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Lecture 2

JCM 200 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Social Responsibility, Walter Lippmann, John Dewey

Course Code
JCM 200

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1/15/2020 Lecture
Can journalism provide what democracy needs?
Two arguments:
Walter Lippmann: people are too limited .. it is beyond the ability of the
press to help the public (can journalists act as a mirror or watchdog?)
John Dewey: democracy is more about conversation that it is about
information (can journalists promote marketplace of ideas, create convo,
and generate empathy?)
Must journalism provide what democracy needs?
Social responsibility theory
What happens when the press does not perform those functions?
Hutchins Commission: free press in danger
In danger of what?
What was to blame?
“Behave, or else!”
Gave rise to the idea of journalism as a profession
Along with freedoms come (public) responsibilities
Media should
Provide truthful, comprehensive and intelligent account of the days events
in a context which gives them meaning
Serve as a forum for the exchange of comment and criticism
Project a representative picture of the constituent groups in the society
Present and clarify the goals and values of the society
Provide full access to the day’s intelligence
Freedom and responsibility:
The press is important to democracy
Performs necessary functions
Has to be free to perform those functions
But if we say it must perform them, then how free is it really?
Journalism plays an important role in democratic self-governance
Performs functions related to information dissemination, accountability,
representation, deliberation and conflict resolution
The mirror, watchdog and marketplace metaphors are common ways of
describing those functions
Journalism must be free to perform those functions
The History of Social Media
Social media- web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-
public profile, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and view
and transverse their list of connections and/or those made by others within the system
Identity function, articulate function and navigate function
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