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Journalism and Democracy notes
Principles of American Journalism
Marina Hendricks
Class Notes




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kathryn Hardison on Monday February 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 1100 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by Marina Hendricks in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Principles of American Journalism in Journalism and Mass Communications at University of Missouri - Columbia.

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Date Created: 02/01/16
Journalism 1100 – Journalism and Democracy  James Carey o “Journalism and democracy are two words for the same thing” o Both are forms of communication for the public o Journalism holds up democracy  Society o Journalism is a social institution   Provides information and social norms  Moves society from stage­to­stage o Reasons for journalism  Economic  Shaken by the internet (solutions, nonprofit, and government  subsidies)  Political  Parties rely on journalism to advertise  Legal   Shaped by the first amendment  Cultural  Shaped by civil liberties and equality  Technological  Accountability and verification o History of US mirrors history of journalism  Broadly libertarian  Concerned with freedom  Emerges out of Enlightenment philosophy  US Journalism and Society o Core ideals (IDEALS not facts)  Publication extension of free speech  No restrictions, no punishment  Free competition leads to truth over falsehoods  Free press through the free market  Enemy of freedom is the state o Ex: UK and Canada  Countries have government subsidized journalism but operationally free  They have more to worry about than the State  Press Freedom Index o US ranked 46   th  Self­censorship  Whistle blowing  Arrested journalists in other countries  Origins o 1960 — Publick Occurences Both Foreign and Domestic  The first newspaper  Noisy and partisan  No notion of objectivity or public service  Goal to support public parties and money  Some similarities to now  Powerful people don’t like scrutiny o The popularity of cable and the internet makes it easier to tailor to people’s  interests, which gives us a shift to more partisan news  Fox News  Samuel Adams o 1768 o “There is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly terrible to tyrants,  and their tools and abettors, as a free press.”  Power Changes People o John Adams  Adams was supportive of free press but endorsed the Alien and Seditions  Acts when he became president  Adams feared going to war  He understood the press as a broad movement for equality and liberty o John Milton  English poet  Paradise Lost (poem)  Licensing Order of 1643  Instituted pre­publication censorship  He complained because it limited the ability to learn and discover  options  Wanted this to go away   Wrote Areopagitica   A written defense of free speech  Freedom of expression over all other liberties  First to articulate this strongly  He believed it hindered people’s abilities to educate themselves  He wanted the license to publish pamphlets on divorce (supporting it)  He was hugely influenced by John Locke and he influenced Thomas  Jefferson  He didn’t think his ideas extended to Catholics and Jews  The originator of “marketplace of ideas”  Notion of “truth and falsify grappling” and “self­righting process”  Man knows right from wrong  We will pick better ideas and content over poor ones  “Rational Man” Argument o Reason as source of truth  Not because GOD says so, GOVERNMENT says so, TRADITION says  so, or AUTHORITY says so  This is part of the shift away from authoritarianism  You need correct logic to get conclusions and make informed, rational  decisions  Like the scientific method o This is how we develop arguments  Democracy o Elements  Free elections  Full enfranchisement  Equal votes  Majority rule  Independent judiciary  Equality before law  Civil liberties o “demos” – people , “kratos” – rule o Sovereignty of people (informed by rational man theory) o Government power must be controlled by the people  What Democracy needs from Journalism o Information dissemination  Helps people make informed decisions   Gives capacity for self­rule o Accountability  Hold powerful people accountable  “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted” o Representation  Journalism represents people and assures voices are heard  Reflects the diversity of readers o Deliberation and conflict resolution  Are the outlets helping decide the best course of action?  