What is Journalism for?
Textbook: The Elements of Journalism
A few things jump out of this book:
What is the essence of Journalism? What must be contained?
-Obligation to the truth. Finding the truth. Search for truth.
-Loyalty to citizens, ordinary people who rely on the media to intervene on their behalf.
-Discipline of verification: we have a code, a way of doing things. Accuracy. The person
who reads it knows the context, where it came from.
-Independent monitor of power. Physically being there as a journalist, a representative
of citizens who can be there where others can’t.
-Telling stories, significant, interesting, compelling, relevant to an audience in order to
connect with them.
Walter Lippman: Public Opinion
Written in 1922. What stands out is that there is a real world out there, we do not know
more than our direct experience so we rely on the media to inform us about virtually
everything that is happening outside of our direct experience. It is an awesome
experience and responsibility. Ex: Syria. You have images and notions in your head
about what is happening in Syria. You have experienced this because the media has
brought this to you, the media has shaped your mental image of Syria. = Pseudo-
environment. The world is so big, so complex, it’s impossible to take it all in so we rely
on media to bring the world to us.
Makes reference to Plato’s Cave allegory. Represents what media does, we provide
people with images that help them understand the world, wether it’s accurate or not. It’s
the real thing for those people. Our responsibility is to depict reality as close as
What is journalism for?
To tell stories. THe journalism that will stick in your head is in story form. By nature,
humans love to hear stories. The way a democratic society has a conversation with
itself. We value those who can go and come back to tell us a story of what happened.
We tells stories for a reason. Story telling with a purpose, to deliver important
information. There is a notion that media, journalism is the way a democratic society
has a conversation with itself. In less democratic societies, people and journalists don’t
have that liberty and ability of conversation.
The Somalia affair
doctor stated the somalian guy had been executed. In addition to looking into the torture
killing, they did an investigation on this shooting. Prof went to Somalia. He found the
father of the guy, other somalis, and security guards. There had been security guards
working for the canadians. They said they knew this guy and that he had been a known
thief. He presented the somalis and presented them with the documents stating these things, which had their signatures. They did not sign them. A tiny little thing within a big
investigation, the canadians forged the signatures.
Loyalty to citizens/monitor power