Intellectual Character and the News Media Audience: the Role of Intellectual Virtue in Pursuing Successful Knowledge Claims
King, F. A. (2011). Intellectual Character and the News Media Audience: the Role of Intellectual Virtue in Pursuing Successful Knowledge Claims (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5917
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5917
This thesis explores the role of the audience within contemporary news media and how individual epistemic agents can make knowledge claims based on news media outputs. The aim is to show that the news media‟s audience plays an active role in the inter-relationships between themselves, media practitioners and media organisations. Further, it is argued that individual epistemic agents, as members of the audience of the news media, must exercise intellectual virtues in order to make successful knowledge claims based on news media publications and to be an active audience. The First Chapter considers contemporary media ethics and shows that the audience has largely been viewed as passive and has been under-evaluated when compared to the inter-relationship between practitioners and media organisations. Chapter Two evaluates the role of truth in the news media and how this affects trust of the news media within society. The Third Chapter introduces virtue epistemology, an approach which seeks to address the weaknesses of foundationalist accounts of knowledge by appealing to the cultivation and development of intellectually virtuous character traits of virtue epistemic individuals as responsible inquirers. This thesis argues that the application of Linda Zagzebski‟s theory of virtue epistemology has significant advantages for agents seeking knowledge based on news media outputs. The Fourth Chapter explores the application of intellectual virtues to knowledge acquisition based on contemporary news media examples; and finds that the traits of open-mindedness, inquisitiveness, thoroughness, and intellectual carefulness are of particular benefit to the audience in making successful knowledge claims based on news media publications. The thesis is concluded by arguing that the audience, as individual epistemic agents within a democratic society, have an active role in interpreting and shaping news media publications.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses