2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Do the media overstep the mark when it comes to searching for the truth and is it necessary?

In this investigation, I answer my object of the extent to which the British Media has invaded the lives of the public. Is there a need to limit the freedom of the press, what has been done and what is left to do to ensure the protection of ordinary people? Using texts by Jeremy Bentham and the work of Hannah Arendt as my philosophical insight, I ask, are we too reliant on the press to pass us our information and if so who is to blame for the politically fuelled hate campaigns that arise towards certain groups, individuals and sectors in our society spearheaded by the media?

2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Truth and Falsehood Within Political Media

The main claim the project makes is that new digital media and the way they are used complexifies the idea of truth in political discourse in a way which undermines liberal assumptions. New media has become a fundamental object within liberal society; however, it has become a main source of the devaluation of facts. The purpose of this project is to explore how modern media have stimulated a debate on the concept of truth and falsehood in the conduct of political life. In order to do this, the project will draw upon the works of Kant, Lyotard, Habermas and Rawls.

2021 Abstracts Stage 2

To establish whether or not news companies have a responsibility to adhere to impartiality when reporting on political issues?

In my project I will be exploring and researching the concept of media impartiality, specifically in regard to political news stories, and whether news companies have a responsibility to produce impartial reports, or whether they have a right to express their opinion on their platform.

I analyse data and surveys conducted around the world in order to emphasise how present news media impartiality is in this day and age, and how detectable it is by the readers of the newspapers. This is an incredibly important subject as the news is more accessible now more than ever hence, it is more influential.

It will then be brought to light now influential the news is in the political world, seen in the images above, the Sun and Fox News, both owned by Rupert Murdoch. The Sun’s article claims responsibility for the 1997 United Kingdom election results, Fox news’ article states that the Unites States election of 2020 was rigged for Democrat Joe Biden. Both of these claims, made by the top newspapers in the country, sent tremors around the country causing backlash and violence, and ultimately mistrust in the media.

My approach in my essay is to cover the topic of media impartiality with reference to both 21st century philosophers and 17th/18th century philosophers.

I have chosen to do this, so the subject is widely covered by philosophers who address media impartiality directly; Diana Mutz and Joseph Mazor, and those who I apply their philosophical theorems to media impartiality; Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.

‘Journalism is the first draft of History’

I will conclude that partisan news companies do not need to adhere to as strict impartiality as non-partisan news companies as their reputation should reflect the view point the journalists will be taking when reporting on political issues. Whereas news companies who claim to be impartial must strictly follow this claim as people will rely on them for an even-handed report on political issues.

2021 Abstracts Stage 2

An analysis of British Journalism’s evaluation of Marxism, with emphasis on the BBC.

This project aims to analyze the concepts of state capitalism, totalitarianism, authoritarianism, anarchism, and the idolization of revolutionary figures through a Marxist lens. It takes into consideration both the theoretical and practical sides of revolutionary history provided by theoreticians such as Marx, Engels and Parenti and leaders such as Lenin, Castro, Mao and Xi.

Doing so, with a heightened focus on communist nations and communities, it is intended to be a response to the BBC’s, and the general British Media’s, own claims about Marxism.

In discussing the true intentions of the media in regard to its portrayal of Marxism, I intend to highlight the obvious, and subtle, shortcomings of the British media. This project will focus on Marxism due to its decisive nature and extensive history, which allows ample opportunity for analysis and evaluation of journalistic sources.

2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Miscarriages of Justice: A Philosophical Investigation into the Media, and their effect upon the Judiciary System in accordance with specific cases of Violence

