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MMC 910 Journalism and Society

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  1. MMC 910 Journalism and Society Session 3: Journalism History and Journalists as Historians (cont.) and Four Theories of the Press

  2. MMC910 Journalism and Society • Speaker AyshaTaryam isn’t coming today; she sends apologies; asks you to read in her book The opposite of indifference • Today we’ll catch up with materials unavailable last week – first Barbie Zelizer’s chapter 4 in her book Taking Journalism Seriously

  3. History and Journalism • Barbie Zelizer is a former journalist who now studies journalism and is a media critic • She has written or edited several books on journalism as history Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory through the Camera’s Eye Covering the Body: The Kennedy Assassination, the Media, and the Shaping of Collective Memory Journalism after September 11

  4. History and Journalism (cont.) Zelizer understands “the importance of taking journalism seriously, both for practitioners and scholars” Journalism matters, but many well known writers are applauded not for journalism but for their fiction that uses the same themes: this happened to Hemingway – notes Zelizer in Chapter 1 of her book Taking Journalism Seriously. News and the Academy

  5. History and Journalism (cont.2) • Two issues: History of Journalism and Journalism as History • Problem is what is history – no agreement although we all think we know what it is

  6. What is History? What do you think?

  7. What isHistory? (cont.) • Stories about great people’s actions? • Chronological account of facts? • Ideological frame: political? religious? philosophical? • Witness accounts?

  8. What is History? (cont.2) Some approaches • Stories of greats • Focus on narrow topic/setting • Narrative of improvement – moving from dictatorship to democracy, from slavery to freedom, colonialism to independence • Birth of a nation, an ideology • Explanation of disasters like war, famine, disease

  9. History of Journalism So, Who decides if it’s real or true? How do we know that something happened?

  10. History of Journalism (cont.) Zelizer’s categories of journalism: • Small scope: Journalism history as biography, autobiography, story of organization – narrow, restricted scope, one viewpoint • Medium scope: Journalism history as study of a period, theme, series of events, technology • Grand scope: Journalism history as study of development of a nation or region

  11. What does this mean? • Study of journalism is ongoing • Journalists work within history • What journalists do today will be part of tomorrow’s history • As a journalist, knowing that what you do is really important should be a source of satisfaction and a reason for serious ethical professionalism

  12. History and Journalism • We discussed Zelizer’s Chapter 4 from the Week 2 reading list • The other readings from Week 2 should be available next week Thompson on media and development of societies Lloyd on British press traditions, etc. Torney-Parlicki on Australian journalists as historians

  13. Week 3 Readings Also to be available next week • But let’s take an advance look now at Four Theories of the Press

  14. Four Theories of the Press • Important book in 1963 by Fred Seibert • Media is part of society • “The press always takes on the form and coloration of the social and political structures within which it operates” • Four theories “clarify the link between mass media and the political society”

  15. Four Theories from 1963 The Authoritarian Theory The Libertarian Theory The Soviet Theory The Social Responsibility Theory

  16. The Authoritarian Theory • Direct government control of media • Government is a small ruling class • Media cannot print or broadcast anything against ruling group; media avoids offending government • Government punishes anyone who questions it • Media professionals are strictly controlled by their organization • Foreign media also have to obey since imported media products have to be approved by government

  17. The Libertarian Theory • The individual is free to publish as he/she likes • Attacking the government is allowed and even encouraged • No restrictions on foreign media inside or outside the country • Media professionals are allowed to be independent in their organization

  18. The Soviet Theory • Tied to communist ideology • No private media companies • All media have to serve the working class • Government is superior to media • Media is expected to police itself • Media organizations are responsible for meeting the expectations of their audience – see working class above

  19. The Social Responsibility Theory • Media has obligations to society • Media has to be informative, truthful, accurate, objective, and balanced • Many kinds of media organizations and products show “a reflection of the diversity of society as well as access to diverse points of view”

  20. Before Session 4 next week • Prepare by going over Week 1, 2, 3 readings in the Syllabus • ereadings now include Week 3 readings: Lee Chin-Chuan on China’s Journalism Richard Shafer and Eric Freedman on Mass Media in Uzbekistan • Prepare for next Monday’s class (Week 4) with Week 4 ereading by Hoffner et al. on Censorship of TV Violence

  21. As you read • Take notes – material may be in Week 8 Exam • Save information, references, titles that seem interesting – for presentation, paper, and/or essay • Come to class with comments about your reading • Come to class with observations about what journalism is doing in today’s society: bring examples

  22. Upcoming Conferences • WAN-IFRA 7th Middle East Conference, Feb.29-March 1 www.wan-ifra.org/eventsJW Marriott • MEPRA Conference, March 4-5 (free) www.mepra.orgZayed University at Knowledge Village • PR World Congress, March 14-15 (5 free slots for students) www.prwcdubai.com at Grand Hyatt • Arab Media Forum, May 8-9 (register for free at www.arabmediaforum.com) at Grand Hyatt

  23. MMC910 Journalism and Society That’s it for tonight. See you Wednesday in MMC911 – meeting in Block 5-121 Speaker Monday, Feb. 27, is Magda Abu-Fadil. Follow her on twitter, Huffington Post, blogs, etc.