Book Notes Ch. 1 And 2.docx

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Department
Journalism
Course
JOURN 1100
Professor
Alecia Swasy
Semester
Spring

Description
Jonathan Thompson Notes on Principles of American Journalism J1100 Chapter 1: “The Mirror, the Watchdog and the Marketplace  Sri Lankan newspaper editor Lasantha Wickramatunga murdered, and he knew it was coming  He helped expose government corruption  He was threatened  Why did Lasantha write the article?  “free media serves as a mirror  Sometimes image is bad  Stand up for people who cant do it themselves  The Historical Backdrop  The framers  Steeped in Enlightnment philosophy, especially John Locke • People, excercising readson, are best equipped to govern themselves and make sense of the competing turths in the marketplace of ideas. • Gov’t power must be harnessed in the service of the people  How does a free press help?  Press acts as a check on the gov’t • In English law, this is called “seditious libel”  Bill of Rights  James Madison  Declares freedom of speech and of press to be basic rights  Rodney Smolla  “America had, for the first time, put the people before the state….”  What Democracy needs from journalism  The mirror Jonathan Thompson Notes on Principles of American Journalism J1100  Where society can see itself, warts and all  The watchdog  Supposed to bark when those in power become corrupt, forget their roots and waste the people’s hard-earned money  The marketplace of ideas  The space where even unpopular causes and contrary views can get a hearing.  Five commonly discussed needs: • Information dissemination: Press has to make decisions about what we need to know to do our jobs as citizens in democracy, decisions that require editorial judgement. • Accountability: Refers to democracy’s need for some way to hold those in power responsible for their actions—actions that can affect all members of society. • Representation: In a democratic system, all people, not just those with the most education, money or influence, are visible to others and have the chance to be heard. • Deliberation and Conflict resoulution: Address democracy’s need for a forum in which the interests of the public can be aired and debated and conclusions can be reached.  When these duties go unfilled, democratic life is jeopardized.  The 1947 Commission of Freedom of the Press or Hutchins Commission :  Freedom of the press is essential to political liberty…  13 leading public intellectuals  Found freedom of press was failing due to the journalists.  “Social Responsibility theory”  How does the press fulfill those democratic needs?  1.1 Journalism Informs, Analyzes, Interprets and Explains  First it informs. Jonathan Thompson Notes on Principles of American Journalism J1100  News is more than mere information, it is the result of processes and judgments constructed through institutions devoted to newsgathering.  Persuading and selling is not the goal.  The goal is to share that information with others under the assumption that when citizens are properly informed, they will make sound decisions. • Example: New story in Ozarks, Mo. • Company wanted to build on top of this mountain. • Short news story led to protest and eventually the governer attacking the company, and the company haulting the project. • 4 lessons: ♦ 1. The power of producing a simple, short news story about something way under your audience’s radar. ♦ 2. The amzing changes that can happen when the public is informed about seemingloy routine events. ♦ 3. The ovjective journalist’s role as a reporter of straight news. ♦ 4. The value of setting up a beat and getting to know sources who may contact you with tips.  1.2 Journalism Investigates th  Hasn’t always. Investigative press we know today is late 20 century creation.  Stuff of investigative journalism… • Documents, facts, eyewitnesses, adversarial tone at the heart of IJ, • Have to be independent observer as well as impassioned adversarial watchdog. ♦ Example: Investigative needs to use documents to find information, and use the interview process as an explanation time.  1.3 Journalism Creates a Public Conversation  Democracy requires a public forum where people can speak freely about gov’t without gov’t interference.  Journalism must provide this public sphere. Jonathan Thompson Notes on Principles of American Journalism J1100 • Example ♦ Brought up issue of city making profit off of land ♦ Didn’t cause change but gave people information ♦ Supposed to start conversation  1.4 Journalism Helps Generate Social Empathy  Set boundaries of societal behavior  Must do more than informing about voting and bills  Example: • Parents leaving kids in car • Most people hate the parents • Article gives parents side, shows it happens to every sex, race, age, education  1.5 Journalism Encourages Accountability  Accountability ought to be a two-way street in journalism  Must be a self-correcting mechanism-must fix itself on the fly  No information or person in infallible  “Fourth estate” or fourth branch of gov’t  2 types of accountability • Horizontal: Refers to the capacity of instituitions to check one another • Vertical: Seed to enforce standards of performance on officials.  Example: • Dana Priest and Walter Reed Armu Medical Center • Unhealthy living situation for recovering army men • Hospital had “show rooms” but actual hospital was bad • Took 4 months to gain trust to run story • Helped soldiers recovering conditions Jonathan Thompson Notes on Principles of American Journalism J1100  Can Journalism Provide What Democracy Needs?  Our democracy, in general, is shaped by the views of people  Public should govern themselves but there are skeptics. • “Public Intellectualist” Walter Lippmann thought self-governance was incapable with bias newspaper and not smart people. • Thought the press could make things worse because bias, education and background would filter things before it got to where it needed to get to.  Was understandable after the propaganda of world war II, but John Dewey had a different view: • Dewey acknowledged Lippman might be right about the limited capacity of people, he was wrong about democracy. • If one sees democracy as an ongoing education of how to be a citizen, then it will be ok.  Lippman and Dewey in comparison to the metaphors and functions we’ve discussed • Lippman argues the press could not act as a mirror or watchdog ♦ The press would have difficulty fulfilling the informing and accountability functions. • Dewey focused on the market place of ideas ♦ That journalists are to create conversation and generate empathy.  Must Journalism Provide What Democracy Needs?  Assumptions of the mirror, the watchdog, and the marketplace: • All assume the press’s key allegiance is to the public, and not those that wield power. • Assume that the press is free to act in all those ways. ♦ “Free” from government control  Hutchins Commision –A Free and Responsible Press—conlcusions • 1. “provide a truthful, comprehensive and intelligent account of the day’s events in a context which fives them meaning. Jonathan Thompson Notes on Principles of American Journalism J1100 • 2. “Serve as a forum for the exchange of comment and criticism • 3. “Project a representative picture of the constituent froups in the society • 4. “Present and clarify the goals and values of the society • 5. “Provide full access to the day’s intelligence”  Press was mad that it threatened something constitutionally protected, but became an important part of an ongoing conversation about journalism  Scholars argue media can’t be
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