Contemporary treatment of specific crimes (miscarriages of justice) reveals that early forms of vendetta are still present in our supposedly rational society, which may therefore result in the destabilisation of hierarchical power relations. The project uses the subsequent cases; the Birmingham Six (1974-75), the Guildford Four (1975), and the Maguire Seven (1976), to highlight how such a system of our judiciary systems’ necessity to our society can fail. The project uses MacIntyre’s philosophy, regarding narrative alongside Poyser’s academics, to suggest that through improved case narratives due to media involvement, the judiciary system is provided with the opportunity to resurrect their mistakes and in doing so improve the structural innerworkings of society. Further philosophical analysis of the media’s narrative regarding MacIntyre perhaps reveals how the victims are condemned due to how they have been treated by the judiciary system and the miscarriage of justice that they been involved. In thinking about one’s selfhood in terms of narrative, it is possible to review how the victim’s lives are changed for the worse due to their mistreatment. Moreover, use of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right feasibly aids the removal of historical discordancy around the concept of justice, which in doing so provides a clearer understanding of how violence in the form of terror and vendetta still become pertinent issues for our society. Hence, the project sets itself to reviewing the claim that contemporary treatment of specific crimes in the form of miscarriages of justice may in fact provoke the destabilisation of hierarchical powers such as our judiciary system due to the presence of repeated acts of violence in the form of terror and vendetta.

2021 Abstracts Stage 3

What are the implications of new global communication networks in sports journalism, and what is their impact on identity within the modern world?

What are the implications of new global communication networks in sports journalism, and what is their impact on identity within the modern world?
William Roberts-19019345
I aim to discuss the idea of globalisation and new global trends influencing the way we live our lives, with a specific focus on how it influences how we identify ourselves. Using the example of sports and sports journalism, I query whether new global trends will have an impact on the ways in which we identify ourselves
What is journalism when seen in a global context?
I suggest we should see journalism as a social contract exchange. Within a global context I would argue that we become dependent on global networks which influence the social contract mechanism of sports journalism itself.
The link to identity and authentic identity
In this section I dissect identity from the view of Anthony Giddens and Alistair Macintyre, and even further, asking what constitutes an authentic identity.
The Communitarian vs Liberal debate
Elaborating on Giddens and Macintyre, and through the lens of sports journalism, I outline two primary positions in which one can identify themselves. Using Jean Luc Nancy and his ideas that the community is immensely important to the formation of the individual, I compare him to John Rawls and argue individual agency might be important towards forming an individual identity.
I finish the discussion by dissecting new global technologies and identity, suggesting that they impact the way we live as a political subject (We should be seen as more global)

2017 Abstracts Stage 2

Journalism, Ethics and Brexit: An Exploration into our Democratic Abilities in a Post-Truth Age

Project Outline

-This project was undertaken to determine whether the Brexit vote was a result of unethical journalism and whether we can remain democratic in today’s society.

-In order to be democratic citizens, the population needs to be correctly informed from factual evidence and I believe that throughout the Brexit referendum this was not the case.

-This project looks at journalism within the context of the free market to highlight the issues journalists face when companies prioritise money over the truth.

-This project will also use the ideas of Baudrillard to determine the nature of truth in the 21st century and how the phenomena of fake news found its way into Brexit.

2017 Abstracts Stage 2

Manchester VS Ataturk

With the internet and social media reforming the realm of reporting news, those that have routinely ignored developing nations are demanded to atone for biased newscasts, thus the project intends to bridge this gap and to further interrogate to what extent there exists a journalistic void, seeking out the cause and how to resolve it.

Methodology: The project concerns two cities, both of which had experienced an act of terror in connection to the Islamic State (IS). This project deploys qualitative research in the discourse of an interpretive methodological approach.


Manchester – The first object of terror befell on the 22nd of May 2017, in Manchester’s Arena. The incident occurred at an Ariana Grande concert.
Istanbul – The second object denoting an act of terror was the automatic weapons fired and suicide bombings that occurred in Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, on the 28th of June 2016.

2016 Abstracts Stage 2

Integrity and Ethics in Journalism

The right to Freedom of Expression Integrity & Ethics in Journalism
Michel Foucault on Confinement and Parrhesia | John Stuart Mill on Freedom of Expression
Territory The object of study for this project is the human right to freedom of expression, with a particular focus on discussing the extent that this right should be exercised – particularly within the Journalism sector. Establishing the value of freedom of expression will assist in evaluating how important this right is to contemporary society.
Modern examples of defending oneself by using the principle of freedom of expression will assist in understanding the relevance of freedom of expression within the modern day. Philosophical Concepts The first concept applied to this territory is John Stuart Mill’s discussion of the necessity of the right to freedom of expression: this project looks at both his reasons for freedom of expression and why he postulates this argument.
The second concept is Michel Foucault’s historical philosophy. Foucault’s work in Fearless Speech will discuss the Greek expression, parrhesia, which translates as a verbal activity designating one to tell the truth despite the risk of differing from the majority and risking danger.
This project will also discuss Foucault’s Madness and Civilisation in order to consider how society can treat those who express themselves in forms that differ to those in traditional society. This concept will lead the project to ask whether we truly do have true freedom of expression.

