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In-Class Discussion Compare Petersens and Meads websites Image and style Issue stances Presentation, framing, communication strategies Newspaper portrayal.

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Presentation on theme: "In-Class Discussion Compare Petersens and Meads websites Image and style Issue stances Presentation, framing, communication strategies Newspaper portrayal."— Presentation transcript:

1 In-Class Discussion Compare Petersens and Meads websites Image and style Issue stances Presentation, framing, communication strategies Newspaper portrayal of candidates Opinion Which website is better? More organized? Visually appealing? More informative? If you had to vote just based on websites, who won? Who will win the election and why?

2 HOW JOURNALISTS REPORT THE NEWS Bennett, Ch. 5 Dr. Kristen Landreville Mon. 9/20, Wed. 9/22, Fri. 9/24

3 Reporting Patterns Report official lines of the day Play gotcha with newsmakers

4 Explanation for Reporting Patterns 1. Economics: Moneymaking in the news business (Ch. 7) 2. Dependence: Reliance on newsmakers and communication strategists (Ch. 4) 3. Organizational routines: Routine news-gathering practices (Ch. 5) 4. Professional norms: Codes of conduct (Ch. 6)

5 Benefits of Organizational Routines News is defined in similar ways across media News sources cooperate Daily information sharing with coworkers News organizations produce a product on schedule News reports moral issues with diversity

6 3 Pitfalls of Organizational Routines 1. Cooperation: Reporters are pressured to cooperate with news sources. 2. Standardization: Reporters are pressured to standardize. 3. Pack Mentality: Reporters are pressured to agree.

7 1. Reporters & Officials: Cooperation and Control Pressures that Reporters Feel Short deadlines Demanding editors Reliance on officials Persuasive news sources Sympathetic relationships with officials Punishment by officials for failing Result = Insider Journalism Pseudo-events: Formulaic plot for most political stories: Which official did what official action? in what official setting? for what officially-stated purpose? and with what officially proclaimed results?

8 2. Reporters & News Organizations: Pressures to Standardize Pressures that Reporters Face Editors watchful eyes Mysterious decisions from editors Need to fill the news hole Closing bureaus and firing reporters to cut costs Result = Standardized Practices Coverage of pseudo- events Reliance on PR Fluff stories on slow news days Beat reporters Breaking news events reported with formulas

9 3.Reporters & Packs: Pressures to Agree Social Pressures Reporters Face Reporters eat, travel, drink, and socialize together. Waiting, waiting, waiting Tight deadlines Editors question departures from formula Result = Pack Journalism Compare notes Corroborate story angles Formulaic plotlines Feeding frenzies

10 HOW JOURNALISTS REPORT THE NEWS Bennett, Ch. 5 Dr. Kristen Landreville Mon. 9/20, Wed. 9/22, Fri. 9/24

11 In-Class Assignment #7 Lets review the benefits and pitfalls of organizational routines that journalists follow. Benefits team Pitfalls teams Go to board and list the respective reasons under each

12 Review of Organizational Routines Benefits Fawn Chris Britney Michael AJ Zak John Matthew Pitfalls Alexa Casey Grant Andrew Jeremiah Kelsey Dalton Max

13 Benefits of Organizational Routines News is defined in similar ways across media News sources cooperate Daily information sharing with coworkers News organizations produce a product on schedule News reports moral issues with diversity

14 3 Pitfalls of Organizational Routines 1. Cooperation: Reporters are pressured to cooperate with news sources. 2. Standardization: Reporters are pressured to standardize. 3. Pack Mentality: Reporters are pressured to agree.

15 The Paradox of Organizational Routines Goal: Garner an audience Strategy: Use organizational routines Result: Hundreds of media outlets that look and feel the same Paradox: Want an audience, but not unique! Result: Use media celebrities, branding, style, and image to create a niche Reality: Marketing surveys show human-interest stories rule

16 In-Class Discussion Should the market rule the news? Should media increase human-interest stories because they garner the most ratings? Does this mean people want more of these stories? Does the media do a good job at explaining relevance and importance of major political issues? Is the media being elitist when they tell the public what to care about?

