Blog Essay week 10


My group looked at the front page of the Guardian vs. the people-powered front page of the Guardian. Personally, I think the people-powered one is much more appealing. I would prefer to read about health concerns because I think that affects all of our lives versus an international news event that many people feel doesn’t affect them. The right-hand column is the BBC3 cancellation, which again affects the individual’s life far more than a political crisis. I think that if journalism adapted to this regime, people would be more willing to read news.

EJ  Chapt. 7: Journalism as a Public Forum

I’m confused as to how journalism is “paternal” because of technology. I don’t truly understand what the text meant by that description. The chapter goes on to discuss how journalism has been positively influenced by technology but spends far more time mentioning the negatives (dissemination of false information, etc.) than it did describing the positives.

I thought the discussion about wikipedia was remarkable. My high school teachers hated that we used Wikipedia, but I think it’s such a brilliant source of information that you can use as a first reference for anything you need to know. We are able to educate people about topics better and faster because of Wikipedia, and I think it’s an excellent example of citizen journalism. Yes, people update it with falsity at times, but you should not use it as your only source.

Another point from the chapter I thought was interesting was the concept of choosing sources from the extreme sides of an issue. I don’t think this brings any clarity to an issue because issues are never that black and white. You should find compromise sources as options, too.

ME Chapt. 8: Picture This: The Ethics of Photo and Video Journalism

The chapter says that pictures are an interpretation of reality and not reality itself. I think that’s complete falsity. I think that words are far more of an interpretation of reality than pictures are because, as writers, we string the words together and give them meaning versus pictures show reality. Yes, sometimes they can be an interpretation, but I do not think you can say they are always an interpretation of reality.

Perspective is absolutely important when it comes to photography. We do take information from a picture depending on how we see it. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, and we can take a thousand different words from it depending on who we are.

Case Study 8-A

Identify Dilemmas: Are photos and videos of suicide newsworthy? Do the photos past the Wheaties test?

Weigh Alternatives: You could choose to not publish the photos and video at all, regardless of whether its a newsworthy event. Or you could, if you must, publish the least offensive photographs inside the paper or hidden online.

Cite A Persuasive Rationale: I would not have published the footage or photographs, even if it was somewhere else online. As a publication, you hold yourself to standards and integrity, and publishing that footage would be unethical, in my opinion. Also, it doesn’t pass the Wheaties test because that’s not what you want to see at breakfast.

Case Study 8-B

Identify Dilemmas: As a journalist, do you become part of the story or remain objective?

Weigh Alternatives: You channel your human side and help first, then once the situation is under control, you become a reporter. (RE: Miami Herald photographer’s actions with the unresponsive baby on the Causeway). Or you ignore a human situation and remain a reporter and only photograph/report on the situation.

Cite A Persuasive Rationale: You help first, and so Herbert did the right thing. You can’t forget your humanity to capture a story – period. There’s no ethical dilemma around that.

Case Study 8-C

Identify Dilemmas: Do you print the photo of a miscarriage?

Weigh Alternatives: No, you don’t print the photo or yes, you do.

Cite A Persuasive Rationale: This shouldn’t even be a dilemma. You don’t publish photographs of a miscarriage. Be a human, for God’s sake. These type of decisions are why people distrust the media so greatly.

Case Study 8-E

Identify Dilemmas: Print pictures of child abuse or no? If so, where?

Weigh Alternatives: Print the photos small in an inside page or not at all.

Cite A Persuasive Rationale: Again, unless you have an incredibly strong reason to print it, such as wanting to change public opinion, you should not publish an image like this.

Case Study 8-G

Identify Dilemmas: Run the photo? If so, where?

Weigh Alternatives: Print it on front page, print it on internal page, print it in a special edition or don’t print it at all.

Cite A Persuasive Rationale: I like what the Chicago Tribune did by printing it in a special edition. That way, if people really wanted to see photos of a tragedy, they could, but it didn’t take over and wasn’t sensationalizing the tragedy.

Ethical Issue

Since this relates so well to one of our case studies, I decided to write about the Miami Herald reporter who helped save the baby. Also, this relates to the request for a video or photography issue. Herald photographer Al Diaz was a passenger on the highway in Miami when he found himself in a perplexing ethical dilemma. A child wasn’t breathing, and the aunt was trying to get help and administer CPR. Diaz ran for help and got police, and once the situation was under control, he stepped back and took photos of the newsworthy incident for the Miami Herald. I think he handled the case exceptionally well. First and foremost, he was a human being and got help for an incredibly young life that deserved to be saved. When he did everything he could, he then took pictures. He got flack for taking photos, but he was doing his job, and he luckily did it secondary:

DQ: Do you believe that Al Diaz did the right thing?


