant’ have no precisedefinitions in this context, but these descriptionsare inconsistent with other indicaong>toong>rs,and Simon’s testimony at the same hearing. Hesaid that 5 per cent of the VNRs his companydistributes air ‘in their entirety’, and referred ong>toong>moniong>toong>ring service claims that no more than 10per cent of news is VNR footage (Simon 2005:par. 18). Griffo refers ong>toong> claims from the CEO ofMedialink that material from his company’sVNRs has been used by every TV station with anewscast in the US (2004). The public’s interestsin understanding the amount of influence thatVNRs have on ediong>toong>rial news were not servedwell by industry accounts at the hearing.ong>Pressuresong> ong>toong> use third party materialThe pressure ong>toong> use news releases is increasedwhere news budgets are tight, and there aredemands on journalists ong>toong> increase output.More output means less time ong>toong> investigate,check sources, and corroborate facts. Thedecline in news-gathering resources is perhapsthe most important facong>toong>r driving the use ofpublic relations material, and local stationswith smaller budgets are often mentioned asthe most receptive ong>toong> VNRs (Poling 2005; Cutlip,Center and Broom 2006). The FCCCommissioner said that government andprivate corporation news song>toong>ries are attractiveong>toong> newsrooms trying ong>toong> deliver more news withfewer resources for journalism, and describedVNRs as ‘one sympong>toong>m of the commercializationof the media’ (Adelstein 2005). Moloneydescribed a ‘structural process of marketizationoperating on newsrooms, which is sucking inPR material ong>toong> fill larger news spaces’ (2006:153).The State of the News Media (2006) describesan environment of declining resources for thegathering of news in the US. It reports widespreadnewspaper job cuts, local radio stationsoffering little reporting from the field, anarrowing of local TV news song>toong>ry content, andthat blogs and web based news struggle ong>toong>produce original news. ‘Even in bigger newsrooms,journalists report that specialization iseroding as more reporters are recast inong>toong>generalists’ (State of the News Media 2006:par.12).The report refers ong>toong> the problem of the loss oftraditional, inquiring, rigorous journalism, and‘the decline of full-time, professional moniong>toong>ringof powerful institutions’ (ibid: par.17).36 Copyright 2007-3. Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics. All rights reserved. Vol 4, No 3 2007 PAPER

The amount of time and other resources availableong>toong> journalists ong>toong> create their own news is acritical facong>toong>r affecting the proper, ethical useof third party material such as news releases.Industry representatives at the S.967 hearingdid not mention the temptation for journalistsong>toong> use public relations materials as a way of fillingnews holes, or the temptation for publicrelations practitioners ong>toong> target underresourcednewsrooms with pre-packaged news.Industry largely focused attention on policycommitments ong>toong> the principles of properconduct, without mention of the day ong>toong> dayrealities for working professionals that increasethe likelihood of media release journalism.Guidelines for the proper use of material fromthird partiesJournalists and ediong>toong>rs can quickly decide onthe utility of news release material, and have arange of options for their use. They can ignorereleases completely, broadcast or print themwithout alteration or checking, or use thematerial as the stimulus for a song>toong>ry of their owncreation. In their training, journalists are taughtthat news releases are not written as balancednews, that they represent the preferredaccount of the organisation issuing the release,and should not be treated as objective information.News releases are discussed as possiblestarting points or ideas for a song>toong>ry, but thatwithout independent verification of claimsmade in the release, additional informationshould be sought. When independent verificationis not obtained, but news release materialused, journalists are taught ong>toong> disclose source.In many cases, the press release containsquotes from an official or source within theorganization. If you can’t reach the source ong>toong>get comments yourself, you may use thequotes. But you should attribute them ong>toong> thepress release (Rich 2000: 76).The Radio Television News Direcong>toong>rs Associationand Foundation Code of Ethics says that professionalelectronic journalists’ first obligation is ong>toong>the public and that journalists should ‘presentnews accurately, in context and as completelyas possible’ (RTNDAFa 2006: par.5). The requirementong>toong> ‘clearly disclose the origin of informationand label all material provided byoutsiders’ (par.6) was expanded in April 2005when RTNDA released new guidelines(RTNDAFb 2006) on the use of non-ediong>toong>rialvideo and audio material. The new guidelinesrequire journalists ong>toong> scrutinize the materialsource and production values more closely, andong>toong> label all material from ‘corporate and othernon-ediong>toong>rial sources’ (par. 4). They alsoprovide suggestions on how ong>toong> appropriatelydisclose the source.The Society of Professional Journalists’ code ofethics (Society of Professional Journalists 2006)is much less specific about disclosure requirements,but includes three related points whenit says that journalists should: ‘Identify sourceswhenever feasible. The public is entitled ong>toong> asmuch information as possible on sources’ reliability’(par. 3); ‘Never plagiarize’ (par. 3); and‘Distinguish news from advertising and shunhybrids that blur lines between the two’ (par.3).Despite the ubiquity of press and news releasesas a means of communicating with journalistsand media, codes of journalism ethics generallyfail ong>toong> instruct journalists clearly on theirappropriate use. A survey of professional journalistcodes in Australia (Media Entertainmentand Arts Alliance 2006), the UK and Ireland(National Union of Journalists 2006), Norway(Norwegian Press Code 2005), and Canada(Fédération Professionnelle des Journalistes duQuébec 2006) finds that codes neither mentionpress and news releases specifically, norprovide clear instruction on their use. TheGerman Press Council mentions press releasesspecifically, but only briefly; ‘[press releases]issued by public authorities, political parties,associations, clubs or other lobby groups mustbe clearly defined as such if they are publishedwithout having been edited’. It also says that‘the credibility of the press as a source of informationcalls for particular care in dealing withPR material and in producing ediong>toong>rial supplements’(German Press Council 2005: Guideline7.2).Richards has said that there is a case for arguingthat Australia’s main code of journalismethics should deal explicitly with the use ofpublic relations news release material, but thatcodes are just one of many influences on theethics of journalist behaviour (Richards 2005).He suggests that codes will be ineffective withoutprograms involving all employees andmanagers in news organizations in processesthat explore their meaning and application(ibid). One very important barrier ong>toong> ethicalconduct in this regard, deserving close scrutinyby journalists and their news organizations,but not mentioned in the S.967 hearings, isjournalist resistance ong>toong> disclosing public rela-PAPERLOATH TO ADMITCopyright 2007-3. Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics. All rights reserved. Vol 4, No 3 2007 37

Peter Simmonstions material as a source of news.Journalists don’t attribute public relations assourceIndustry leaders at the S.967 hearings testifiedthat existing codes and regulations adequatelyprotect the public’s right ong>toong> disclosure of thirdparty news sources, and that journalists andnews organisations should self-regulate onmatters of disclosure ong>toong> the public. Their testimonydid not refer ong>toong> the journalism profession’sknown resistance ong>toong> be seen by theirpublics ong>toong> be using public relations material asa source of news. The reasons for the resistanceare not the subject of this paper, but the resistanceis important in discussions of journalists’ethical disclosure of third party sources, andthe need for guidelines and regulation.Researchers refer ong>toong> the need for journalists ong>toong>build confidence that they work in the publicinterest (Jempson 2005), ong>toong> scrutinize informationprovided by public relations firms (Zawawi1998; Moloney 2006) and ong>toong> acknowledge theirsources (Macnamara 2006).Although many journalists have ong>toong> deal withincreasing news holes, reliance on public relationsmaterial is not considered good journalism,and journalists prefer not ong>toong> be seen ong>toong> beusing public relations sources. TV stations don’tlike ong>toong> appear ong>toong> be using video material notproduced by their own people (Wilcox andCameron 2006: 83), and reporters who use thematerial contained in releases are often reluctantong>toong> attribute news releases or public relationscompanies as their source (Macnamara2006).…local television news direcong>toong>rs are pressedong>toong> fill ever-larger ‘news holes’ with smallerstaffs and budgets. Consequently, local newsoperations are increasingly dependent onpublic relation sources, although they areloath ong>toong> admit that reality (Cutlip, Center andBroom 2006: 265).Journalists’ known reluctance ong>toong> be seen ong>toong> beusing public relations contributions in thecreation of news is a barrier ong>toong> the ethical presentationof news release material ong>toong> the public.Ultimately the ethical use of third party materialsin ediong>toong>rial news will be determined by journalists’and their news organizations’ insistenceon scrutinizing and disclosing their sources.They need resources ong>toong> scrutinize and willingnessong>toong> disclose.ConclusionThere is ample evidence that news releasesfrom public relations have a substantial impacong>toong>n the news the public read, watch and listenong>toong>. The level of this impact was arguably understatedby industry representatives at the S.967hearing. As Bivins says, PR people continue ong>toong>provide news releases because they are effective(2005).It’s more than 10 years since Cameron, Sallotand Curtin’s (1996) important review of publicrelations and the production of news. Moreresearch needs ong>toong> be done ong>toong> determine thenature and extent of the influence that thirdparty