Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Journalism dim sum II

In Eliminating the Bimbo Factor, Tim Porter quotes Tom Rosenstiel:
This tendency to define journalism as a series of techniques rather than responsibilities and principles has added to many of journalism's contemporary problems." He adds:
Without journalism democracy is not possible. Without democracy, journalism has no purpose other than profit. Journalism and democracy will rise and fall together."
Jay Rosen paraphrasing Lee Bolinger - "Journalists also need to grasp how the press does-or does not-foster the kind of quality debate required if people are to make democracy work."

In LA Times roundtable -
"You're not publishing a newspaper to be liked," Rodriguez shot back. "You're publishing a newspaper to inform the public and to promote democracy."
...are you worthy of the responsibility [of owning a newspaper]? Do you have an interest in doing something that improves public discourse?"
"Do it if you're prepared to ask what serves, not what sells."
Herbert Gans interviewed by Jay Rosen (read the whole thing) -
objectivity is the conscious effort to be detached, to keep one's own personal values out of, not necessarily the topic chosen, but the method with which facts are gathered and the writing so that the final story (or research project findings) has neither an investment in the answer nor is a statement supporting the reporter's or researcher's values.
...this kind of objectivity will survive, because once a news firm, or any other firm with an ideologically diverse audience, takes sides--especially on issues on which the audience is divided or polarized--it runs the risk of alienating a large number of customers, or important advertisers worried about alienating their customers...
Finally, from The Onion (circa Nov 20), Media Criticized For Biased Hometown Sports Reporting:
"In our extensive study of the nation's sports sections and broadcasts, we documented countless examples of shamelessly one-sided reporting, obvious speculation, and bald editorializing masquerading as journalism," FAIR spokesman Scott Wilborough said. "Coverage was heavily, sometimes brazenly, weighted toward the teams from a media source's own area."
...Wilborough said the problem may be larger than many realize. "Let's face it, sports news is the only news most people read," Wilborough said. "That's reason enough to clean it up. Otherwise, the media may start seeing bias and sensationalism as a formula for success. I don't think anyone wants to live in a country where that happens."

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