Post Toasties test or Wheaties test: Can you eat breakfast while reading or looking at that material in the media? It’s a sensitivity test.

the public sphere: individuals have the freedom to discuss ideas or topics in public.

Argument Culture: debate that takes place on TV shows and in media is a huge part of our American entertainment/news culture.

Mina Radman


Blog Essay Week 8

EJ  Chapt. 6: Monitor Power and Offer Voice to the Voiceless

This chapter states that all journalism should be investigative. This statement interested me because I don’t know if I agree. When I think of investigative journalism, I think of reporters diving deep into topics to uncover wrongdoings. However, any type of journalism could be considered investigative so long as it is well-researched and fact-checked, can’t it?

The book talks about how “watchdogs” should report both the positive and negatives, and I completely agree. We only hear about the negatives out there, and it gives everyone a warped sense of what journalists do. I think journalists have a duty to share the positives, too.

ME Chapt. 7: Media Economics: The Deadline Meets the Bottom Line

I’m okay with the idea that the government owns the media because the government is providing the media with money they need to stay afloat. It’s similar to what our government does with PBS here, and I think PBS has some of the best reporting that we can find.

Case Study 7-E

Ethical Issue – The Los Angeles Times publisher had a secret agreement with Staples Center for building construction. This included dividing profits between the two.

Alternatives – The best alternative would have been to let readers know of this agreement.

Persuasive Rationale –The publisher shouldn’t have ever put readers in the position because he hurt both the newsroom and the readers.

Case Study 7-F

Ethical Issue: New ownership of LA Times leads to cutbacks in newsroom.

Alternatives: The cutbacks should have been a private deal and no one else should have been told about it. The publisher could also have decided to not cut the staff and make cutbacks elsewhere.

Persuasive Rationale:  Billionaires publishing the company could have skewed the newspaper’s objectivity. It’s good that the publisher stuck to his notion for quality of reporting, not quantity.

Podcast: This podcast’s main message was that news is a commodity and if people don’t get what they’re looking for, they’ll go elsewhere. This is true, and this is why tabloid journalism is all the rage. People want to hear about that so everyone provides it. It’s frustrating. I also liked when, in the podcast, they say that news’s effect on a person is minimal and it doesn’t interact with their own thoughts all the time. If I think back to my own experiences, this is true.

Ethical Issue of the week:

Having a bad day and want to rant about it on Facebook? Not if you work for this employer. An employee claimed her editor is stalking her Facebook for any complaints about her job and doing the same to others. Although this is creepy because it seems to cross the line between privacy and public, this actually is allowed. It’s unethical, in my opinion, but it’s lawful. We learned in Law of Mass Communications that anything you post on social media is considered part of the public domain.

DQ: Do you think it’s okay for employers to check out your social media and make comments if they don’t agree with something?


The Enlightenment: emphasized individualism instead of tradition. Purpose included reforming society using reason, challenging ideas grounded in tradition and faith, and advancing knowledge through science.

Watchdog role: journalism protects and guards the public from corrupt, illegal and inefficient practices. Watchdog journalists make sure people are held accountable for actions.

Social responsibility of press – Hutchins Commission report 1940: press has a moral obligation make sure society’s needs are met when making journalistic decisions. This produces greatest good.

Conglomeration: media company owns lots of different outlets (i.e. Disney, CNN)

Consolidation: the process by which a media company becomes a conglomeration.

Native advertising: advertiser attempts to gain consumer’s attention by framing content in context of consumer’s experiences.

Blog Essay Week 7

EJ Chapt. 5: Independence from Faction

This chapter interested me for several reasons. First, I thought the hire of Safire was intriguing, especially the thought behind it. I’ve seen several cases where columnists are former politicians, and I never thought of how they would be treated by their colleagues. I’m impressed that he said it didn’t really bother him. I don’t think I would have the same thought when it comes to my colleagues idea of me – I would want them to respect and work with me. I also agree with him when he says political experience is important as a journalist. 

