Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OU Pilot Project Studies Abuses in Political Ads

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OU Pilot Project Studies Abuses in Political Ads

Article excerpt

A pilot project is under way at the University of Oklahoma to explore abuses of technology in political television advertising.

The project was described Friday at the OU Board of Regents meeting.

Lynda Lee Kaid, an OU professor of communication who is directing the project, gave the academic enrichment presentation, which was illustrated with examples of unethical or misleading campaign commercials.

The OU project, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, is designed to analyze the ways in which modern computer and audio-video technologies have been used to create ethically suspect television spots in political campaigns.

"The concern of the project is that these new technologies are being used in political advertising in ways that may mislead or deceive voters," she said.

"Since television spots have become the major way in which candidates communicate with voters in modern election campaigns, it is important that scholars concern themselves with the ethics of such communication. Scholars can assist voters by making them more aware of misuses of technology in political spots," she said.

A panel of experts who met at OU in September developed a set of guidelines to be used in evaluating technological distortions. Using these guidelines, the project already has determined that nearly 15 percent of a sample of ads from 1952 to 1992 contained ethically suspect uses of technology in their production and presentation, Kaid said. …

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