November 14, 2008

Technology and Journalism II

What technology has had the greatest impact on your reportage within the last year, and has this technology been a positive or negative influence?

Technology and Journalism

Have social networking resources and sites affected your journalistic practice, and if so, in what way?

November 7, 2008

Questions for Practicing Journalists--General Statement of Guidelines

I have posted several questions for practicing journalists to use as a forum. These questions are listed as individual postings so they can be commented on individually. If you are not a practicing journalist, I would ask if you comment on a specific question, that you state yourself in the comment as a non-journalist, citizen journalist, semi-journalist, or your personally considered status. This, of course is somewhat open to one's own judgment of what constitutes a journalist in our current news culture. For the purposes of this blog, I would consider practicing journalists those who work at least half-time in the act of providing news to the general public for a organization that retains a membership, grants, governmental, or advertiser base as its means of revenue to support news gathering activities. One can post anonymously to this section. I have done this to increase the ability of commentators to be candid about their experiences.

Practicing Broadcast Journalists Reporting Responsibilities

How much reporting do anchors and other on-air talent do and how much is provided to them from non-air staffers and news wire services?

External Influences on Practicing Journalists

Do listener/viewer/advertiser/member opinions affect which stories make the final cut, and if so, to what degree has that changed in the last 10 years?


If external sources to the newsroom do affect which stories make the final cut, then what intensity of factors usually drive this shift in coverage?

How much control are you given in reporting your stories?

How much or how little control are you given in researching and reporting stories?

Practicing Journalists--How Has Journalism Changed?

In your opinion, how has journalism changed since you graduated from college? Please feel free to include your year of graduation as a reference point, or use a round figure of the number of years you have worked as a practicing journalist.

Photographers' Changing Non-film Rolls in Journalism

As a photojournalist, how has your job changed within the last 5-10 years?

Practicing Journalists Required to Provide Photographs with Stories

What have the effects been on you as a working journalist (not a photojournalist) with the added requirement to provide photographs to supplement your stories when reporting where a professional photographer may have been used in the past?

Election Coverage Question for Practicing Journalists

What are three limitations you had to work around in your coverage of the elections as a journalist?

November 6, 2008

Mainstream vs Point of View Journalism, Edited

This is largely excerpted from one of my postings to The Future of News blog. Some elements have been changed to make it more relevant to this blog.

Continue reading "Mainstream vs Point of View Journalism, Edited" »

New Media vs. Old School from the Future of News Blog

This is yet another of my postings from The Future of News blog that seemed relevant to this blog. It has some discussion of newspapers and the blogosphere.

Complete Objectivity in Journalism--Too Far?

My Robo Journalism posting from The Future of News Blog in which I commented on some "just the facts" writing.

November 2, 2008

Responsibility of News Outlets in a Democracy and Global Economy

What are the responsibilities of news outlets in a democracy. In my view, I want to see journalists:

1) Ask the hard questions that others in the democracy want to ask and want to know, but might not have the same access to ask
2) Be relentless in getting the answers that break the veil of rhetoric
3) Have an opinion, but above all, seek to approach the truth that meets the needs of the broader public. Having an open mind and being altruistic are two aspects of truly responsible journalism. If you don’t have these qualities then, you are most likely a pundit, politician or opinion columnist, which while the guests of journalist, are not those we turn to for news we can trust as being closer-than-not to the truth.

I understand that news outlets have a responsibility to be profitable. Profitability can only be solid where the value of the news outlet is in its reputation for hard journalism and truth-seeking. Focus groups can't dictate what is important. News outlets with the most stability are those that report first and sell ads second. This too requires some altruism and pride in one’s work on the part of the advertising account executive (salesperson) as well as the journalists. It calls for responsibility in reminding advertisers that along with being advertisers, they are also news consumers. Ask them if they would want news that has been purchased or if they would rather have news that is untainted by the advertisers that support it. If the medium is reputable enough, the advertiser will advertise because of the quality of the audience delivered by reputable journalism. News outlets that pander to their advertisers or their viewer focus group results gradually or better yet quickly lose their audience as soon as advertorial preponderance or news flab is obvious.

My evaluation criteria of media outlets are fairly simple. I look at the news from the perspective of are they telling me what I need and to know and are they asking the type of questions that I would be asking as a passionate observer with unbounded curiosity? Are they telling me anything new and are they challenging me to think about an issue in a way that wasn't readily apparent? Are they keeping the American democracy and capitalism in check to avoid one or the other from creating a catastrophic collapse of the system? Are they covering events around the world in a substantive manner? Am I left with a sense of what is happening in the world on a daily basis and am I able to make sense of what they have been telling me? These questions are going to become more important as globalism becomes more and more prevalent. If one looks at the global effect that one major economy can have on the rest of the world, one can see how much more important global journalism can become.