Friday, October 1, 2010

Rhetorical analysis of the SPJ Code of Ethics

5361 (Rice) Assignment No. 1 from Brett Oppegaard on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Enjoyed your project! Your analysis of the SPJ preamble was very interesting.

Like you, I am a bit torn between the Platonic and Sophistic philosophies. I had hoped there was a bit more Plato in me, but when I look closely, I have more of the pragmatism of the Sophists.

From what you presented, I think that journalists also fall into the Sophistic camp. I don't doubt that the discussions that occur in newsrooms and debates about ethics are sincere attempts to better report a situation or story, but when it gets down to it, journalists must be practical. Your comments about truth, that it appears more socially negotiated in the newsroom setting, moves the profession closer to the Sophistic or at least Aristotelian camp as well.

However, I don't think that most journalists have the negative characteristics associated with the Sophists, but in reality, journalists don't always have time to explore the dialectic to its end. Deadlines, editors, and today, the pressure to "be first" has to cloud even the most sincere journalist's writing from time to time.

Hopefully, in the big picture, journalists operate in the gray area you describe, striving for Plato the best they can in a Sophistic world.