17 Making Changes Local News Experiment in Austin, TX Local news does best when it is either: All human-interest, celebrity, scandal OR All serious informational Audiences are segmenting their attention Web 2.0 Blogging, discussion forums, iReports, Facebook, Twitter, Digg Will this help journalism?

18 INSIDE THE PROFESSION: OBJECTIVITY AND THE POLITICAL AUTHORITY BIAS Bennett, Ch. 6

19 Objectivity Defined Accuracy Fairness Balance Truth Comprehensiveness 10 Reporters, 1 Story

20 A Brief History of Objective Journalism Early US News Funded by political parties Events were interpreted Audience aware of filter Mid 1800s Country and cities growing Technology improving Creation of AP wire Late 1800s to Early 1900s Commercialization of news Required broad appeal Inverted pyramid

21 Questioning Objectivity Business practices of objectivity came first Later adopted objectivity as a professional norm But is it fair to… Limit reporting to two sides? Give equal time to both sides? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFX7kr6Y3Po

22 Objectivity as Bias Objectivity requires authority and official sources Facts are disputed because officials have biases Objectivity leads to forcing balance of an issue Global Warming Objectivity leads to neglecting the other side when no officials can represent it Iraq War

23 Blog Post #5 What do you think? Is objectivity a worthy cause? Or is it unrealistic and harmful to democracy? See instructions, due Mon. 9/27

24 INSIDE THE PROFESSION: OBJECTIVITY AND THE POLITICAL AUTHORITY BIAS Bennett, Ch. 6

25 6 Standards of Objectivity in Journalism 1. Be a politically neutral adversarial Critically examine both sides Ensures detachment 2. Observe social standards of decency and good taste 3. Document facts, do not interpret 4. Use a standardized format Inverted pyramid 5. Reporters should be generalists Helps minimize interpretation 6. Use editors to ensure objectivity

26 1. Politically Neutral Adversarial Role Intended for detachment Reality: Symbiotic relationship Press: Need appearance of 4 th estate Government: Need appearance of control Outcome: Both attack the personal, rather than institutions Examples: Watergate – Deep Throat Obama White House – Glenn Beck and conservative pundits Tag-team adversarial journalism out of control: Crossfire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmj6JADOZ-8 Little respect, rudeness

27 2. Decency and Good Taste Intended to keep news serious Recent downturn. How and why? Tension between dual goals: Morality Police vs. Sensationalism and Profit Examples Morality Police: Trent Lott Sensationalism: Janet Jackson Yet, news avoids what public wants to ignore AIDS information Images of war, death, famine, abuse Why? What do you think?

28 3. Documenting Just the Facts Intended to avoid embellishment, advocacy, interpretation Reality: Documentation requires officials Officials exploit this with pseudo-events Journalists complain, but dont attack institutions

29 4. Standardized Storytelling Intended to distribute facts efficiently Reality: Stories need characters, plots, climax, drama Hence, 4 information biases Media receptive to pseudo-events Reoccurring themes: America first, America-the-generous, America- the-embattled, responsible capitalism, individualism

30 5. Reporters as Generalists Intended to make complex information accessible to average person. Intended to prevent closeness to sources. Reality: Deadlines, editors Reliance on official angle Rarely ask critical questions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLUvP9ycDx0 But what about beats? You scare me with your information; I think well put you on another beat.

31 6. Editorial Review Intended to promote professional norms. Reality: Editors reinforce and promote biases Editors play it safe Reliance on theme music, celebrity anchors and pundits, bold headlines

32 Review of Objectivity Norms Benefits Alexa Casey Grant Andrew Jeremiah Kelsey Dalton Max Pitfalls Fawn Chris Britney Michael AJ Zak John Matthew

33 For Next Time… Read Bennett Ch. 7 on The Political Economy of News Complete Blog Post #5 by Mon. 9/27


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