week 3 of notes
week 3 of notes JOURN 1100
Popular in Principles of American Journalism
Popular in Journalism and Mass Communications
This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Elizabeth Ronecker on Tuesday February 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to JOURN 1100 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by Joesph Moore in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 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: 02/16/16
2/9/16 I. Pew study a. Looked at 6 major stories all over the Baltimore area i. 15% from press; 62% from government ii. Different institutions can make stories based on their prestige II. Competition of information a. Gatekeepers choose information becomes news b. Information competes to convince gatekeepers that it should be turned into news c. PR practitioners provide “information subsidies” (can cause heavy reliance on these because of budget cuts) (not really reporting, more stenographic) d. Social process of selection and pressures III. What does news look like? IV. Types of reporting a. Beat stories i. Ex) “cops n courts”, local government ii. Assigned to beat and work for several year iii. Cause journalist to gain expertise about institution iv. Can gain contacts and sources; gives them idea of what to report and what not to report v. Prestige beats are mayor beats, council beats-‐> more experienced reporters b. Soft news i. Ex) human interest stories, features, sports ii. Narrative stories; profiles of people, interviews, analysis after a hard news c. Enterprise reporting i. Ex) freelance reporting, investigative reporting, explanatory reporting ii. Explain phenomenon in greater detail d. Beats and soft news are general assigned e. Enterprise is generally not assigned f. Generally, reporters more fluidly among these types of reporting V. Roles a. Reporter: gather, write news b. Editor: oversees reporting process c. Sub-‐editor: oversees specific division/beat d. Copy editor: proofreading, tone AP style e. Design editor: directs presentation f. Producer: broadcast-‐specific editorial supervisor g. News director: oversees entire editorial process h. Publisher-‐> hiring, budget i. Editor (in chief)-‐> highest authority in news room j. Managing editor-‐> oversees all the other editors and liaison k. Editors for different sections-‐> news, sports, features, copy, photo, and online l. Different departments like business, marketing, advertising, circulation VI. What does news look like? a. Technological strengths and constraints of reporting with various media i. Newspapers 1. Strengths: space> time for depth, context 2. Constraint: space if finite ii. TV 1. Strength: visual, audio 2. Constraints: time (broadcast, not cable) iii. Radio 1. Strengths: audio, imaginative visuals 2. Constraints: time, actual visuals iv. Online 1. Strengths: space, depth, context, multimedia 2. Constraint: bandwidth b. News story i. Inverted pyramid: most important information, less important and then even less important 1. Convey as much of the most important information at the beginning 2. Lead-‐1 paragraph 3. Nut graph-‐who, what where, when 4. Following paragraphs with supporting details 5. Contextual information follows/ background and alternative explanations 6. At the end is the least important like a kicker to make them think or remember ii. Broadcast structure: martini glass 1. The lead: key facts in inverted pyramid facts 2. Chronology of events 3. Kicker c. Benefits of inverted i. Recognizable structure for audiences ii. Standardized practice iii. Forces reporters to craft strong leads (or “ledes”) and “nut grafs” iv. Helps hone journalistic acumen (i.e. what’s most newsworthy?) d. Criticisms of inverted pyramid i. Antiquated model ii. Products of very specific medium iii. Only really works for breaking news not features iv. Assumes that scarce attention requires frontloading information e. Alternatives to inverted pyramids i. Info graphs ii. Data visuals iii. Timelines iv. Storytelling in bite-‐sized chunks v. Q & A f. The kabob model (wall street journals formula) i. Anecdote ii. Nut graf iii. Meat iv. Meat v. Meat vi. Anecdote vii. Used normally with trends viii. Events where you want to show actual people ix. Also good for magazines g. Key points i. Making news involves time-‐honored formulae as well as risk-‐ taking with new models of delivery ii. Making news is a negotiatory process involving many actors iii. Individuals and non-‐professional journalists are involved in the news-‐making process more than ever before iv. Journalists today must understand their role in the news-‐ making process…as well as understand that role is always changing 