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Bennett, Ch. 8 THE FUTURE OF NEWS: SOLUTIONS FOR CITIZENS, POLITICIANS, & JOURNALISTS.

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Presentation on theme: "Bennett, Ch. 8 THE FUTURE OF NEWS: SOLUTIONS FOR CITIZENS, POLITICIANS, & JOURNALISTS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bennett, Ch. 8 THE FUTURE OF NEWS: SOLUTIONS FOR CITIZENS, POLITICIANS, & JOURNALISTS

2 REMEMBER THESE PROBLEMS… 4 information biases Sensational political campaigns Decline of objective journalism Market-based values in journalism Failure of media to serve as 4 th estate Growing reliance on opinion news and entertainment media Potential of web 2.0 and the internet is not embraced by all

3 6 PROPOSALS FOR CITIZENS 1.Think critically about our current news 2.Recognize stereotypes, plot formulas, and spin 3.Look for information that doesnt fit the plot 4.Seek additional sources of information to partisan claims 5.Learn to become self-critical 6.Think critically about alternatives

4 6 PROPOSALS FOR CITIZENS 1.Think Critically About Our Current News Go beyond understanding who, what, where, when, and how See beyond the images and read between the lines Decode news with an analytical eye for the causes and consequences of events Dont be cynical, be critical Dont distrust all authority, trust your own judgment

5 6 PROPOSALS FOR CITIZENS 2.Recognize Stereotypes, Plot Formulas, and Spin Trust named sources over anonymous sources Be wary of inflammatory labels (e.g., religious fundamentalists, socialist) and dig deeper Know the language of spin (e.g., terrorist vs. freedom fighter) Know a pseudo-event when you see one 3.Look for Information That Doesnt Fit the Plot Go beyond rhetoric Search for documented facts Understand political agendas and reasons for spin

6 6 PROPOSALS FOR CITIZENS 4.Seek Additional Sources of Information to Check Partisan Claims In-depth documentariesdocumentaries Alternative publications: Examples: Opednews and Human EventsOpednewsHuman Events Critics and opposition groups Academic observers Academic International news sites: BBC, The Guardian, Al Jazeera Political comedy: The Daily Show, Bill Maher, Dennis Miller, The OnionThe Onion

7 6 PROPOSALS FOR CITIZENS 5.Learn to Become Self-Critical Know your prejudices and challenge them Dont let prejudices get in the way of facts and reality Beliefs should be flexible rather than absolute Dont limit your news to confirmatory news 6.Think Critically About Alternatives Should we encourage partisan political reporting? More analysis in news stories? Watch more perspective-building political comedy?

8 IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT #21 Which do you like the best? Which are most practical for you? 1.Think critically about our current news 2.Recognize stereotypes, plot formulas, and spin 3.Look for information that doesnt fit the plot 4.Seek additional sources of information to partisan claims 5.Learn to become self-critical 6.Think critically about alternatives

9 5 PROPOSALS FOR JOURNALISTS 1.Use Personalization And Dramatization Creatively 2.Include More Of The Journalists Background Knowledge Into Stories 3.Resist The Standard Plot Formulas 4.Define Politics In Terms That Appeal To Ordinary People 5.So What? Explain Why The Story Matters

10 5 PROPOSALS FOR JOURNALISTS 1.Use Personalization and Dramatization Creatively Thematic reporting of issues Social, institutional, and historical personalization and dramatization Avoid the bizarre, grotesque, and sinister personalization and dramatization 2.Include More of the Journalists Background Knowledge into Stories Avoid complete reliance on sources to tell the story Move toward observer-centered narrative Use their expertise to tell the story

11 5 PROPOSALS FOR JOURNALISTS 3.Resist The Standard Plot Formulas Lessen the typical plot and language (e.g., horseraces for elections) Increase the thematic, social, institutional, and historical plots 4.Define Politics In Terms That Appeal To Ordinary People News today is more and more for the already-informed Explain definitions, events, meanings, etc., to encourage comprehension

12 5 PROPOSALS FOR JOURNALISTS 5.So What? Explain Why The Story Matters People are busy and need help with whittling down information No time to read between the lines Explicitly report why a story is reported and featured

13 5 PROPOSALS FOR POLITICIANS & GOVERNMENT 1.Limit The Flow Of Money To Politicians 2.Develop Better Formats For Candidate Debates And Coverage Of Legislation 3.Control Media Monopolies 4.Provide More Funding And More Creative Mandate For Public Broadcasting 5.Strengthen Public Service Requirements For Cable And Broadcast License Holders

14 5 PROPOSALS FOR POLITICIANS & GOVERNMENT 1.Limit The Flow Of Money To Politicians Corporations are treated like constituents Campaign finance reform needed 2.Develop Better Formats For Candidate Debates And Coverage Of Legislation Debates now are watered-down; candidates stick to talking points Create debates that are truly open and probing issue exchanges Legislation coverage is too horserace-oriented Need legislation coverage with explanation of policy issues

15 5 PROPOSALS FOR POLITICIANS & GOVERNMENT 3.Control Media Monopolies Press freedom vs. corporate freedom More channels, but same information Need laws to discourage media monopolies 4.Provide More Funding And More Creative Mandate For Public Broadcasting More government funding to avoid corporate sponsorship Allow creativity of programming Political party channels, public interest channel, social group channels

16 5 PROPOSALS FOR POLITICIANS & GOVERNMENT 5.Strengthen Public Service Requirements For Cable And Broadcast License Holders Free public airwaves Government grants licenses to use them Require public affairs programs, community forums, community access Keep net neutralitynet neutrality

17 IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT #22 Do you agree with Bennetts proposals for government intervention? Which are most practical? 1.Limit The Flow Of Money To Politicians 2.Develop Better Formats For Candidate Debates And Coverage Of Legislation 3.Control Media Monopolies 4.Provide More Funding And More Creative Mandate For Public Broadcasting 5.Strengthen Public Service Requirements For Cable And Broadcast License Holders

18 TO SUM IT UP Robert McChesney is Founder and President of Free Press, a non-profit media reform organization, professor at the University of Illinois and the author and editor of several books on media and democracy.


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