news sources have on ediong>toong>rial news.Failure ong>toong> disclose source is ethically objectionablebecause it results in deception. Regardlessof the perceived veracity or consequence ofthird party material, the public has a right ong>toong>know its source. The important responsibilityfor disclosure of the source of governmentVNRs, and other forms of news release, restswith journalists and news organizations.At the S.967 hearings, industry representativesdid not mention some important facong>toong>rs thataffect the ethical use of news releases.Resources for researching and creating newsare diminishing and placing pressure on manyjournalists ong>toong> fill larger news holes, andexpertly crafted and targeted public relationsnews release material provides a tempting wayong>toong> fill them. But journalists resist being seen ong>toong>be using public relations material. Disclosure ofthird party source, where the third party ispublic relations, is inherently undesirable formany journalists because they feel it exposessome sort of professional inadequacy. So journalistsare tempted ong>toong> use public relationsmaterial, and tempted not ong>toong> disclose source ifthey do.When news release material is presented ong>toong> thepublic without disclosure of the source, themessage acquires the implied third partyendorsement of the journalist and news organisation,thus increasing its credibility ong>toong> thepublic. Public relations materials seek ong>toong>persuade; non-disclosure of the real sourceenhances the credibility of the message. Thus,both individual journalists and public relationspractitioners perceive their work ong>toong> beenhanced when news release material is usedwithout disclosure of the source.That the S.967 hearing – which broughtong>toong>gether the FCC and peak public relations andelectronic journalism bodies ong>toong> examine disclosureissues – did not explore these news38 Copyright 2007-3. Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics. All rights reserved. Vol 4, No 3 2007 PAPER

production realities, reflects a focus on theconcerns of the professions involved ong>toong>preserve the status quo, not on the interests ofthe public who attend ong>toong> news.In the longer term the blurring of public relationsand journalism destroys both. Each needsthe public ong>toong> trust that journalists are independentfor published or broadcast content ong>toong>be credible (Moloney 2006). Moreover, if selfregulationof disclosure is ong>toong> work in thepublic’s interest, professions and news organizationshave ong>toong> commit seriously ong>toong> ethicalpractice. Use of ‘According ong>toong> a press statement..’ needs ong>toong> become a badge of journalisticintegrity, rather than the mark of a second-ratejournalist.Genuine leadership commitment will berequired if disclosure practices by journalistsare ong>toong> be improved from within the professions.Change will not be achieved by payinglip-service ong>toong> principles. The codes of publicrelations and journalism practice shouldprovide clearer and more specific guidance onthe proper use of news release material, and besupported by ongoing professional and organizationalaccountability mechanisms thatpromote ethical practice.If self-regulation of disclosure does not work inthe public’s interest – and the public’s interestis not protected by effective external regulationof disclosure – the public, and indeedpublic relations, will have ong>toong> look elsewhere forwhat we now call news.ReferencesAdelstein, J. S. (2005) Testimony at the S.967 Senate Committee onCommerce, Science and Transportation (12 May). Available onlineat http://commerce.senate.gov/hearings/witnesslist.cfm?id=1497,accessed on 18 August 2006Baerns, B. (2003) Separating advertising from programme content:The principle and its relevance in communications practice, Journalof Communication Management, Vol. 8 pp 101-112Bivins, T. H. (2005) Public Relations Writing. The essentials of styleand format. (5th ed.), New York, McGraw HillCameron, G.T., Sallot, L.M. and Curtin, P.A. (1996) Public relationsand the production of news: A critical review and theoreticalframework, in Burleson B. R. (ed.) Communication Yearbook, Vol.20, California, Sage pp 111-155Cochran, B. (2005) Testimony at the S.967 Senate Committee onCommerce, Science and Transportation (12 May). Available onlineat http://commerce.senate.gov/hearings/witnesslist.cfm?id=1497,accessed on 18 August 2006Cutlip, S., Center, A. and Broom, G. (2006) Effective Public Relations(9th ed.), New Jersey, PearsonDavis, A. (2003) Public relations and news sources, in Cottle, S. (ed.)News, Public Relations and Power, London, Sage pp 27-42Doorley, J., and Garcia, H.F. (2007) Reputation Management: TheKey ong>toong> Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communication,New York, Taylor and Francis.Farsetta, D. and Price, D. (2006) Fake TV news: Widespread andundisclosed. A multimedia report on television newsrooms' use ofmaterial provided by PR firms on behalf of paying clients, TheCentre for Media and Democracy. Available online athttp://www.prwatch.org/fakenews/execsummary, accessed on 18August 2006.Fédération Professionnelle des Journalistes du Québec. (1996)English translation of code of ethics. Available online athttp://www.mediawise.org.uk/display_page.php?id=190, accessedon 18 August 2006German Press Council Code of conduct. (2001). Available online athttp://www.mediawise.org.uk/display_page.php?id=40, accessedon 18 August 2006General Accounting Office (GAO) (2004, May 19). Decision B-302710. