EJ Chapt. 8: Engagement and Relevance
The big question in this chapter is whether journalists should provide readers with the news they want to read or should read. I think this is a very interesting question. Readership drives advertising, “clicks” and ratings, which provide the money needed to continue producing the news. In that logic, journalists should provide people with the news they want to read. However, that’s not the point of journalism. Journalists need to report events and the truth, even if it may not be what people want to read (i.e. war and crime). I think there’s a common ground that can be reached, and I think, after reading this chapter, that Buzzfeed is one organization that has figured out the equilibrium. Buzzfeed provides readers what they want to read through the listicles, quizzes, etc, but then also produces very hard-hitting news and investigative features. They use the former to help do the latter, and I think it’s a smart format that will work for them in the long-run.
The chapter mentioned that local news has been avoided. I think that’s because the local news shares the same stories over and over again, and to be honest, I’m tired of watching local news and only hearing who died in a car accident or was murdered overnight. I think that type of crime-heavy local news has made people weary of watching it.
ME Chapt. 9: New Media: Continuing Questions and New Roles
This chapter discussed the Internet’s effect on journalism.
Is social media a fair tool to use for sources? I think so. You have access to a much larger pool of people on social media than you would in regular out-of-technology setting.
New roles in the industry
Yes, news is changing, and organizations have to create roles to change with it. As we saw in the movie, the New York Times created media writer positions because the evolution of the industry required a dedicated reporter on the topic. This will continue to occur as the industry continues to develop.
Who’s a journalist? I still believe that a journalist is someone who has been through training and understands facts, accuracy and objectivity. I do not trust any citizen journalist the way I would trust a trained journalist with a media organization. However, I do think media organizations are confused about this. For example, in the movie, journalists were confused about whether to call Julian Assange a partner or a source regarding the WikiLeaks stories. I say he is a source, not a partner. He is not a trained journalist.
Case Study 9-A
Ethical Issue: Was the 2012 Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act really a breaking news situation?
Alternatives: CNN and FOX wanted to get the news out fast, didn’t take the time to actually read the decision and reported an inaccurate fact. They could have taken the time to read the decision, decipher it, and report it with accuracy and clarity.
Persuasive Rationale: Immediacy should not be the primary goal in journalism, especially with a topic as complicated as a Supreme Court decision. It was not “breaking news” in terms of a dangerous situation or weather event, and it could have waited until they truly understood the decision, then reported it.
Case Study 9-B
Ethical Issue: Do we aggregate news? Is that ok to do?
Alternatives: Share the information and attribute it to the original source, or do your own reporting and ensure its accuracy by your own standards.
Persuasive Rationale: I think aggregating information is fine so long as you properly attribute the information to the original source. Due to budget cuts, it’s hard to do your own reporting on everything.
Ethical Issue of the Week
Does the White House provide reporters with questions in advance? An Arizona-based reporter said “yes,” then retracted her answer. To be honest, I’m not shocked at all if this is true. Why wouldn’t it be? It gives the press secretary the time to get an accurate answer rather than on-the-spot. As someone who has worked in PR and Journalism, I’ve heard of it happening in other situations – but you don’t talk about it or admit it, especially on social media. I hope she’s aware that she won’t get access into the White House again, more than likely.
Do you think it’s unethical for the White House to receive questions from reporters in advance of a press briefing?
spin alley: a designated space used by news media after a political event to perform interviews.
fair use: Limited and accepted use of copyrighted material.
echo chamber: media outlets amplify or reinforce information by transmitting them from “different” outlets, making the reader think they’re receiving the information from different sources.