homework discussion n.
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
Homework Discussion

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 41

Homework Discussion - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Homework Discussion. Make 3 groups. 1.. Make list of topics from the headlines you collected, as well as todays newscast http://tagcrowd.com . Elect a group member to come put it into the tag cloud. We Discuss what we notice about the topics.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Homework Discussion' - sal

Download Now An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
homework discussion
Homework Discussion
  • Make 3 groups.

1.. Make list of topics from the headlines you collected, as well as todays newscast http://tagcrowd.com. Elect a group member to come put it into the tag cloud. We Discuss what we notice about the topics.

  • 2.. Imagine you were a reporter at Firdos square as described by Peter Maas. How would you have covered the statue toppling? How would you convince your editor to run your story?
    • Hartley
      • More definitional – lets discuss any questions or confusions you may have.
    • Lichtenberg
      • Why does Lichtenberg think objectivity is possible?
      • Why have critics said otherwise?
      • What do you think?
lecture 1 the news the journalist and objectivity examined

Lecture 1 – The News, The Journalist and Objectivity Examined

Film: Bill Moyers’ “Buying the War.”


Understanding differences in news value, including institutional differences

  • Understanding the impact and importance of different news sources
  • Understand and evaluate the concept of “Bias” or “unbiased” news reporting
what do we mean news is manufactured
What do we mean news is “manufactured”?
  • Journalists get offended by this terminology coming from media professors.
  • “they just report the world as they see it, the facts and nothing but the facts. [There may be] occasional bias, sensationalism, or inaccuracy, but a responsible journalist seeks to be fair and never fakes the news.” (Schudson 4)
faking is not the point
“Faking is not the point”
  • “To say a news report is a story is not to say that it is a fiction.” – Gaye Tuchman
what is news
What is News?
  • John Hartley calls news, “the sense-making practice of modernity,”
  • Schudson thinks this is a bit much – but we can say news is “a dominant force in the public construction of common experience and a popular sense of what is real and important.” (Schudson 13)
  • Hartley – “News is the ‘report’ or the ‘account’ of an event. (11)
what is news1
What is News?
  • “News is what is publicly notable” (Schudson, 6).
  • When Schudson was writing, TV producers admitted to him their starting point was often the headlines from the daily paper.
  • I can attest this is true from Radio! Though now, Web and Twitter may play a role.
schudson s two ways to understand news
Schudson’s Two Ways to Understand News
  • As a Text: News is a “rhetorical form or set of rhetorical forms, a…cultural genre within our larger literary culture.”
  • As a Manufactured Good:
  • “the product of a set of social, economic, and political institutions and practices.”
news value
News Value
  • Galtung and Ruge (1965), sociologists, made a list of “s qualities of events that increase the likelihood of their being covered in the news. 
  • Theyoriginally conceived of this list as a way of describing why the press of a given nation might choose to include coverage of some foreign events and not others. 
  • However, their list of news criteria has since been applied in a broad variety of contexts (Tumber, 1999), from general domestic reporting (Bell, 1991) to science journalism (Gregory & Miller, 1998). 


  • An event with a negative outcome is more likely to be reported than one with a positive outcome.
  • An event that can be described with persons or characters rather than events or social forces will get more coverage. 




  • An event involving elite people will be more likely to be reported (Kate and William’s wedding; not yours!)
  • Events that involve elite nations or regions will get more coverage.




  • News editors will attempt to present their audience with a “balanced diet” of news.  An event that contributes to the diversity of topics reported is more likely to be covered than one that adds to a pile of similar news items.


  • If an issue has made the news once, it will likely be considered news worthy again (not always!)
  • If an event is unexpected, it will be considered newsworthy.




  • If there are less ways to interpret an event, it is more likely to be reported.
  • The larger the event –the more likely it is to be reported. (But not all “People effected” might carry the same weight.




  • Events that occur during the production of the news cycle are more likely to be reported.

