Hero? Villain? Or Journalist? Why we need the WikiLeaker

Research output: Textual Creative WorksCreative Works Original - Textual


The article published in the Western Advocate in Bathurst on 11 December, 2010, is an original creative textual work by Edward Spence that situates the Wikileaks phenomenon within the Western philosophical canon. Drawing from Plato's philosophy and his current research in media ethics, Spence explores whether Julian Assange is a journalist. Spence argues that insofar as he qualifies as a social journalist, he is ethically bound by his role as a journalist to adhere to the fundamental principles of journalism, namely, the dissemination of true information for the public interest. As an academic philosopher Spence sees his wider role in society as that of a public commentator on matters of public significance. Using his philosophical knowledge and expertise Spence creates short media articles of about 800 words to analyse and evaluate complex social issues philosophically. He draws on both ancient and contemporary philosophy including epistemology and ethics in order to situate those social issues in the wider historical context of western civilisation. It is important to do so in order to raise awareness of the continuity of thought that shapes and grounds our understanding of these contemporary social issues. . The media articles that Spence writes and publishes in newspapers and magazines are part of his public philosophy research output. It also includes the writing and performance of original philosophy plays in public venues as part of his Theatre of Philosophy project. Unlike academic journal papers the media articles are written in a rhetorical style designed for a public audience.
Original languageEnglish
TypeArticle in interview format with author, approx 800 words, published in a Fairfax weekend newspaper.
PublisherWestern Advocate
Place of PublicationBathurst, NSW, Australia
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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