The principle in this chapter, “journalists must maintain an independence from those they cover,” is important, but I think it can sometimes be unfair. Photographers can do freelance work for companies as they please, and they don’t get criticized of being biased. Why can’t writers do the same, so long as they reveal their potential bias to the reader? I don’t see the problem in this.

ME Chapt. 6: Mass Media in a Democratic Society: Keeping a Promise

I agree that Jon Stewart’s Daily Show is a form of political communication and can be referred to in conversation. Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert play a huge role in shaping people’s knowledge and opinion on topics, and I think it’s important to recognize their role in media.

Regarding media’s role in elections: I realized while reading the chapter that I do receive a lot of information from political ads if I don’t directly try to discover information myself. This is a problem because the information is so slanted. I think journalists could work harder to ensure adequate information about the candidates is accessible to a large portion of the public, not just a small percentage, and that the information provided is clear and unbiased. I definitely think that bias is an issue in coverage of political candidates and elections.

In relation to candidates’ privacy, I think they deserve it. They should be judged on whether they can serve, not on personal problems.

Case Study 6-A


Is a site like okay in sharing information with the public, and how can journalists discern facts from the truth for readers?


I think a site like is fantastic because it examines the political claims. Unfortunately, I don’t think people know about it.


Decision rationale

It’s an important site that can help share information to a public that needs to know.


Case Study 6-B


Is Assange a journalist? That’s the big question behind WikiLeaks. Clearly, there was information we needed to know, but what was his role in that information?



If Assange isn’t a journalist, than is he just a hacker? Is what he did wrong if it released information we needed to know?

Decision rationale

I think Assange cannot be considered a journalist but rather a man who had the power to release information and did so. We’re not sure what his full intentions behind the decision were, and thus I cannot fully decide on this case but I don’t believe he is a journalist.


Case Study 6-F


Should deception have been used?



Could the Spokesman Review gotten information otherwise? I don’t think a fictional character should have been created to communicate with West – I think that shows lack of clarity on the newspaper’s part, and they should have relied on sources instead of deception.


Decision rationale

Deception should not have been used because the act of deception makes it difficult for the public reading a story to trust that the journalists shared the truth. 


Ethical Issue of the Week

To me, NBC has failed with Olympics coverage again this year. They constantly make decisions that make me question whether their reporters actually graduated from journalism programs or, in some cases, have a heart. This week’s ethical issue relates to that. On Sunday, Olympian Bode Miller won a gold medal, and NBC reporter Christin Cooper goaded him to tears by asking repeated questions about Miller’s brother’s death earlier this year. I think that, after Bode’s first answer, Cooper should have shut up and let the man have an emotional moment in peace. Instead, he didn’t, and the public isn’t happy. As seen by the Poynter article, public reaction to this interview has been negative because it has given the journalist the title of being heartless. I don’t think badgering him about this question was ethically sound, only desired because of good TV.

DQ: Do you think journalists can do freelance work for foundations, non-profits, companies, etc.?


disinterested: not interested by personal gain from a situation

partisan journalism: Slant of articles in medium can take either a conservative or liberal view

journalism of affirmation: Journalists report with a point of view, and their viewers follow that same viewpoint.

civic journalism: integration of journalism into democracy

mass media: all the mediums of communication used to reach the public.

audience fragmentation: audiences get smaller as variety increases

social responsibility theory of the press: The press has an obligation to benefit society at large.

pluralism: diversity of views rather than a singular approach

verisimilitude: the appearance of being real or true when sharing messages.

Mina Radman

Blog Essay Week 6

EJ Ch. 4

I agree that what separates journalism from other sources of information is that journalism is an essence of verification. Reporters should focus on getting information right rather than first or in order to get “hits” on the website. I agree that this notion has been lost in today’s immediate news world, and I think that’s wrong. Information reaches readers quickly, and it shouldn’t be pushed out without checking that it’s true because all that does is hurt a reporter’s credibility later.

From what I gathered, Gillmor suggested that we replace objectivity with thoroughness, accuracy and fairness. I was confused by this because I thought objectivity meant this. By being thorough, accurate and fair, we are being objective in stories because we are removing our opinion and ensuring we share the facts.

Skeptical Editing

In Dr. Lewis’s editing class, he taught us an important rule: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” This quote means that we can never believe anything is true unless we carefully fact-check and edit the information ourselves, and I think that’s the major takeaway from the article. Today’s journalism motto appears to be “Get it first, then get it right,” and we’re constantly searching for the next story that can bring hits to our sites or fill our empty airwaves.