2013 Abstracts Stage 3

Is Moral Photojournalism Possible?

This project looks at photojournalism and the role it plays in our culture. Whether or not photojournalism is ethical and, if it isn’t, what is the function of it?

Focusing specifically on the work of Kevin Carter in the Sudan in 1993, this project explores these topics through critical examination of Theodor W. Adorno’s discourses on Culture as mass deception and Martin Heidegger’s essay On the Origin of the Work of Art.

It will explore the idea of the roles played in society by the photograph, the photographer and the media, and bring to light the idea of the ‘icon of outrage’ as a necessary feature, both for our society and culture and for ethical realisation.

2012 Abstracts Stage 3

“The News We Kept to Ourselves”. Can the Media Ever be Justified in Withholding Information?

This project is an investigation into when, if ever the media can be justified in WITHHOLDING INFORMATION. This is a question PECULIAR TO OUR TIME, given the fact that the press now possesses MORE FREEDOM than ever before. The implications of the 2000 Freedom of Information Act, the recent PHONE HACKING SCANDAL and the 2011 controversy over the use of SUPER INJUNCTIONS all mean that what the media should do has become TOPIC OF CONSTANT DEBATE. I examined the ethical thought of both DEONTOLOGICAL and CONSEQUENTIALIST thinkers. KANT’S answer seems to be that media deception CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED under any circumstances, on the basis that it will always involve treating someone as the MEANS TO AN END. The UTILITARIAN argument is more forgiving and can justify a lie of omission in some circumstances. These two answers CONTRADICT each other. As such, I moved on to a more MODERN ANSWER, in the form of FOUCAULT and argued that a newspaper can be considered a discourse and as such, can set its OWN STANDARDS OF TRUTH.

2012 Abstracts Stage 3

Wittgenstein: A Journalist’s Ally? How Accurately Can One Portray an ‘Objective Reality’ through the Use of Language? Using Examples in Journalism, How Does Wittgenstein’s Thought Justify Their Bias?

I am exploring the ways in which we use language: its functions, methods and how we can determine intention. I am using specific examples in contemporary journalism as case studies to support Wittgenstein’s arguments for meaning in language. Looking at issues of bias, the ‘spin’ of particular words used, and how we can pertain towards ‘objective truth’. As a solution to the problem I assess the possibility of a ‘perfect language’. However this is then refuted in terms of its lack of ability to be implemented. Essentially, all knowledge and truth is determined by one’s social context (language game) and within a given system, we can have a relatively objective view of a general consented to ‘shared reality’.

2011 Abstracts Stage 2

Journalism Ethics: Integrity in Reporting

• Key concept: the invasion of individual’s privacy in relation to public interest
• Do journalists always have the sole intention of providing us with the truth?
• Do they pursue the truth by the right means for the right reasons?

• Mill’s Harm Principle
• Pragmatism as a theory of truth
• Correspondence Theory of Truth
• Kant’s Moral Philosophy: Obligation

2011 Abstracts Stage 2

Is it Right for an Editor to Have so Much Influential Power?

In my project I aim to discuss whether or not individuals have too much power when it comes to the media and journalism. I will look particularly into the jobs of the editors and owners. I will do this by investigating several case studies including the 1992 general election that Murdoch believed was won due to The Sun’s Headline: “If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights”

I will mainly be focusing on John Stuart Mill’s novel On Liberty. Mill focused on freedom of speech, believing that no matter what position or job you have in society you should always be allowed to have your own opinions. However, he also believes that individuals should not spread their opinion if it will be harmful to others. I will be looking into and analysing both of these claims.

