Event Title

Expediency Over Ethics: Rhetorical choices and implications in the media of ChildFund International

Mentor 1

Dr. Marie Moeller

Location

Union 183

Start Date

24-4-2015 1:40 PM

Description

This research examines rhetoric used by the nonprofit ChildFund International to describe their clientele and the need for the organization. We have all seen ChildFund advertisements on television-- typically, an older, kindly-speaking white man describes the struggle of the child standing next to him, who is portrayed as desperate and often malnourished and crying. These advertisements as well as other constructed media, found through the ChildFund web presence, are vital to understanding the goals of the nonprofit as well as organizational values. In his groundbreaking article about use of rhetoric to manipulate framing of issues and justify certain actions, Stephen B. Katz articulates an “ethic of expediency,” suggesting that writers undergo a negotiation between what is moral and what is effective when writing about sensitive topics. My research analyzes ChildFund’s rhetorical choices in various mediums and put them in context of what goals the organization is attempting to achieve, identifying and explaining an ethic of expediency within ChildFund, discussing the implications of this ethic and some of the byproducts of this ethic, and suggesting alternatives to ChildFund’s current rhetorical choices. I begin by discussing rhetorical choices of ChildFund International and then explain their purposes and implications, arguing that rhetorical devices serve to support donors’ sense of self and contributing to systems of oppression by enabling donors to distance themselves from responsibility for poverty across the globe.

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Apr 24th, 1:40 PM

Expediency Over Ethics: Rhetorical choices and implications in the media of ChildFund International

Union 183

This research examines rhetoric used by the nonprofit ChildFund International to describe their clientele and the need for the organization. We have all seen ChildFund advertisements on television-- typically, an older, kindly-speaking white man describes the struggle of the child standing next to him, who is portrayed as desperate and often malnourished and crying. These advertisements as well as other constructed media, found through the ChildFund web presence, are vital to understanding the goals of the nonprofit as well as organizational values. In his groundbreaking article about use of rhetoric to manipulate framing of issues and justify certain actions, Stephen B. Katz articulates an “ethic of expediency,” suggesting that writers undergo a negotiation between what is moral and what is effective when writing about sensitive topics. My research analyzes ChildFund’s rhetorical choices in various mediums and put them in context of what goals the organization is attempting to achieve, identifying and explaining an ethic of expediency within ChildFund, discussing the implications of this ethic and some of the byproducts of this ethic, and suggesting alternatives to ChildFund’s current rhetorical choices. I begin by discussing rhetorical choices of ChildFund International and then explain their purposes and implications, arguing that rhetorical devices serve to support donors’ sense of self and contributing to systems of oppression by enabling donors to distance themselves from responsibility for poverty across the globe.