As a result, editing has become sloppy, and people don’t double check the accuracy of facts. As reporters, we need to make sure the information we share is accurate, and we need to be honest with readers if we’re not sure whether the answer is true.

ME Ch. 5

I don’t think we have much privacy these days. Despite what we think, our information on social media is public, and people can access it. In addition, technology makes it difficult for us to be private because we’re always connected to the rest of the world. I thought it was interesting that Donald Kerr, former deputy director of U.S. Office of National Intelligence, said that anonymity was in the past. I think it’s a true fact because we can look up information about everyone, so you can’t really be anonymous anymore.

The part of the chapter I found the most interesting was the difference between privacy and secrecy. I thought they were similar terms, but they’re not. Secrecy is deliberately hiding the truth, but privacy is determining who gets to see the truth. I think this is very important for people to realize in today’s global world, especially if there’s information that’s sensitive.

Ethical Issue: Lute Olson

When I clicked on the link to the book, I could not read the second page (pg. 120) so I am basing my writing on what I could read (pg. 119). From what I read, the reporter appears have been more enthusiastic about uncovering a scandal than making sure the information reported was accurate and skewed information to sound more dramatic than it actually was.

Video & Privacy Tools

I understand how drones can be useful in our lives, but they still freak me out. I think they’re a sign that technology could go too far into understanding our lives.

The website you asked us to visit freaks me out. Here is the information available about my browser and computer:

We recognized you are using the browser User Agent: Chrome Engine: AppleWebKit 537.36 to view this site, and that you have chosen the language “en-US”.

Your computer’s OS: Mac OS X
Javasscript is: Enabled
Your screen resolution is: 1280×800
Before visiting this page, you came from:

Local date and time on your computer 2/9/2014 10:07:52 PM
Time offset to GMT: 5 hours
Server’s time (GMT): Mon, 10 Feb 14 03:07:51 +0000

You are accessing from the IP Address, which has the hostname to this, your location is near to the city of Gainesville in FL/United States

Case Study 5-B

Facebook has a lot of privacy issues, and there’s many questions about to who information on the social media site belongs to. At the moment, Facebook uses a opt-out system for users. This means that, in order to omit from sharing certain information, users must actively remove themselves from it. I’m in a marketing class this semester, and I just read about how opt-out systems are more effective for marketers to keep people doing what they want because people are less likely to opt-out than opt-in. I think, in order to remain fair to users and relieve privacy issues, Facebook should allow an opt-in option for many of their privacy settings, but I don’t think they would ever choose to do so because that would hurt their company.

Case Study 5-C

The ethical dilemma here is whether donors who give money to political campaigns should be public and examined in news articles. The alternative we could consider are that personal information is never published, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. I don’t believe this is ethically correct because, as citizens, we deserve to know where candidates get their money from, and we deserve to know the people behind large donations. I don’t think it’s even newsworthy, anyway, if it’s not a big donation, so I wouldn’t worry about the everyday person who donates $25, but I think if someone donates a large amount of money to campaigns, such as $1 million, then we should be able to know who they are and why they’re giving the money to who they are giving the money to.

Ethical Issue of the week: I should preface this by saying that I despise the way NBC covers the Olympics. They cut when they want, they confuse everyone by their schedule and it’s just frustrating. But what they did to the Olympics opening ceremony makes me angrier than anything else, and I think it’s a HUGE ethical issue for broadcasters.

NBC decided, in its primetime airing of the opening ceremonies – because they refused to air it live – that they would edit the IOC president’s opening speech to remove several paragraphs containing anti-discrimination text. America is the only country that received the “edited” speech. NBC claims it was because of time constraints, but I call – and excuse my language – bullsh*t on this. I do not think it was ethical, at ALL, for a broadcaster to edit a speech because of time constraints, thereby providing Americans with a false reality of what was actually said. It is not NBC’s job to edit information for us, especially with an event of this magnitude, and I don’t believe it should be considered ethically correct for them to do so.

DQ: What do you think about NBC’s edit of the IOC president’s speech?


Harm Principle: John Stuart Mill said: ““The only purpose for which power can be rightfully be exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

False Light: Privacy tort

Discretion: Bok defined discretion as “the intuitive ability to discern what is, and is not, intrusive and injurious.”

Objectivity: A method of looking at information without bias. According to the book, this word should be replaced.

