Among this country's founding principles is the importance
of an informed and participatory citizenry. Journalism is a cornerstone of the
concept, and its traditional standards of fairness, integrity, and
accountability have been essential to the media's contributions to the vigor
and stability of American democracy.
Today, in a world of technology without borders and 24/7
immersion in communication, the challenge is that instant information is often
unsourced and difficult to verify. The risk is that a lack of transparency as
to source and intention undermines public trust in the content. People
surrounded by a constant flow of potentially unreliable words and images may
just cease paying attention and opt out of thoughtful participation.
More than ever before, widespread circulation of credible
information matters as the basis for reasoned discourse that respects the views
and interests of others. Indeed, without such respect there is potential for
erosion of the principles of civility and community that so far have
contributed to the nation's durability, yet these values and practices must be
taught, protected, and strengthened again and again. In this networked age,
there is compelling need for expert leadership in reshaping the mechanisms of
gathering information, ethical means of evaluating information, and sustainable
models of distributing information.
These concerns define the Daniels Fund’s purpose in
collaborating with CU Denver's Department of Communication to establish
programs that emphasize principle-based ethical education and advocacy in a
context of critical thinking, clear and creative expression, and high standards
of technical competence and professionalism. It was the institution's
attributes of practice-based scholarship and proactive innovation that allow us
to build on interdisciplinary academic strengths in the liberal arts, business,
public affairs, and engineering that are strongly linked to the area's sizeable
media and communications industries.
The goal is that students will be educated to thrive in and
shape new media landscapes locally, nationally, and globally. Whether as
content specialists, producers, managers, policy advocates, entrepreneurs,
marketers, or community organizers, they will be equipped to lead and evaluate
practices and processes that promote the viability and sustainability of
As an educational enhancement, the Daniels Fund Colloquia on
Ethics in Communication will facilitate interaction between our eminent seminar
guests and the university's students, faculty, and professional partners, as
well as the community at large. Classroom visits provide a forum for in-depth
exploration of topics related to the guests' experience and expertise.
Seminars, classroom visits, and workshops will provide
opportunities for students, faculty, and professional partners to collaborate
with guests in program planning and implementation. Public events and
receptions will ensure that all area professionals and the public at large will
have access to the guests and exposure to the topics.