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November 20, 2008

Journalistic Ethics

On the SPJ website they stated the code of ethics they follow: Public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. The SPJ website also says Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
Some ways to remain honest and fair would be to test the accuracy of sources, question people’s motives, don’t distort images, avoid misleading the audience, and never plagiarize.

I think the code of ethics for journalists is high but also very necessary to be effective. I don’t know of many other professions where they should follow such a high code, but it’s all part of the role.
I know that I and the general public don’t want to be lied to, don’t want to mislead, and want the real story and truth. We as journalists have the obligation to dig deep, do extensive research, and present issues and stories to people with full integrity. The general public deserve that.

November 11, 2008

Food Writing is absolutely delicious

I love how the leads for food stories says something that makes the reader’s mouth water. They are so different from regular reporting, much more relaxed and all about one topic: food.

Pioneer Press did an article on gourmet chocolates for cheap. The first sentence was, “Want to sink your teeth into gourmet chocolate this holiday season? Put down that $30 box of truffles and go cruise your supermarket's candy aisle.? It seems so funny and so animated to me; like a 50’s mom in an apron on television raving about how to make your roast chicken perfection. It seems too much to me, but I love food very much, so nonetheless I love to read about it. Although I’d much rather eat it than read it.
The article I read was still organized very well, having a good lead, information to back up her main point, price comparisons, and good quotes. All in all the story was well written and well formatted, it was just a very light easy-going topic; but that’s what is expected for food writing I guess.

The Star Tribune article was much shorter and to the point. The title was, “This brownie is pure gold.? And boy by the picture and the description I was hooked. The brownies the writer was talking about came from a local baker. The introduction was, “When baker Donna Cavanaugh calls her signature confection a "brownie," she's selling her work short. My friend nailed it on his first bite. "They're creamy without being gooey," he said. Exactly. They're also intensely chocolately, a mouthwatering combination of semisweet and bittersweet that's wrapped around Minnesota-made butter and a hint of almond.?
I don’t know who wouldn’t faint or run to the baker the second they read that. That writer nailed it. It allowed me to taste it in my mouth while I read the article.

Of course both articles provided pictures of the food they were talking about to add to the excitement. A food article would be nothing without a good picture to describe what is being discussed. Both newspapers gave great mouth-watering pictures that made me want to run to the store and get it.

I guess you have to be ready to start baking or have a full stomach when reading the food articles, or at least I do. Otherwise I’d be craving the food discussed so bad I’d have droll coming down my chin, no joke.