False Equivalency: Treating two sources equally, even if one has completely incorrect information. Journalists shouldn’t do this.

Blog Essay Week 5

Disclaimer: This blog post is short, and I know it doesn’t reach the highest standards that Dr. Rodgers expects from our blog posts. However, I developed a nasty cold over the weekend, and I read the chapters and completed this blog in-between naps and doses of cold medicine, so I know this won’t be my best work, but at least I got it done.

EJ Chapter 3: Who Journalists Work For

The take-away of this chapter is clear: Journalism, at its essence, is for the citizens. However, and I think the chapter does a good job of pointing this out, journalism is a business, and journalists feel like their hands are tied between wanting to produce quality journalism and needing to pay the bills.

I don’t blame journalists for wanting to worry more about themselves than the citizens. They are struggling in a highly competitive world where it’s all about the ratings you produce and the clicks you receive. If a top executive gets paid lots of money, why can’t the lower-level reporter who is actually during the work, too?

I agree with what the author says about isolationism. With the decline of local papers and the consolidation of larger metropolitan papers, journalism is moving away from the community. A lot of times, the journalist isn’t from the town or city he or she is reporting for and that means he or she doesn’t feel a connection to the people or understand their wants or needs.

ME Chapter 4: Loyalty: choosing between competing alliances

I think the discussion around loyalty is interesting. I believe that journalists can choose their loyalty depending on the situation. Sometimes, you are loyal to the reader. You know they need the information, and you work to publish it. Other times, you’re loyal to the source. Maybe the source is a sexual abuse victim or in a dangerous situation, and they need your promise to remain quiet on their identity/whereabouts.

I like the part where it talks about identifying yourself as a journalist and not the employee of a particular organization, however, I slightly disagree. I think you should mention the organization you work for to show credibility. Sadly, anyone with a blog can call him or herself a journalist these days.

Case Study 4-A

If you use Bok’s Model, then Barrett Tryon acted correctly. To use this model, you look at the facts, then you weigh alternatives and then hold a discussion.

The facts in this case: In 2012, LA Times posted an article saying that Freedom Communications Holdings, Inc. would sell seven newspapers to a Boston Investment Group. Tryon worked for one of these papers and posted about the sale on social media. His boss asked him to take it down, saying it went against the company’s social media policy; he refused to do so and resigned from the job.

Value: I agree that he did the right thing by resigning from his job. I understand that journalists maybe shouldn’t get themselves into a conflict of interest by posting something they could be directly related to, but no company should be able to say “don’t post that.”

Discussion: What do you think?

Case Study 4-C

Twitter allows journalists to publish information within seconds of a breaking news event. In this case, the topic revolves around publishing information on a personal account before the organization account. I believe that the reporter’s loyalty is to his followers and so it’s OK if he posts the information first, so long as it is accurate.

Case Study 4-D

I believe Jessica Luce did the correct thing by revealing her relationship and removing herself from the police beat. Otherwise, it would have been a major conflict of interest. I think she did the best thing for her followers by acting the way she did.


Social contract: Loyalty is a social act and people can have more than one loyalty. Journalists choose between loyalty to followers and loyalty to their organization/sources.

Loyalty: Related to the profession, loyalty means keeping yourself to the highest standard of reporting.

Ethical Issue of the Week: J.K. Rowling sued The Daily Mail last week for Libel, stating that the article, headlined “How JK Rowling’s sob story about her past as a single mother has left the churchgoers who cared for her upset and bewildered”, didn’t represent her correctly. The Daily Mail has since taken down the article, but I agree that she has a right to sue, especially since the journalist “contacted Rowling’s representative prior to publication but he “failed to put to her or offer any opportunity to comment on the allegations he was proposing to publish”, which is “contrary to basic standards of fair and responsible journalism.” (Quoting the Guardian story)

DQ: Who are you more loyal to: your readers or your employer?

Mina Radman

Blog Essay Week 4

EJ Chapter 2

This chapter focused on the role of truthfulness in the media. I agree that a journalist’s first obligation is to the truth, but I think that very few follow that premise. For example, most journalists are focused on accuracy and reporting facts, but they don’t always disclose what has been said or done in order to receive those facts. There’s an old quote that says, “there’s three sides: you, me and the truth,” and I think that we don’t see the full truth in a lot of articles. There’s a lot that can’t be written without having been experienced.

