Gorgias, by Plato, can be used as somewhat of a guide for media practitioners.The major themes in this book are drawn from Socrates' conversations with some of the greatest thinkers of his time and consist of debates concerning telling the truth , whether it is better to do wrong than to suffer wrong and if the strongest of society should be its rulers. These three underlying themes can easily be applied to the practice and ethical situations of the media today and if applied in a proper way will yield results that will surely do no harm to society and ultimately improve it.
Socrates'first encounter is with Gorgias.Gorgias professes to be a teacher in the art of oratory.Socrates holds that oratory as an art is a sham and filled with puffery, filling ignorant people with false knowledge.While arguing with Polus on the matter, Socrates compares oratory to cookery, claiming it to be merely a knack gained by experience or routine.Just as cookery produces food that tastes good without the knowledge of whether that food will prove to be harmful or not, oratory produces conviction that may or may not be good.In today's media environment one could use this knowledge in deciding whether or not to run a story in a newspaper that has as the object of its means to mislead.In the case of a public relations practitioner, one could inform the public of what really happened that caused a disaster instead of trying to cover it up with puffery and in essence lying to the public.Media practitioners must use their skills in a manner that does only good and not the opposite.If you are going to speak, as Socrates teaches, it should always be the truth.
Polus brings about the second major theme in the work, which is the question of whether it is better to suffer evil or to do evil.Polus argues that an unpunished wrong-doer is happier than one who is punished.In rebuttal, Socrates states his belief that doing w…

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