2/11/16-‐ Patterson and Knowledge I. What to expect from Patterson a. Patterson’s book is full of abridges accounts of cases i. Ranging from excellent to awful –focuses more on awful ii. Concerning relationship between journalism and democracy 1. Has a very pessimistic view b. We will build on the cases by i. Tying them to key theory and research in journalism and mass communication ii. Connect them to the key concepts discussed in Craft & Davis iii. Comparing the with other cases iv. Patterson brings the practical and craft gives the ideal c. Patterson also addresses-‐both directly and indirectly d. Patterson’s argument i. Americans have become increasingly misinformed about a number of important issues ii. The news media are primarily to blame for that: increasing partisanship, systemic biases, and soft news iii. Democracy is underserved by modern journalism e. “The information problem” i. Harvard did a study about how Americans estimated wealth distribution and then had to give what they would like it to be 1. Vastly under estimates and their ideal has never existed 2. Broke it down based on income and their political ideology 3. Little difference between conservatives and liberals on ideal 4. People have a vast issue with the reality of the situation 5. Why people over estimated and ideal a. In the news; often take about prominence and don’t paint the picture of low income b. Not timely; happens overlong time so journalists cant always frame it because they might not have hooking situation ii. GALLUP pole about climate change-‐scientists beliefs about global warming 1. 29% of Americans said that scientists are unsure about 2. When in reality majority of scientists understand 3. Shown in the new; conflict-‐scientist vs skeptic; makes evidence to support both sides and distorts II. The fairness doctrine and media fragmentation a. The fairness doctrine i. Administrative law (est. by the FCC) ii. Context: broadcast and licensing-‐to radio broadcast FCC created license to be able to broadcast iii. Should broadcast media play a special role in education citizens in our democracy iv. Tricky position of the 1 amendment. 1. Unregulated marketplace of ideas? Freedom from intervention or regulation v. Public has freedom to information so people said that this wasn’t right-‐ that FCC had the right to define what could be broadcast-‐ended in 1987 1. Connection with the Hutchinson commission vi. Patterson: revoking the FD led to the rise of one-‐sided political talk radio 1. Since the 1980s, the media has been deregulated vii. Revoking the FD was not the only factor in changing media landscape. Part of a broader cultural shift b. Media fragmentation i. The simultaneous increase in the number of available media outlet and the shift in audience’s behavior to consume products from multiple media ii. Implication: once isolated forms of news media must now fiercely compete with other media, not merely within their own media iii. Ex) cable networks vs. like ABC and then internet like Huffington post iv. Info consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it c. Tall head and long tail i. Most people only go to few prominent media (20%) d. Diversity paradox i. The greater and more fierce the competition in the marketplace, the greater the incentive to produce good and services similar to other competitors ii. The likelihood of a marketplace producing diverse content decreases iii. The news market can be characterized as fiercely competitive iv. Patterson example of crime story; patch.com and the hyper local movement 1. Great American interest in crime so legislatures began to pass many laws regarding crime such as prison-‐time minimums, as well as increased funding which led to more prisons being built 2. The crime rate was actually going down during this time but news was reporting otherwise 3. Crime is often over racialized III. Patterson’s arguments a. Journalists aren’t giving citizens what they need b. Market forces have contributed to this problem c. Government regulation is not necessarily the best way to solve this problem d. What other options do we have? i. Patterson: change the culture of journalism. Believes that it needs to be specialized IV. Question: is inaccuracy in the name of speed forgivable? a. Patterson writes that the public interests in getting timely updates outweighs occasional errors that results; claim that the error will be spotted and then corrected in follow up stories b. Adam moss says that readers will fact check for you c. Craft: nick Kristof believed that it was ok to publish a hunch on twitter d. Patterson is against Moss and Kristof’s thoughts e. He believes that people are not likely