The Ethics of Speechwriting

Jens E. Kjeldsen, Amos Kiewe, Marie Lund, Jette Barnholdt Hansen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


In this chapter, we discuss ethical issues surrounding the practice of speechwriting. We outline the code of ethics for speechwriters developed in 2015. We recognize that the very act of writing speeches for others can bring a host of ethical questions and that at the heart of the issue stands the speaker whose words have supposedly been written by another. Yet, upon careful assessment, we argue, this is not the case. Instead, we offer the perspective that most individuals in leadership positions have aides and consultants for various tasks and speaking in public is one of them. We take the work of the speechwriters as an advisor who assists those entrusted with speaking to negotiating effectively a text and context and opting for maximizing a speech’s effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRhetoric, Politics and Society
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameRhetoric, Politics and Society
VolumePart F796
ISSN (Print)2947-5147
ISSN (Electronic)2947-5155

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Communication
  • Cultural Studies
  • Political Science and International Relations


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