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers forMedicare and Medicaid Services – Video News Releases. Availableonline at http://www.gao.gov/decisions/appro/302710.pdf,accessed on 18 August 2006Griffo, P. (2004) Legitimate news releases or propaganda?Debating the ethics of VNRs, Public Relations Tactics, 20 JuneHoltzhausen, D.R. (2002) Towards a postmodern research agendafor public relations. Public Relations Review, Vol. 28 pp 251-264Inouye, D.K. (2005) Testimony at the S.967 Senate Committee onCommerce, Science and Transportation. (12 May). Available onlineat http://commerce.senate.gov/hearings/witnesslist.cfm?id=1497,accessed on 18 August 2006Jempson, M. (2005) Spinners or sinners? PR, journalists and publictrust. Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 9 pp 267-276Linning, R. (2004) Abuse and self-abuse – PR and its USP, plausibledeniability. Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 9 pp 65-72Macnamara, J. (2006) The impact of PR on the media. Availableonline at http://masscom.com.au/book/index.html, accessed on 18August 2006Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. Code of ethics. (2005).Available online at http://www.alliance.org.au/media/code_of_ethics.htm, accessed on 18 August 2006Moloney, K. (2006) Rethinking public relations: PR propaganda anddemocracy (2nd ed.), Abingdon, RoutledgeNational Union of Journalists Code of Conduct (2004). Availableonline at http://www.nuj.org.uk, accessed on 18 August 2006Norwegian Press Code of Ethics. (2003) Available online athttp://www.mediawise.org.uk/display_page.php?id=80, accessedon 18 August 2006Phair, J. T. (2005) Testimony at the S.967 Senate Committee onCommerce, Science and Transportation. (12 May). Available onlineat http://commerce.senate.gov/hearings/witnesslist.cfm?id=1497,accessed on 18 August 2006Poling, S. (2005) Testimony at the S.967 Senate Committee onCommerce, Science and Transportation. (12 May). Available onlineat http://commerce.senate.gov/hearings/witnesslist.cfm?id=1497,accessed on 18 August 2006Radio Television News Direcong>toong>rs Association and Foundation(RTNDAFa) Code of Ethics. (2000). Available online athttp://rtnda.org/ethics/coe.html, accessed on 18 August 2006Radio Television News Direcong>toong>rs Association and Foundation(RTNDAFb) VNR Guidelines. (2005, April). Available online athttp://rtnda.org/foi/finalvnr.shtml, accessed on 18 August 2006Rich, C. (2000) Writing and reporting news: A coaching method,California, WadsworthRichards, I. (2005) Quagmires and quandaries: Exploring journalismethics, Sydney, UNSW PressSenate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.(2005) Report ong>toong> accompany S.967 Bill ong>toong> amend theCommunications Act 1934. (20 December). Available online athttp://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/T?&report=sr210&dbname=109&, accessed on 18 August 2006Simon, D. (2005) Testimony at the S.967 Senate Committee onPAPERLOATH TO ADMITCopyright 2007-3. Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics. All rights reserved. Vol 4, No 3 2007 39

Peter SimmonsCommerce, Science and Transportation (12 May). Available onlineat http://commerce.senate.gov/hearings/witnesslist.cfm?id=1497,accessed on 18 August 2006Simmons, P. and Spence, E. (2006) The practice and ethics of mediarelease journalism. Australian Journalism Review, Vol. 28 pp 167-181Society of Professional Journalists (1996) Code of ethics. Availableonline at http://www.spj.org./ethicscode.asp? accessed on 18August 2006The State of the News Media 2006: An annual report on Americanjournalism. Available online at http://www.stateofthemedia.org/2006/narrative_overview_intro.asp?media=1, accessed on 18August 2006S.967: Bill ong>toong> amend the Communications Act 1934. United States109th Congress 1st Session. Calendar No. 352. (2005 20 December).Available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:S.967:, accessed on 18 August 2006Wilcox, D.L. and Cameron, G.T. (2006) Public Relations: Strategiesand Tactics. Bosong>toong>n, PearsonZawawi, C. (1998) Tainted Information, Choice, pp 26-31Zawawi, C. (2001) Feeding the watchdogs – an analysis of relationshipsbetween Australian public relations practitioners and journalists.(Unpublished docong>toong>ral dissertation, Queensland University ofTechnology 2001). Excerpts held by the author.Note on Contribuong>toong>rPeter Simmons is Postgraduate Courses Coordinaong>toong>r,Organisational Communication, School of Communication, CharlesSturt University, Australia. His recent research and publicationshave focused on public relations evaluation and research, ethics ofpublic relations and journalism, and the influence of communicationpractices on perceptions of justice. Contact details: PeterSimmons, School of Communication, Charles Sturt University,Bathurst, NSW, 2795, Australia. Phone: 61 2 63384521; fax: 61 240 Copyright 2007-3. Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics. All rights reserved. Vol 4, No 3 2007 PAPER

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