to go back and check; once planted in mind hard to correct V. Changing journalism culture: bias reexamines a. For Patterson, it is too simplistic to allege that news media are inherently liberal or inherently conservative b. Any political bias that news media appear to exhibit are byproducts of other, more complicated “biases” that come from systemic, cultural or market forces within the news media c. When is comes to social issues journalists are more liberal but with economics they are moderate d. Bias toward novelty (devinent people get more attention) (evolutionary, decide what events to pay attention to) i. Ex) differentiation coverage in 2008 & 2012 1. Novelty of black president worn off and coverage was more subdued in 2012 ii. Ex) politicians transgressions become novel, regardless of size iii. Implication for journalism: sustained, thematic reporting on one topic or issue becomes difficult because it comperes with the newest story just around the corner e. Bias toward negativity i. Positive= soft ii. The harder the news, the better iii. It should be proportional iv. Crime= the hardest of the hard news v. Solution: following an objective method will help journalists determine the appropriate tone and level of criticism f. Bias against government i. Does not apply to foreign affairs or war ii. American journalists favor government during war iii. Patterson referring to domestic iv. Stems on the focus of conflict-‐ partisan conflict is the bread and butter of political journalists v. The press are predisposed to being a watchdog against the government vi. Not considered news when the government is doing its job vii. Problem: fairness and criticism are not mutually exclusive viii. But: criticism can turn into unfairness if not a objective method of reporting g. “Big Story” Bias i. Ex) mad cow disease story 1. People stopped buying meat with stories causing meat industry problems when only 3 people in US have dies ii. Ex) James Holmes vs. Jim Holmes in Aurora 1. Jim was a tea party and thus if true would have sensational the tea party iii. Ex) guilty until proven innocent” stories 1. Gary Condit-‐ Chandra Levy iv. Big story is more influential; the drive to get the story is a bias itself; but it’s the editor job to keep you honest so they are your 1 line of defense v. Personally obsessive vs. personally vested (should be avoided) h. Biases interact with one another i. Ex) Negativity bias influences anti-‐government bias VI. Question: how should journalists conceive of harm? a. Knowledge based journalists; specialized b. Completely dependent in their own field c. Don’t have to rely on others; autonomous to report news d. Patterson says that they may have saved a life with the mad cow disease reporting but still was a cost to the beef industry; created a mass panic VII. Key ideas a. Forces like media fragmentation and the changing culture toward media regulation have contributed to shortcomings in reporting the news b. “Bias” in news media is more complicated and nuance that it seems c. Journalists must be aware of other sources of bias that could hurt their reporting d. Following and objective method can help manage these sources of bias 2/16/16 I. Source dependency a. Journalistic accuracy is compromised by dependence on sources b. Public officials are the primary source of news c. “Most news is not what has happened but what someone says has happened” d. New flows from the top down i. Administration (white house, state, defense) ii. Other elites (congress, their staff, ex-‐officials, experts) iii. Media (journalists, news media) iv. Public v. “Cascading” model 1. Can go down or up 2. Public (polls) then go up to administration II. Why do journalists use sources a. Credibility i. Official sources lend authority to a story b. Predictability i. Public officials are consistent source for news c. Accessibility i. It is relatively cheaper and easier to attend a press briefing (easier to send press to press conference on Syria then sending press to Syria) (mutual benefits) d. Objectivity i. Journalists cannot offer their own opinions so they are required to get others III. The problem a. Journalism became more “adversarial” during the Vietnam war/Watergate era i. Military was painting a picture that US was winning the war but the lie was shown when the Tet offensive happened ii. Journalists willing to challenge high-‐ranking officials 1. Walter Cronkite talking about how the only way to end this war is to negotiate peace iii. True to extent but taken with grain of salt; critical of conduct of war, not the legality of the war b. The barriers to adversarial war i. Journalistic norms ii. Risks losing access iii. Time