No Secrets

September 26th, 2012 Comments Off on No Secrets

For a campaign without many vivid images earlier in the year, the Presidential race has thrown off another with the emergence of the secretly recorded Mitt Romney speech to a group of campaign contributors in Florida that took place last spring.

While the image itself is not as arresting as the picture of Clint Eastwood speaking to a chair, it tells, perhaps, an even more important lesson for modern politics—and communication.

There are two aspects to this that I want to point out. The first is that we all have to be aware of the possibility (and if we are famous, the likelihood) that almost anything we do, in public and even in private, is being recorded. (If you doubt that, just ask Prince Harry, or the Duchess of Cambridge.)

But that is not what is new—after all, the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas, or the video of the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, demonstrate that this possibility has been around for some time.

The more momentous development is the ease with which such material can be spread across the world. There is a liberating quality to this development, but that liberty can lead to license, too. As the developments in the Islamic world following the surfacing of a virulently anti-Muslim video made in California have shown.

It underlines for us how important it is to link the technical education that communicators need today with the values, ethics, principles, and perspective that need to be present to inform any work of communication.

Hofstra University School of Communication NewsHub

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