Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer A. Machoirlatti

Second Advisor

Dr. Sandra Borden

Third Advisor

Dr. Rebekah Farrugia

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Accepting and incorporating mediated political discourse into our everyday lives without conscious attention to the language used perpetuates the underlying ideological assumptions of power guiding such discourse. The consequences of such overreaching power are manifest in the public sphere as a hegemonic system in which free market capitalism is portrayed as democratic and necessary to serve the needs of the public. This thesis focuses specifically on two versions of the Society of Professional Journalist Codes of Ethics 1987 and 1996, thought to influence the output of news organizations. This analysis exposes the problems inherent in the news media's focus of objectivity-an implicit patriarchal capitalist ideology-through Jon Lye's (1997) methods of critical ideological analysis. It is also significantly informed by research in the areas of Political Economy, and Critical and Cultural studies. A historical and sociological review of the Society of Professional Journalist Codes of Ethics reveals the complexities of objectivity, unitary rationality and use of official sources which legitimize the news and the illusion of democracy.