All definitions adapted from Media Research Council (http://mediaresearchhub.ssrc.org/icdc-content-folder/news-values/)

what does a journalist do
What does a journalist do?
  • He makes news: “Journalism is the practice of producing and disseminating information about contemporary affairs of general public interest and importance” (Schudson 11)
  • He communicates: “Communication is the social coordination of individuals and groups through shared symbols and meanings.” (Schudson 11)

This headline highlights:

  • Proximity (to Americans)
  • Unexpectedness.
  • The next?

In the American tradition

    • Newspapers and broadcast journalism privately owned, goal is “objectivity.”
  • In the United Kingdom
    • Newspapers are considered ideological (The Guardian is liberal, the Sun is conservative and populist).
    • While network television largely tries to be “Objective”.
what is objectivity
What is Objectivity?









what is objectivity1
What is Objectivity?
  • Schudson: “the belief in objectivity is a faith in 'facts,' a distrust in 'values,' and a commitment to their segregation.”

Objectivity is ideological in itself.

  • Susan Jacoby on a certain kind of objectivity… “The truth is always equidistant between two points.”
    • Jacoby (Fora Films – The Problem of Objectivity in Journalism) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFX7kr6Y3Po

Deadly Blast at Moscow’s Main Airport Seen as Terror Attack

By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ and J. DAVID GOODMAN (New York Times Online 24 Jan 2011)

MOSCOW — An explosion rocked an international terminal of Moscow’s busiest airport on Monday afternoon in what Russian officials described as an apparent terrorist attack. The Health Ministry reported that at least 30 people had been killed and 130 injured, according to Russian state media.

Russian news agencies, citing witnesses, said the airport’s halls were filled with so much smoke that it was difficult to count the dead. A video posted online showed bodies and luggage strewn across the smooth airport floor, barely visible under the clouds of thick smoke.

The blast occurred in the arrivals hall of Domodedovo airport, according to a spokeswoman. Investigators said the explosion occurred at 4:32 p.m. local time.

Sergei Lavochkin, who was at the airport meeting a friend, said he was 100 feet away when the bomb detonated. “I heard a loud bang, and some tiles fell from the ceiling,”

Mr. Lavochkin told Rossiya-24, a cable news service. “I saw carts, the ones you use to move luggage. They were transporting people on them.”

An eyewitness who gave his name as Yuri said the intense blast sent roughly 200 people scrambling for safety.

Multiple sources, each one attributed. Emphasis on eyewitness accounts. Unemotional tone.

what is impartiality
What is impartiality?
  • Not the same thing as objectivity, but perhaps part of it.
  • Gareth Bentley’s research shows that BBC reporters, when they talk about their work, are most concerned with impartiality or appearing balanced.
  • A typical BBC position is that “people say we’re anti-semetic AND anti-Palestinian – we must be doing something right.
  • Impartiality means showing both sides, giving each argument equal weight – “Balance.”
bbc values objectivity
BBC – Values Objectivity
  • Part of their Editorial Guidelines ensure maintaining “a reputation of objectivity and accuracy.
  • When BBC journalist Jeremy Bowen won an award last year, his speechillustrates this.
  • He said that following a recent piece, on the Israeli raid on the aid convoy sailing to Gaza, he had received an email from John Pilger (a very left British journalist) saying: "I was a weasel, a disgrace to journalism –because I was trying to report impartially.”
  • "On the other hand, I had a very nasty email from someone in north London, who said I was rabidly antisemitic, and people I loved would soon kill me. I am encouraged by irritating everyone.” •
  • (Maggie Brown, Guardian.co.uk, Thursday 10 June 201
the development of objectivity as a news value
The Development of Objectivity as a News Value
  • In the West, early press was highly polemical.
  • Ben Bagdikian, Turkish born American newspaper editor, describes in Media Monopoly how “objectivity” as an ideal helped professionalise journalism:
  • “The standard version of "objectivity" holds that it was created to end nineteenth-century sensationalism. To a large extent it did, and that alone made it appealing to serious journalists. "Objectivity" demanded more discipline of reporters and editors because it expected every item to be attributed to some authority. No traffic accident could be reported without quoting a police sergeant. No wartime incident was recounted without confirmation from government officials. 'Objectivity" increased the quantity of literal facts in the news, and it did much to strengthen the growing sense of discipline and ethics in journalism.
criticisms of objectivity
Criticisms of Objectivity
  • Shouldn’t a journalist tell us what he thinks?
  • American journalist Ken Silverstein: "balanced" coverage that plagues American journalism and which leads to utterly spineless reporting with no edge. The idea seems to be that journalists are allowed to go out to report, but when it comes time to write, we are expected to turn our brains off and repeat the spin from both sides. God forbid we should attempt fairly assess what we see with our own eyes. "Balanced" is not fair, it's just an easy way of avoiding real reporting...and shirking our responsibility to inform readers.”
what s the problem with objectivity
What’s the problem with objectivity?
  • Another way of thinking of objectivity is as the “greatest distance between observer and observed.”
  • Some argue, if a journalist claims to be “objective”, how can she take responsibility for her own biases?
  • At least when journalists are more ideological or emotional, you can see what they are thinking and perhaps more easily decide for themselves.

