The First Amendment Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.
What is Journalism? Journalism is the effort to gather and report the news by the media. What is the media? Media includes newspapers, blogs, magazines, television, radio and other forms of transmitting information.
Types of newspapers Weekly newspapers • Published once a week • Print “local” news about the people, places and events in their community • Provide an outlet for a community that might never be covered by a daily paper or television news
Types (cont.) Daily newspapers • Published daily or more than a couple times a week • Cover a wider area than weeklies • Only print major or “noteworthy” events
Journalist • The person who gathers and reports the news across all media • The people who provide financial, managerial and technical support to those who report the news • What are some examples of people who would be considered journalists?
Journalists’ responsibilities • Be credible. Credibility is the degree to which the public believes what it reads and hears. • What makes a person or source credible? • Be objective. Objectivity is keeping personal feelings and biases out of stories. • What is bias? • Verify your information (on all levels). Verifying means checking for accuracy. • What could be the result of not verifying information?
The Role of the Journalist • Bring attention and awareness to areas of public life • Provide a database for the community • Provide an open forum for community members to discuss facets of life
Spotlight • Act as “gatekeepers” deciding what gets covered • Give prominence/priority to certain stories and events in terms of length and placement • Report on activities of business, government and areas of society that might have an impact on people’s lives • Spot upcoming trends
Spotlight (cont.) • Interpret and Explain: Help people make sense of what’s happening around them • Take a position/stand on issues on the Editorial page • Columns and commentaries offer personal views • Entertain and Amuse (comics, crosswords, advice columns, “fluff” pieces, event reviews
Database • Provide information on a variety of topics (sports scores, calendar listings, weather, traffic, maps, municipal budgets, legal documents, etc.) • Many media companies have “Data” sections • Keep record for future generations (births, deaths, weddings, anniversaries, elex results, crime, court records, legal notices, etc.)
Open Forum • Create a place for people to share thoughts/ideas • Experts aren’t only ones who can add to conversation • Public Journalism seeks to revitalize public life & promote among members that their institutions belong to them
Open Forum (cont.) • Crowd-sourcing is the trend of actively seeking people associated with an issue • Examples: story comments, blogs, live community forums, call-in panels, sound-off hotlines and columns • Public-Service Journalism goes beyond just reporting issues. It raises awareness of an issue and then brings together people who have a stake in that problem to help find solutions.
Multi-culturalism & Journalism • Need to reflect all voices in a community • Survey – 11.5% of journalists at dailies are cultural or racial minorities (6,800 out of 55,000) • Black – 5.4%; Hispanic – 3.5%; Asian – 2.3%; American Indian -- .4%; Women – 37% • Kerner Commission in 1968 criticized media for lack of diversity and recommended developing minority candidates earlier in pipeline • Opinion/editorial and talk radio are male dominated • Specialty publications can fill void