and financial costs IV. The solution a. “He said, she said” journalism i. Go shopping for quote ii. Show both sides, get quote of one official then get another saying the opposing b. Well-‐adapted for 30 minute broadcast c. Added elements of fiction i. Drama, conflict, ad narrative structure V. The response a. Politicians weren’t use to the scrutiny b. Spiro Agew (VP to Nixon) i. Really didn’t like what the press was doing ii. Saying that they weren’t looking at the silent majority-‐> people that supported the war iii. Came up with the idea that media was liberal iv. See why he didn’t like scrutiny with his bribes c. By the 1990s, politicians had adapted to the new attack journalists d. “The cure for propaganda is more propaganda e. The most extreme ends get the most coverage f. Political wordplay i. “Death tax” (estate tax) ii. “Obamacare” (affordable care act) iii. “Bailout” (TARP fund) iv. Politicians utilizing the coverage to get their own partisan out by coining their own words when being sources VI. The waterboarding case a. 2010 Harvard study examined reference to waterboarding in 4 major papers b. Newspapers called waterboarding “torture” in 80% of stories before 2001 c. After 2002, less than 5% of stories used the term torture and called it advanced interrogation d. Keller says that it is not the newspaper to use a certain word when it comes to a political dispute; describe it vividly and then let the readers decide for themselves e. Sargent said that NY times was siding with Busch by not using the word torture VII. The consequences a. Policy statements are largely ignored; attacks are highlighted b. Emphasizes conflict then their policies c. Horse race journalism very similar to he said she said d. Cooperative efforts are sidelined (dems and reps) i. Stem cell research (wasn’t in the news before when breakthroughs were being made; 2001 became a partisan issue and coverage of it exploded) e. Overwhelming emphasis on conflict over substance VIII. The “memogate” case a. During the 2004 presidential election, CBS News aired several allegations regarding Bush’s Air National Guard service i. Received privileges because of his name ii. Based on memos allegedly written by Busch’s former commander iii. Several sources questioned the authenticity of the documents 1. Like font size, didn’t look like it was written by a type writer iv. CBS was unable to verify the original source of the documents or their authenticity 1. Many people were fired or resigned and had to retract story IX. The seduction of power a. “Power, rather than truthfulness, is the operative standard”-‐Benet i. For he said she said is power not truth b. Indexing-‐ aligning coverage to the range of elite political debate i. 2003 Iraq war coverage 2006-‐2007 coverage ii. When elites have consensus its hard to get opposition voices iii. As war went own more opposition grew and thus could bring in more opposition voices X. The democratization of truth a. Motivated reason-‐ people process information that allows them to believe what they want i. 2010 survey found that a significant number of dem believed Obama cut the number of troops when he really increased number b. People are more likely to believe something if it is endorsed by a source they trust c. He said, she sad journalism can lead people to choose their preference XI. The problem with objectivity a. Objectivity was once considered a rigorous process of verification b. Objectivity had become synonym with balance c. Balance can lead to “false equivalencies” i. Climate change “debate” d. “Stenography” journalism-‐just coping down what is being said and publish it instead of finding their own information; relying on what is just said and not double checking i. Quite common especially in national security because it is so classified XII. Can journalists be too critical? a. Magnifying factual inaccuracies leads to increased public mistrust of both politicians and journalists i. Can lead to cynicism and apathy toward the political system b. When keep pointing out inaccuracies, people less likely to pay attention-‐little boy who cried wolf c. Normative disputes are factually unimpeachable i. Abortion ii. Role of government iii. Capital punishment XIII. The way forward a. The way forward cannot be found in the practices of the past b. Journalism operates under a set of contradictions i. Neutrality v investigation ii. Fair mindedness v critical edge iii. Disengaged v impactful c. Journalism needs a new paradigm, one that involves a different way of thinking about what constitutes a reliable source i. Specialized in their field know more than sources
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