I don’t think that it’s always ethical, however, and it makes me think about the Pentagon Papers case. As the chapter says: if we had known what was really reported to the President in 1963 instead of 1971, think about how many lives would have been saved and how different the country would be. I wish that journalists of the time would have dug deeper into the facts rather than accept what was said. But I’m not sure they would do any different today.

ME pg. 61-62

I’ve worked in journalism and in public relations, and I really don’t like the saying that there’s this bitter hatred between the two fields because I’ve never seen it myself. Journalists rely on PR officials to let them know when a big announcement will be made or if there’s news they need to report – and I’ve seen that first hand. Last summer, when I worked on the PR team of a national non-profit, our PR director called an AP reporter to let him know about a breaking news story that would be released the next day so he could have time to prepare. That AP reporter was grateful for the notice and the time. Neither field can survive without the other, and I think good journalists and PR officials know that. More importantly, I think that the rise of digital journalism and technology would make PR less dependent on journalism, as organizations and companies can create their own internal news agencies and media outlets for their information, rather than rely on a journalist.


I did not enjoy this movie. It was long, utterly boring, and I don’t enjoy the unsettling message of truth it was trying to share. While I didn’t like it, I see reality in it. Many journalists work to get “clicks” rather than share truth, and there are plenty of “happy stories” that are fabricated to go viral because it’ll gather more clicks. I think this movie just pointed out that stark reality.


“What is your opinion of working with PR officials to disseminate information?”

Ethical Issue of the Week

On Monday, director Quentin Tarantino sued Gawker for publishing an article that linked to a download for his leaked movie script. The lawsuit says:

“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s right to make a buck. This time they’ve gone too far. Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff’s screenplay may have been circulating in Hollywood without his permission, Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire screenplay illegally. Their headline boasts, ‘Here is the leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script’ — here, not someplace else, but ‘here’ on the Gawker website. The article then contains multiple direct links for downloading the entire screenplay through a conveniently anonymous URL by simply clicking button-links on the Gawker page, and brazenly encourages Gawker visitors to read the screenplay illegally with an invitation to ‘enjoy’ it. There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation of Plaintiff’s copyright in the screenplay, and its conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity.”

I think that it was incredibly unethical of Gawker to publish the leaked script and takes them to a new level of low as a “media” organization. I think that websites like Gawker, which can occasionally run very informative and captivating articles, will do ANYTHING to get a story and do not live by an ethical code, and it angers me. This is absolutely a case of copyright infringement, and I hope they get taken down for money, and this stands as a symbolic case for all the lesser-known artists whose work is stolen without credit, too.


“Bread and circuses”:  Distracting the public from an important policy or situation by offering an unrelated topic of conversation.

Edward Bernays: The “father of public relations.” He believed manipulation was necessary in society, which he called dangerous and irrational.

truth: Merriam-Webster defines truth as “the quality or state of being true.”

objectivity Information given that is based on facts instead of emotions or biases

“the world outside and the pictures in our heads”: Walter Lippmann said this. This means that how a person sees a situation may not be exactly what happened.

construction of reality:  Our reality is defined by our interactions with others and our life experiences.

synoptic: a general summary

Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke’s gospels tell the same story but in different, yet similar, words.

Rashomon Effect: two interpretations of one singular event may contradict each other.

Mina Radman

Blog Essay Week 3

E.J. Chapter 1 – What is Journalism For?

This chapter makes me wish that I’d read this book as a freshman because it may have altered my beliefs of journalism. I forgot, until I read about Anna Semborska in Poland, about journalism’s position as the watch-guard for democracy and freedom. I think the purpose of journalism has been severely diluted over time, and people have forgotten its importance.

M.E. Chapter 2 – Information Ethics: A Profession Seeks the Truth

This chapter made me think a lot about my role as a journalism student. Tonight at my sorority’s recruitment, one of the girls who I was talking to asked me why I chose journalism, and I didn’t know how to answer the question. This chapter made me think about my answer, and I realize that it’s because I wanted to write about discoveries and people that matter, but I think that purpose has gotten lost while I’ve been a journalism student and I’ve seen the state of the industry. This chapter’s focus on deception and honesty made me think a lot about the potential deceptions that happen in journalism today.

Case Study 2-A

To be honest, I’ve always enjoyed the idea of quote approval. I understand where it can be unethical, but I rather people be OK with what they’re quoted as saying because I would like to approve of my quotes when I’m interviewed, too.

