A Case for Advocacy Journalism. Anthony GlaserIt is okay for a news outlet to become part of a crusade for a community cause.
Critical Definitions Objectivity.- A frequently disputed term.- Bill Lewis: “The process you go through to test whether or notwhat you’re reporting is accurate.”- Doug McGill: “A conglomeration of contradictory practices...Journalism’s failure to serve the public interest is in large parttraceable to the breakdown of the norm of objectivity as a practicaland ethical guide.”- Giles Gauthier: “Analyzing objectivity in relation to an area inwhich it cannot be applied is a logical error.”
Critical Definitions Neutrality.- Not synonymous with “objectivity.”- Associated with dispassionate and impartial writing and reporting.- SPJ Code of Ethics: “Deny favored treatment to advertisers andspecial interests and resist their pressure to influence newscoverage.- John Morton, American Journalism Review: “The very basis ofthe business model for modern newspapers rests on the theorythat what newspapers report is factual and that opinions aresegregated to the opinion pages.”
Objectivity and neutrality comprise the standard journalistic practice.
Critical Definitions Investigative Reporting. “Reporting that exposeswrongdoing or violations of law, regulation, codes of standards or common understanding or decency; treats a subject of importance to readers; andresults from attempts by others to hide or keep something secret.” - Investigative Reporters and Editors Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, 1973
“An advocate speaks or pleads on behalfof another, giving the other a face and a Critical Definitions voice. Advocacy journals -- sometimes called alternative publications -- have a declared bias, a publicly acknowledgededitorial point of view. They are upfront about their editorial position.” - Sue Careless Advocacy Journalism. - Reflective. - Promotes a particular outcome or cause. - Admittedly one-sided. Shepard Smith
What challenges does the expectation of neutrality present?Consider the definition of investigative reporting, a type of journalism deemed acceptable by standard practice.Consider the definition of investigative reporting, a type of journalism deemed acceptable by standard practice.Consider the definition of investigative reporting, a type of journalism deemed acceptable by standard practice.
“Reporting that exposes wrongdoing or violations of law, regulation, codes of standards or common understanding or decency; treats a subject ofimportance to readers; and results from attempts by others to hide or keep something secret.” - Investigative Reporters and Editors - “Wrongdoing,” “decency,” and “importance” are entirely subjective terms. - All considerations rely on the making of judgement calls. - Judgement calls conflict with the notion of neutrality.
Objective? Neutral? Investigative Reporting in Practice. Sara Ganim breaks the story of Sandusky’s involvement in the Penn State scandal.
Objective? Yes. Neutral? Investigative Reporting in Practice. Sara Ganim breaks the story of Sandusky’s involvement in the Penn State scandal.
Objective? Yes. Neutral? No. Investigative Reporting in Practice. Sara Ganim breaks the story of Sandusky’s involvement in the Penn State scandal.
“Newspapersadvocated many interests.” Historical Origins of Advocacy - Wm. David Sloan Journalism: Muckraking Late 1800s - Start of WWI - The Standard served the labor movement. - The Cherokee Nation provided a forum of discussion for issues faced by Native Americans. - Ida B. Wells wrote of the horrors of the lynching of black men. - Upton Sinclair published a compilation of articles into The Jungle, a book about wage slavery. Upton Sinclair
Modern Advocacy Journalism in Practice.- ABC World News Tonight anchor Bob Woodruff advocatedbetter governmental healthcare for veterans, particularly thosewho had suffered head trauma.- The Toronto Star encouraged readers to donate to acharity raising money to educate and provide shelter toRoya Shams, the daughter of an Afghan policecommander who was killed in attempting to liberate hispeople from extremists.- Fox News reporters criticized the government’s inadequateresponse to Hurricane Katrina. Some of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Geraldo Rivera and Shepard Smith report from New Orleans.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPswpqB73SA
Cases served a greater good, Defending Advocacy benefitting the Journalism. public at the cost of Utility.neutrality and objectivity.
Acknowledging personal Defending Advocacybiases affirms credibility. Journalism. Transparency.
Advocacy journalism is Defending Advocacy Journalism. intended to supplementmainstream journalism, not Advocacy as an alternative. replace it entirely.
Advocacy journalism dismisses unattainable ideals infavor of an honest, straightforward standard: that ofhelping the public in addition to informing it. To Conclude.
Works Cited.Associated Press. “Hurricane Katrina.” AP Images. 20 July 2005.Associated Press. “TV Professor Shep.” AP Images. 24 May 2011.Associated Press. “Upton Sinclair.” AP Images. 1 Jan. 1963.Associated Press. “Watergate Woodward and Bernstein.” AP Images. 7 May 1973.Bauder, David. “Coverage of Katrina bolsters standing of Fox’s Shepard Smith.” The Seattle Times. 2005. <http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002520970_katshep26.html>Careless, Sue. “Advocacy Journalism.” The Interim. 2000. <http://www.theinterim.com/2000/may/10advocacy.html>Ganim, Sara. “Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State football staffer, subject of grand jury investigation.” PennLive.com. 2011. <http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/03/jerry_sandusky_former_penn_sta.html>“Hannity and Colmes Hurricane Katrina Geraldo Shepard Smith.” 17 April 2006. Online video clip. YouTube.Lewis, Bill. Personal interview. 8 Mar. 2012.McGill, Doug. “The Fading Mystique of an Objective Press.” The McGill Report. 2004.Morton, John. “Staying Neutral.” American Journalism Review. 2010.Murphy, Cara. “Objective Journalism Vs. Advocacy Journalism. eHow. 2011. <http://www.ehow.com/info_12026815_objective-journalism-vs-advocacy-journalism.html>O’Sullivan, Seanna. “Operation Christmas Child.” AP Images. 27 Oct. 2001.Patterson, Philip and Lee Wilkins. Media Ethics: Issues & Cases. McGraw-Hill. 2011.Solan, Wm. David. The Media in America: A History. Newport, AL: Vision Press. 2011.
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