I will also be studying Dale Jacquette’s novel Journalistic Ethics: Moral Responsibility in the Media, Heinz Steinert’s novel Culture Industry, and Political Freedom (Problems of Philosophy) by George G. Brenkert, along with many others. As well as Mill I will be critically analysing Debord’s work on the media and comparing it to other philosophers.
Overall I aim to come to a conclusion about whether or not the editors and owners of newspapers have the right to print fabricated stories, whether the facts are true or whether they are lies.

2009 Abstracts Stage 3

Genealogy, Power and War: Death from Inside

That which mankind has called war throughout the ages has become a very different phenomenon to what it once was; in our day and age we find ourselves part of a world continuously in conflict, but the very fact that we know this is due to the scope and depth of the information which has been compiled and disseminated by the media. This project will focus on how war, and in particular the very nature of our understanding and views governing it, has been inexorably changed with the advent of advanced information technologies. Paying specific attention to the means of its dissemination and the techniques and methods involved in this process, I will discuss how information, the very stuff of which our truths and ideas are composed of, and its constant manipulation not only affect our views on war and the societies which it involves, but also those of the entirety of our working geopolitical structure. I will focus mainly on late-twentieth to early twenty-first century U.S. warfare, explaining certain practices and decisions implemented by Americans as a whole, keeping these in line with the aims and context of my inquiry. I have chosen to apply Foucault’s ideas on genealogy as the central methodology upon which this inquiry will be constructed as I believe it to be not only pertinent and applicable to the subject matter, but more rigorous and conducive to the production of truth necessary to its competent investigation than any traditional historical method. Although I deviate slightly from the “traditional” foucaultian understanding of genealogy, choosing to rely heavily on statistics gathered through the process of polling and information distributed through newspaper, journal, and magazine articles instead of using mainly primary accounts, I believe my adaptation to his methodology to both ground my study in the temporal contexts which I analyze and complement my work and its search for interruptions within the context of political history, war, and technology. I will also draw heavily upon other concepts previously explored by Foucault to better explain my own views, with specific attention paid to the natures of truth and power; I will then adapt these ideas in such a manner as to allow for further elaboration of certain ideas essential to the development of my thesis which I will address later on in this work. In order to achieve a more in-depth understanding of the subject, I will juxtapose the philosophy of power and right of Thomas Hobbes, the ideas of which I argue to be outdated and now completely at odds with the realities of modern global, and especially American, politics, against that of Paul Virilio; a large portion of this investigation will deal with some of the more prominent ideas ascribed to this contemporary thinker, as I will seek to explain parts of his analysis of the first Gulf War through an inquiry of the media’s effect on the American, and indeed global, populace within this context. I will then conclude by condensing different aspects of both Foucault’s and Virilio’s theories into a single, working thesis.

2006 Abstracts Stage 2


Can one consider the ethical viewpoint of both sides of terrorism? If terrorists believe their actions cause the greater overall good, would J.S. Mill condone them? Can the media be held responsible for the growth in terrorism? The growth in the media is consistent with the growth of terrorism, is this significant? The intention of terrorists is to reach a wide audience, does the media aid them in achieving their ends? What implications would censoring the media cause for us? Could it be considered to limit our freedom?

2005 Abstracts Stage 2

Postmodernism and the British Press

Outline of Investigation. – History of British Newspapers – Statistics of readership – Front Page propaganda – The Sun – Ideology and structuralism – Jean Baudrillard. Special Points of Interest: – Changing language in newspapers – Images in newspapers – Relationship between information media and the masses – The real and the “more than eral”, hyper-realities – Desire and seduction – Passivity versus activity – Obscenity, transparency, pornography – Death of the author and death of the reader. Assertion: The overexposure to media messages, along with the immediacy and quantity of this information has and continues to pacify the individual so that the style and content of British newspapers has to become increasingly simple, accessible and transparent to accommodate for the death of the reader. New Media and Language. What effect has the emergence of media technologies such as radio, the internet and more specifically the television had on the style and content of British Newspapers? Information and communication have never more visible and accessible than in the postmodern era. Media information is everywhere apparent so that it is difficult to imagine life without it and is impossible to avoid. How has this affected the tangible print of newspapers?

2005 Abstracts Stage 3

Suicide – a Question of Morality?

