Archive | November 2012

In what ways do you think the ideas of Epicurus and Heraclitus are relevant to journalism?

Epicurus and Heraclitus represent two schools of thought which only until recent times, post-enlightenment have proven to be prominent and popular interpretations of the world. Heraclitus was an atheist, and Epicurus was branded as one in later years for his view of the gods not having influence over our world, both were materialists.

Although to many, their thoughts are far from relevant to the practice of journalism, they are in fact so important to the practice, they are as analogous to journalism as the act of breathing is to an Olympic sprinter. In this essay I will examine how Epicurus’ materialist conception of the world, based on the sensible and rejection of that which cannot be observed, forms the basis to theories of objectivity vs. subjectivity. I will then look at how Heraclitus’ notion of the universe being in constant flux is fundamental to how journalists follow series of events through time to present their stories with relation to Alfred Gell’s examination of the A Series and B Series conception of time.


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