Ethical Communication

Ethical communication includes:

  • Honesty
  • Fairness
  • Being sensitive
  • Using non-harmful language
  • Reflecting on positions of privilege
  • Respect of all parties involved
  • Avoidance of propaganda, censorship, treatment of prisoners of war (in the context of war)

Ethical communication also involves considering the potential impact of communication on vulnerable or marginalised groups, and taking steps to ensure that communication is conducted in a way that does not reinforce or perpetuate harmful stereotypes or biases (Soukup 2019). For example, if you organise a blood donation campaign, communicating ethically would include trying to reach as many people as possible, using non-violent language and explaining what would happen with the donations, how the process would work and why the help of others is needed. It would include avoiding to separate people by race/gender/religion or any other criteria that is not relevant for the purpose of the campaign and avoiding to spread misconceptions or harmful stereotypes. One concrete example of a stereotype in this case would be avoiding collecting donations from people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and spreading misconceptions related to STDs or STIs that can be found in the blood of LGBTQ+ community members. Your communication has to be clear, transparent and focused on the facts while offering tools and further information channels so that your target group can also do their own research instead of being mislead into non-ethical communication that could spread harm and/or hate speech.


  • Make sure your message is inclusive (race, gender, religion, ethnicity, ability etc.)
  • Reflect on the position you’re giving the message from (take your privileges into account)
  • Select your sources wisely (e.g. if you communicate about peace education, people directly affected by it – such as people in areas of conflict, war – might be able to bring a more insightful point of view/contribution) 
  • Offer an intersectional perspective (e.g. when referring to peace education, you could address how the different genders perceive peace, how sustainable peace education is and how it could affect people of different races differently)