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J1100 February 8-10

by: Cassidy Hall

J1100 February 8-10 1100

Cassidy Hall

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Notes for J1100 for February 8th and 10th
Principles of American Journalism
Marina Hendricks
Class Notes
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cassidy Hall on Thursday February 25, 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 162 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: 02/25/16
The Scientific Method and Journalism February 8, 2016 Principles of scientific method  Observe the world and identify problems or phenomena of interest  Form hypothesis or research question  Devise ways to test the hypothesis or answer the research questions  Analyze results  Verify or modify and repeat the tests Elements of Journalism (pp. 41) 1. Journalism first obligation is to the truth 2. Its first loyalty is to the citizens 3. Its essence is a disciple of verification 4. Its participation must maintain an independence from those they cover 5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power 6. It must provide a forum for public critics and compromise 7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant 8. It must jeep the news comprehensive and proportional 9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience How is News Made? What is News?  News doesn’t just happen, it is made  Information; journalism and news are not synonyms o What is news? Traditionally, journalists deiced what is news  They transform raw information into news  They add context and provide clarity  They ask “what does this mean?” Information Journalistic Process  News What Does News Do? It describes… o By putting the audience in someone else’s shoes o Makes the audience a witness to important events It uncovers… o Serves as the watchdog of the government o Brings facts to light that citizens cant find on their own  It humanizes… o Takes dry stats and puts a human face on it o Doesn’t settle for facts and figures, but finds people behind the stories o Remember: Journalism is about people  The long fall of Phoebe Jonchuck Perspectives on News “If it bleeds it leads” “You never read about a plane that didn’t crash” “News is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising” What is news? Remember the core functions of journalism:  Inform  Investigate  Create public Conversation When we identify something as news worthy, we are identifying events or issues with characteristics that align with these core functions Even though people often talk about “news” and “journalism” as meaning essentially the same thing, distinctions in their definitions do matter News Values How we decide what’s newsworthy  Timeliness  Impact  Currency  Conflict  Novelty  Prominence  Proximity Only people can decide whether an event is newsworthy Timeliness/Immediacy Why is news like milk?  It expires  Some people don’t like it  In some parts of the world it is rare Tyranny of the deadline  How do we find time to verify, fact check and get different views before we publish How will the public be affected? Will they care? Currency  What’s already been established as newsworthy?  What’s on the agenda right now?  What might happen as a result? Conflict  Conflict occurs between o People o Ideologies o Values and morals o Nations Novelty  Something unusual happens  Something breaks away from routine  Something captures emotions Prominence  Important or famous people o Politicians o Athletes o Entertainers Proximity  How close are we to the news? o Local o State o Regional o Etc. Other Factors  Resources  Size  Audience  News flow Biggest test is public interest Requires discretion and good judgment How Is News Made? February 10, 2016 Print Newsrooms  Publishers o Responsible for overall and profitability of a publication  Editor/ Managing Editor o Responsible for editorial content; set stories and editorial policy  Various Editors o City Editor Handles news coverage in the community o Sports Editor Handles sport section content o Opinion Editor Selects letters to the editor o Features Editor Handles arts, entertainment, and lifestyle coverage o Copy Editor Handles proofing, style, fact checking, headlines, etc.  Reporters o Most likely to specializes in a particular are, but can also report on general topics  Columnist o Writes a regular column usually a specific topic Online- Only Newsrooms  Online – only news organization have a diverse structures o Less-hierarchal, more team-oriented o Fewer layers of oversight o More journalistic initiative o Coordination still required  Example Buzzfeed Broadcast Newsrooms  Station Manager/ General Manager o Responsible for policy and overall profitability of station  Executive Producer o Primary decision-maker for newscast and business management  News Directors o Responsible for news content and assigning news stories  Editor o Reviews stories; responsible for individual story content so that it fits station character  Reporter o Develops, writes and reports stories; many cover a specific area or be general assignment In the Public Interest “Information is the public interest if it assists in the proper functioning of democracy” News Values  Remember: these are just tools o Subjective, not objective o Requires discretion and good judgment o Biggest test is public interest o Over-inflation of a single news value leads to error Different platforms can better serve different news values  For example, twitter and breaking news News