With all its technical advantages, "objectivity" contradicted the essentially subjective nature of journalism. Every basic step in the journalistic process involves a value-laden decision: Which of the infinite number of events in the environment will be assigned for coverage and which ignored? Which of the infinite observations confronting the reporter will be noted? Which of the facts noted will be included in the story? Which of the reported events will become the first paragraph? Which story will be prominently displayed on page 1 and which buried inside or discarded? None of these is a truly objective decision. But the disciplinary techniques of "objectivity" have the false aura of a science, and this has given almost a century of American journalism an illusion of unassailable correctness.

  • -Bagdikian, Media Monopoly.
should journalists abandon objectivity
Should journalists abandon objectivity?



  • • In reality, trying to be fair and analytical does not at all preclude feeling sympathy for victims, and other human emotions. But for some writers, their emotional commitment seems to exclude all fairness and reasonable analysis. Whatever the political aims of such writers, a matter I cannot judge, their militant rejection of dispassionate analysis can only play into the hands of political powers who cloak their military interventions in the rhetoric of humanitarian imperatives. • (Diana Johnstone, 2005; http://www.counterpunch.org/johnstone11142005.ht ml

• What has been different about much of the reporting, particularly on TV, has been that the emotional attachment between reporter and victim has been obvious. Gone is the professional, some might say artificial, detachment…. Now, for the first time, media professionals are starting to tell us how they feel about some stories. And it will probably make them better journalists. [Chris Cramer (former managing director of CNN International, TheAustralian’sMedia section on January 27, 2005]


A journalist can allow emotion to creep in for many reasons….

  • CNN: Anderson Cooper (CNN) on Katrina disaster in 2006 – where is the help? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsuRCXiYGO4
  • Fergal Keane on London Bus Bombings:
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuhBdHc8Nqs
  • John Simpson in Iraq in 2003
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_HmwktvRGc
but some journalists have a lot of problems with this
But some journalists have a lot of problems with this.
  • Lindsay Hilsum, Channel 4 Foreign Correspondent, says reporters like Cooper and others who are so emotionally involved make themselves the story:"[Some reporters] want to be the centre of attention. The people we are reporting on should be the centre of attention.

Journalists who don’t claim to be objective also risk having preconceived notions, according to Hilsum:"If you are a good journalist, you are prepared for your views to be assaulted...and should not have a political view which blinds you. You should be open to finding out you're wrong.“

Lindsey Hilsum, qtd. In Frontline Club, “http://frontlineclub.com/blogs/theforum/2010/05/lindsey-hilsum.html”


This would fit with Judith Lichtinberg (whom you maybe read). Objectivity is something to aim for: “objectivity requires that reporters not let their preconceptions could their vision. It does not mean they see nothing, or that their findings may not be significant and controversial.” (252)


“you should not have a political view that binds you…” Coverage in US media of run up to Iraq…

  • To think about: Did the US media fail to be objective in the run up to the Iraq war? Were these reasons similar to or different to the failures in the coverage of Firdos Square?