Micro issues

  1. Journalists should not give up quote approval to candidates and politicians because they can skew their campaigning messages.
  2. The information that readers get after a politician has changed his message can greatly alter the truth.
  3. I believe that quote approval works on a case-by-case basis. I personally am OK with quote approval.

Midrange issues

  1. I am not OK with video approval because that requires a lot of editing if the source does not like what they see.
  2. Journalists should tell readers how information was collected but that does not mean it needs to be heavily edited.
  3. Quote approval is, in a way, censorship. It’s a tough subject to discuss and needs to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Macro issues

  1. Journalists need to serve the public interest and provide news adequately and fairly.
  2. Citizen journalists would not think of receiving quote approval, I think. I also don’t believe politicians take them seriously yet.

Case Study 2-D

Micro issues

  1. No, she should not have run the story without the independent investigation. That’s very sloppy reporting.
  2. Yes, he is.
  3. No, he’s not. Reporting the truth objectively is important.

Midrange issues

  1. No, journalists need to examine the facts that they report and make sure they are as accurate as possible.
  2. Journalists can remain objective but be invested in a story. However, I know that I personally would become biased.
  3. Journalists should try to investigate and report as much of the truth as they can, even if it takes time.

Macro issues

  1. Facts are accurate information and tangible. Truth is relative and filtered through perception.
  2. I believe that journalists should let the public know if a fact is not true in order to maintain the highest journalism standards.
  3. It’s hard to figure out what’s objective media these days because everyone seems to have their own agenda that they are pushing onto the readers or/and viewers.

Case Study 2-F

Micro issues

  1. Phone hacking is unethical. That information has not been obtained in a legal way and should not be used in a story.
  2. Davies had a hunch and chased it and exposed the truth. The fact that it is about a competitor doesn’t matter much because it was important to reveal.
  3. The information doesn’t matter as much as the journalist broke the public’s trust by breaking into people’s phones.
  4. Phone hacking is lying to the public and worse than anything else. End of story.

Midrange issues

  1. These days, news organizations only want to see how many hits and views they get. They seem to have lost the watchdog ideal in the midst of trying to make money.
  2. I absolutely believe the 24/7 news cycle makes journalists act on the borderline because they’re desperately trying to find stories to report for all this time they have to fill.
  3. I do believe that a lot of journalists will do anything to get a story, but there are some good ones who do things for the right reasons left.

Macro issues

  1. The government should make sure that the corporate media owners aren’t doing anything that crosses legal boundaries.
  2. The Guardian cares about journalism, News of the World cared about sales.
  3. Money makes everything blurry, and I think when you add economic institutions to journalism ones that actions may be taken without the best intentions.

DQ: Do you think quote approval is ever OK?

Ethical Issue of the Week: I know that Dr. Rodgers had emailed out this ethical issue, but I don’t think there’s been anything else this week that’s more important or damaging than this case. In October, Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt committed suicide because she found out that a journalist was about to publish an article revealing that she was a transgender individual. The journalist dedicated nearly 8,000 words to this fact, and as the Guardian writes, exploited her gender and past for his own fascination – beyond overstepping his role as a journalist. I think this is a clear case as to why many people have lost faith in journalism, because they believe journalists forget that people are humans with feelings rather than simply subjects in a story for their exploitation.

Plato’s Cave: Truth is connected to human thought and behavior, and each of us has a different belief on the idea of truth. His idea was that we are living in a cave because we only know a shadow of the truth from what we see rather than the full truth itself.

Pragmatism: We each see truth through our own filter and perceptions. The truth depends on who is investigating information for it.

Marketplace of Ideas: If you let various versions of the truth exist, then the full truth will make an appearance.

Partisan Press: A publication that got a lot of funding from particular political parties and so its articles were swayed a certain way. The idea of a partisan press helped spawn the objectivity standard that exists today.

Early 20th Century Progressive Movement: Yellow journalism existed and people challenged the ideas of what was truthful and how you presented the truth.

Walter Lippmann: “we define first and then we see.”

Pseudo Event: no real news takes place, and the event is choreographed and planned to go along with an already-crafted message.

Coherence Theory of Truth: Truth is discovered by using a variety of methods.

Interlocking public: Idea that people should be involved in the public in one way or another. People are either part of the involved public, interested public or uninterested public.

Mina Radman