Conservation as the cornerstone of community  Three Metaphors o Mirror  Journalism reflects society as it is  It shows everything o Watchdog  Journalism sounds the alarm  The eye and ears of the people  Watches to keep all in power in the best interests for society o Marketplace  Journalism provides ideas to insure a range of topic, views, and issues for  it’s readers  Four Rules o No authority o Let all ideas compete o Truth wins  o Falsehoods make truth shine  How does the press fulfill democratic needs? o Journalism informs, analyzes, interprets, and explains  Walt Lippmann   “We can’t know everything about the world… we need help”  Journalism takes raw information and turns it into news  A bridge connecting the citizen to society  Journalism links us to the world beyond our direct experience… we would live very sheltered lives without the news  Journalism helps explain politics and complex ideas  Videos to explain ideas, lists of everything you may need to know  about a topic, etc. o Journalism investigates  Watergate  Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (Washington Post reporters)  Burglaries at an office for the democratic committee  Nixon  Thieves from Miami were found and HQ was bugged  Nixon was forced to resign  Casts journalism in adversarial role  Uses sources and public records to expose corruption, wrongdoings, etc.  It is important that roles of journalism are never exclusive  Good investigative journalism = good scientific method o Journalism creates public conversations  “Water cooler” conversations  Letter to the editor, online commenting, etc.   We can communicate with each other and with journalists o Journalism helps generate social empathy  Introduces us to the unfamiliar   Helps us recognize that not everyone is like us  Shows social problems  Helps us appreciate diversity and difference  Helps us recognize common humanity o Journalism encourages accountability  “Fourth Estate” (Thomas Carlyle)  Journalism is a check and balance  3 branches of government + journalism = 4 branches  Government can’t keep itself accountable and we wouldn’t want it to  because we’d have to wonder what they aren’t telling us  Other institutions need to be held accountable and proportionate to their  power influence   Ex: Wall Street, pro sports, college institutions o Free speech st  1  amendment  5 freedoms  RAPPS o Religion (no state assigned religion) o Assembly (to debate the issues of the day) o Press (publish without threats) o Petition (access to the court system) o Speech (freedom of expression)  Social safety trumps your right to free speech  Ex: Talking about a bomb in an airport  “Congress shall make no law…” but they can if it dangers  everyone o Ex: government has passed laws on yelling “fire” in a  crowded theater  If a journalist is fired for saying something controversial, it isn’t a  first amendment issue… the journalist works for a business and  they can be fired o Brian Williams  Made claims of war coverage o Dan Rather  Government is not the only threat to journalistic freedom o Cutbacks o Quest for ratings, views, etc. o Cost of entry in marketplace o Advertisement pressure o Source pressure  Hutchins Commission (1942) o A commission that investigated the freedom of the press o Created by Times publisher o During this time  WWII fascism in Germany and Italy, FDR’s lock in presidency, yellow  journalism o Argued that the press freedom was in danger because of press performance  Rights led to responses  “free” vs. “free to” o Believed journalism is a public service and should be conducted professionally o Social responsibility theory of the press o Recommendations  A truthful, comprehensive account of the days events  Take care in reporting  Authentic sources  Avoid hearsay  Know the right questions to ask  Fact vs. opinion  Isolated facts are useless (context is king)  A forum for content and criticism  Promote free expression  Represent important viewpoint and altered thoughts  Avoid anonymous  A way of projecting opinions and attitudes of groups in society  Challenge stereotypes with facts  Pay close attention to words and images  Remember shared humanity  Build respect and understanding for all groups o Dialogue, manners, etc.  A method of presenting and clarifying the goals and values of society  Educational role  US values? Democracy, freedom, etc. o Don’t just paint a rosey picture  Full access of the day’s intelligence   Write for broad audiences  Make information available to as many people as possible  Can Journalism Provide what Democracy Needs? o Lippmann  Pessimistic about founders’ vision  World was too complex for us to take in  Factors limiting us  Limitations of social contact  Comparatively meager time in a day for paying attention  Distortion because events have to be shortened into small  messages  Difficulty of making a small vocab to express such a complex  world  Fear of change and the unknown o Dewey  Much more optimistic  Democracy more than information  Conversation as the root of democracy  Through conversation we get communication  Democracy as process  As long as we talk to each other it’ll be okay o Both address different aspects of democracy and roles of journalism  Lippmann saw democracy as an outcome  Dewey saw democracy as a process  Recap o Journalism is shaped by society o Enlightenment “philosophy” and “rational man” play a role in US Press history o Journalism is integral to democracy o Citizens need a lot from journalists o Journalism fulfills many roles o Ability of journalists to fulfill these roles is an open question


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