Blog Essay Week 13

EJ Chapter 10

This chapter questions whether journalists should exercise their personal conscience when making decisions about stories. To me, this seems like common sense. Yes, journalists want to appease their editors and bosses and keep their jobs, but if their conscience is telling them to not write a story, then they should not. After all, they’re the ones who have their byline attached to the story, not the editors.

Advocacy Journalism

Before I go into each article, I want to give my overall opinion. If you’re writing about a topic with a bias view, that’s opinion journalism. If you’re writing about a topic with an end-goal in mind in terms of the change you want to create in the world, that’s public interest communications, not journalism. I don’t believe in the term advocacy journalism. I think public interest communications is the best way to define what “advocacy journalism” wants to define, but seems contradictory because journalism should not advocate anything, just provide facts and objective reporting.

Journalism for Action

I think having a call to action in articles would be amazing. So often, we hear of an awful event or situation, become emotionally involved in it, but are never given the answer of what we can do to help. I think that’s why so many people are disheartened by journalism: journalists share stories of misery and hardship but don’t tell us what we can do to help. I think the call to action isn’t a bias take on reporting – I think it’s answering a very important question of “what can we do now?”

In praise of the almost-journalist

This article reminds me of the public interest communications field. Increasingly, advocacy organizations are hiring journalists to write and report for their cause. And why not? The journalist has amazing training in writing, reporting, accuracy and fact-finding and can be a huge asset in furthering a cause. However, I think that once a journalist takes on this hat, he or she can no longer cause him or herself a journalist. At this point, he or she becomes a communications professional and a former journalist because he or she has taken on a bias view of writing and communicating information.

Ethical Issue

Let’s talk about how NBC News drives me bonkers because they always seem to stretch and bend the rules of ethics. In the latest, “Oh Jeez, NBC” moment, the network allowed president George W. Bush to be interviewed by his daughter, Jenna. I do not believe this is appropriate at all. Even if the topic of the interview was lighthearted, the network still allowed a conflict of interest to arise, and it just becomes silly entertainment fodder rather than a journalistic piece of work. I think actions like these hurt NBC News’s credibility as a network and objective news source.

DQ: Do you think famous people can be interviewed by their children if their children work for a news organization?


3 thoughts on “Blog Essay Week 13

  1. I completely agree with your take on public interest communications. However, I don’t like how Moceri posed her talk about journalism for action. She didn’t convince me journalism for action wasn’t biased. I watched her video and she was very biased in her tone and the words she used. I agree with her idea to give readers a conclusion, I just don’t agree with how she is choosing to give a conclusion.

    I also agree with your take on people trained as journalists going into communications for a non-journalism company. Even though you’re trained as a journalist, doesn’t mean you are one depending on the job you accept. I guess this can be a messy conversation for the “who’s a journalist” topic.

    To answer your DQ, I don’t think a journalist should be able to interview their relatives, even if they happen to be famous. It’s a breech of the idea that you are connected to a source and shouldn’t be involved. It’s no different than police officers who are taken off cases involving their family members.

  2. Your DQ is interesting. In a normal situation, journalists should not interview relatives. However, if the parent is famous and the news organization discloses the relationship between the reporter and the parent, then I think it could make for an interesting interview with the potential for a lot of hits. People find the family dynamic interesting. Just look at reality TV.

  3. I do think that famous people can be interviewed by their children if their children work for news organizations depending on the subject matter. I don’t think it is a problem when it comes to the painting situation with the Bushes, but I don’t think that it would have been appropriate for a discussion about policy issues or anything that Bush may have done wrong in the past, and the reasons are very obvious. If a reporter is interviewing their parent about something personal, don’t you think that the child would be able to get more out of the parent than a random reporter? Don’t you think that would be an advantage for the media outlet? I would certainly think that the interviewee would be more open to questions in this case.

    -Danielle Lawrence

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