values are not universal and can vary widely  Platform to platform  Community to community  Local to national  Nation to nation Sources of News Incoming/ Passive  Naturally occurring events  “Pseudo events” (Daniel Boorstin)  Press releases Outgoing/ Active  Enterprise  Beats Journalism as a Commodity  Need to capture the biggest market square  Dangers? o Even if news seems lake any other commodity, treating journalism like any other product can damage it  “Television is just another appliance…A toaster with pictures” o Journalism is NOT a toaster Remember Fundamentals  Always verify  Remain independent  Demonstrate loyalty to citizens o Stay committed to truth telling o Exhibiting a commitment to elevating the discourse The Tools Change, The Values Don’t If we are committed to the values the tools do not matter, they are means toward the same end-a better democracy The Information Problem Main argument Patterson Craft and Davis News media struggle to figure out what audiences want and need The Fairness Doctrine Media Fragmentation The Fairness Doctrine Policy of the Federal Communications commission  Overseen by congress  Instated in 1949  Present controversial issues of a public importance  To do so in a honest balanced a equitable way  Ensure a diversity of view points Context: Broadcast and licensing  Required to present stories of public o Public interest, convince and necessity (PICAN) o Air programing based on the need of communities o Was revoked in 1987  First Amendment challenges Patterson: Revoking the Fairness Doctrine led to the rise of Partisan Programming Concern is that exposure to one sided argument can lad to extreme political views and a misunderstanding of the oppositions views (pp. 13) Media Fragmentation: The simultaneous increase in the number of available media outlets and the shift in audience’s behavior to consume products from the multiple media Implication: Formerly isolated forms of news media (e.g., broadcast) must now compete with other media, not merely within their own medium Results in a lot of information being unloaded on the public Attention Deficit  The effect of news content Media fragmentation and the diversity paradox The greater and tougher the competition in the marketplace, the greater the incentive to produce goods and services similar to your competitors Therefor the likelihood of a marketplace producing diverse content decreases The news media market can be characterized as fiercely competitive  Oversaturation crime Journalists aren’t giving citizens what they need Market forces have contributed to this problem Government regulation is not necessarily the best way to solve this problem Change the Culture of Journalism Changing Journalism Culture  Bias reexamined  For Patterson, it is too simplistic to allege the news media or inherently liberal or inherently conservative  Any political biases that news media appear to exhibit are by products of another, more certified “Biases” that come form systemic, cultural or market forces within the news media Bias Toward Novelty Example Obama 2008 vs. 2012 Politicians transgression become novel, regardless of state Implication for Journalism: Sustained, thematic reporting on one topic or issue becomes difficult because it compete with the newest story just around the corner Bias Toward Negativity Positive= soft The Harder the news the better Crime: The hardest of the hard news Solution: Following an objective method will help journalists determine the appropriate tone and level of criticism Bias Against the Government IF the press is predisposed to being a watchdog for the people against the government, will government programs and policies ever receive fair coverage o “Fairness” and “Criticism” are not mutually exclusive  Criticism can turn unfair if journalists do not follow a rigorous, objective method of reporting “Big Story Bias”  “Guilty until proven innocent”: Gary Condit, Planned Parenthood, Casey Anthony  Misidentification: James Holmes or Jim Holmes?  Over inflation: Madcow disease Key Takeaways Forces such as media fragmentation and changing culture towards media regulation have contributed to shortcomings in report the news “Bias” in news media is more complicated and announced than it seems Journalists must be aware of other sources of bias that could hurt their report Following an objective method can help manage these sources of bias Assumptions Journalism affects public opinion Public opinion affects policy and social norms So… journalism affects policy and social norms As a result, journalism needs to honor its responsibility for affecting society so deeply But, journalism is not doing a good job of honoring that responsibility ________________________________________________________________________ _________________________  Framing  Agenda- setting  Cultivation Framing:  A window into the world  People gain knowledge through this knowledge  Frames are partners of interceptions  Organize the presentation of facts and opinions within a news story  Stresses specific facts  Reduces a complex issues down to one or two central aspects Episodic reports present on the scene coverage of hard news, and it is visually compelling  “Horse Race” framing of political campaign Episodic focus- poll numbers, size of rallies, amount of donations Thematic coverage of relative background material, requires in-depth, interpretive analysis  Thematic focus- candidates policies and stances on key issues


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