Traditional Objections to Suicide which I Intend to Challenge: 1. Human life is sanctified, therefore it is wrong to commit suicide. 2. Suicide is wrong because it is selfish. 3. Man is made in the image of God, therefore it is wrong to take your own life. 4. When we die is God’s decision, not ours, therefore suicide is wrong. 5. Suicide is wrong because it deprives society of an otherwise useful citizen. 6. Suicide is wrong because it is ‘unnatural’. 7. Suicide is wrong because it is a form of murder. 8. ‘Life is a gift from God’, therefore suicide is wrong. Why is Suicide Still Stigmatised? 1. The role of the media: Isn’t the media guilty of undermining the seriousness of suicide by expounding sensationalist story-lines, e.g. ‘Tony Blair committed political suicide today’? Isn’t the media also guilty of reinforcing our negative feelings towards suicide to dramatise a situation e.g. using the term ‘suicide bombers’, instead of ‘martyrs’? Doesn’t the media fail to clarify our own confusions about ‘who’ is to blame when a suicidal act occurs? 2. The semiotics of suicide: Doesn’t the language we use as regards to suicide prejudice our understanding of the term suicide, e.g. the verb ‘to commit’ reminds us of the notion of crime (reiterated by the fact that suicide was only made legal in 1961 in England) and the fact that someone who attempts suicide is considered to be a “victim” is a difficult notion to comprehend given that a victim is someone who usually has something wrongful done to them – not someone who inflicts a wrongful action onto themselves. 3. Is the solution more immoral than the problem?: Whilst we are forced to acknowledge that suicide is a problem that has to be dealt with, given our extensive research of the subject, the problem comes with trying to implement a solution. One commentator has suggested the notion of pre-emptive incarceration based upon statistical analysis of suicides? Yet, how problematic would this be? Are the statistics too broad? Or are they too specific? Is it ethical to incarcerate someone because they are a potential suicide? Does the notion of incarceration revert back to the idea that suicide is a crime? What about the financial aspects of such a scheme? Can such a scheme make any real difference given that the existing methods of dealing with suicides (e.g. telephone services) are largely ineffective? Does the solution lie in a re-structuring of society, as Durkheim suggests? What are the consequences of such a re-structuring? 4. “God is Dead” (Nietzsche), and “Life is Absurd” (Camus) but suicide remains stigmatised: When “God died”, we may have expected the traditional rejection of suicide based upon religious (in particular, Christian) arguments to die with him. Yet, this did not happen. This suggests that Christianity did not install within us a sense that “killing is wrong”; what it does suggest, however, is that this sense of repulsion towards murder (in this case, self-murder) is innate within us – Christianity merely provided the vehicle by which to expound this view. Thus, when “God dies”, our prohibitions remained.

2004 Abstracts Stage 2

The Influence of the Media: its power to influence society’s perception of reality

The aim of my project: • To examine the influence of the media on society and it’s potential to alter society’s perception of reality • How big a role does the media play in shaping our views of the world? • Does the media affect some groups more than others, who is more susceptible? • How do media effects occur? Resources: • Robinson Library • The Internet • Questionnaires Conclusions: Due to the mass media, the world in which we live has become a ‘global village’, we are constantly surrounded by the media in our daily lives. It is the biggest supplier of information on places we have never seen, and people we have never encountered. Through the media we can receive information on anything or anyone we wish to learn about, but sometimes this information is biased, or wrong, and our perception of reality can become distorted yet we do not even realise it. The media is a hugely powerful phenomenon in the modern world, enabling us to gain in knowledge in a variety of topics, and shaping our perception of the world. However not all media effects are positive, the negative aspects- the communication of unreality are not only wrong but potentially dangerous.

2004 Abstracts Stage 2

An exploration of the tendency towards manipulation in the Media and desire for magic and enchantment in the human psyche

Objectives – To show how and why society still needs myths and magic in the ages of science and enlightenment. Method – Define the language of myth, and why we read significance into events and objects; Define the function of myths and magic in relation to the human psyche and psychoanalysis; Sources – Barthes’ Mythologies, Rollo May’s The Cry For Myth, Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic Of Enlightenment.