Media ethics : a postmodern perspective in the search for truth, meaning and reality

Allen, Rika (2004-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: According to recent research done in the field of media ethics, it seems that there is a need to complement studies on systematic normative ethics with more flexible theories such as those proposed by the field of Philosophy and Sociology. This assignment would like to prove that a more holistic model of moral reasoning should be considered based on the point of departure that the media and media practitioners find themselves in a postmodern world. The aim of this assignment is to examine the possibility of a postmodern ethics as a more authentic attempt by which the concept media ethics can be understood and applied. This assignment is a contribution towards the re-examination of media ethics in terms of a postmodern understanding of reality, truth and meaning, as well as an exploration of their practical implications in the context of a postmodern society such as South Africa and its media. According to the postmodern understanding of the concepts truth and meaning in relation to the postmodern understanding of reality, the postulated principles will define responsible journalism (media ethics) as journalistic action that takes into account how people (news consumers and sources of news) form their understanding of reality in a postmodern context. What purports to be reality in the news is inevitably a reconstruction of reality that fits the needs and requirements of journalistic practice. In this light, responsible journalism can be understood as journalistic action that creates a more holistic, authentic understanding of "reality" and how people understand themselves and others in the world they live in. Most people are informed by the media about themes such as the cloning of human beings, the war in Iraq, the attack on the World Trade Centre and genocide in Rwanda and not because of having been there themselves (direct experience). The way in which the media reports about events does influence the way in which media users make sense of the world in which they live.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Na aanleiding van onlangse navorsing gedoen in die gebied van media-etiek, blyk daar 'n behoefte te wees om sistematiese normatiewe etiek met meer omvattende teorieë aan te vul, soos voorgestel in die studie rigtings van Filosofie en Sosiologie. Hierdie werkopdrag wil bewys dat, indien in ag geneem word dat die perswese homself in 'n postmoderne wêreld bevind, 'n meer holistiese modeloorweeg kan word vir diskoerse in media-etiek. Die doel van die werkopdrag is om die moontlikheid van 'n postmoderne etiek te ondersoek as 'n meer outentieke benadering waarvolgens die konsep media-etiek verstaan en aangewend kan word. Die werkopdrag lewer 'n bydrae ten op sigte van 'n herevaluasie van media-etiek in terme van 'n postmodernistiese lees van realiteit, waarheid en betekenis. Die praktiese implikasies van 'n postmoderne media-etiek in die konteks van 'n postmoderne samelewing, soos dié van Suid-Afrika en die Suid-Afrikaanse media, salondersoek word. Na aanleiding van 'n postmoderne interpretasie van die konsepte waarheid, betekenis en realiteit, stel die werkopdrag 'n raamwerk voor waarbinne verantwoordelike joernalistiek op etiese wyse beoefen word en rekening hou met die postmoderne interpretasie van die samelewing. Dit is onvermydelik dat dit wat as werklikheid in die nuus daargestel word, 'n rekonstruksie van die werklikheid is om aan die behoeftes van joernalistieke praktyke te voldoen. In die lig van bogenoemde, kan verantwoordelike joernalistiek gedefinieer word as joernalistieke optrede wat 'n meer holistiese, outentieke interpretasie van die werklikheid en begrip van die leefwêreld oordra.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50016
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