Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Discussion Questions on What Is Journalism

1.) The editor of the Guardian, a venerable newspaper company in the UK, has claimed that "the newspaper ... is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of ... [what] we have heard about." Many newspaper companies, protects and ensures the content of its newspapers by hiring reputable journalists and editors. Ergo, to what extent should we place our confidence in Rusbridger's claim? Should we be more evaluative and critical of what we read? After all, McNair calls journalistic objectivity an "aspiration."

2.) The digital revolution has brought on newer forms of mass media, e.g. blogs -- currently a popular source of information. However, blogs are usually not as reliable as newspapers, because it is often a one man job (blogs usually do not have editors). Accordingly, do you think that the public will continue to treat blogs with skepticism and use it as a secondary source of information -- why or why not? Or will readers eventually keep an open mind and use it as a supplement with newspapers?

3.) On a related note, especially with the proliferation of blogs and other new forms of mass media, to what extent is the quality of information that we receive being degraded? Or, rather, is it providing us with a fresh, unique set of ideas that traditional mass media sources will not provide? After all, blogs typically do not possess an ulterior motive, e.g. earning profits, so do not necessarily have to adhere to standard practises found in journalism. 

4.) McNair claims that most reputable mass media sources generally conclude similarly.* Though such conclusions are usually correct, in Kovach & Rosenstiel's novel Blur, the authors mentioned that in one instance, several reputable mass medias falsely reported the number of casualties in a mining accident in West Virginia. Therefore, how can we choose to avoid obtaining information just from journalists? Moreover, how should the public choose newspapers? Are we able to simply place our trust in respected, objective mass media as opposed to the less reputable/biased ones? 

5.) McNair claims that certain mass media sources are currently applying patriotic undertones in their articles, especially after 9/11. For instance, Rupert Murdoch directed the Fox News to apply patriotism in its articles/broadcasts when discussing the invasion of Iraq in 2003. How can we ascertain the truth, then? Has defining the 'truth' in articles/broadcasts become more difficult in recent times?

*For instance, McNair claims that the BBC and the ITV in the UK had similarly unbiased conclusions for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

No comments:

Post a Comment