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Herbert J. Gans’s News Values and The Elements of Journalism

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1 Herbert J. Gans’s News Values and The Elements of Journalism

2 Sociologist Herbert J. Gans’s News Values *
In an in-depth analysis and observation of the “CBS Evening News,” “NBC Nightly News,” Newsweek, and Time, Herbert Gans reported that journalists based their reporting on their inherent assumptions about the nature of external reality. He called these assumptions, enduring values. Herbert J. Gans, Deciding What's News : A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek, and Time (Medill Visions of the American Press) , Constable, 1980.

3 Six Enduring Values Ethnocentrism Altruistic Democracy
Americans value its own nation above all others. Altruistic Democracy Democracy is the best form of government, and government officials should behave altruistically and citizens should be involved at the grassroots level. Responsible Capitalism Unions and consumer organizations are accepted as countervailing pressures on business and are judged negatively. Economic growth is a positive phenomenon; government regulation is bad.

4 Six Enduring Values Small-town Pastoralism Individualism Moderatism
The rural and anti-industrial value of Jefferson are found in the news. Nature and smallness are desirable—environmentalism. Individualism Preservation of the freedom of the individual, “rugged individualism” and self-made people are admired. Moderatism Discourages excess or extremism.

5 Bias If there is bias in the news, it is probably toward these six values as much as it is liberal or conservative. With the exception of Fox News and MSNBC And most blogs and blog aggregators such as The Huffington Post

6 The Elements of Journalism *
Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. Its first loyalty is to citizens. Its essence is a discipline of verification. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover. It must serve as an independent monitor of power. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise. Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should kNow and the Public Should Expect, Crown Publishers, 2001.

7 It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.

8 The Elements of Journalism
“Kovach and Rosensteil contend that newsgathering and reporting on the Web, or any other platform, can be measured against these principles. They acknowledge that reporters won’t meet each standard on every story, but those who succeed more often than they fail are worthy of being called journalists.” Robert Berkman, Digtal Dilemmas, p. 69

9 The Web Are bloggers journalists?

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