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Truth: The First and Most Confusing Principle
 

Truth: The First and Most Confusing Principle

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Chap 2, Kovach and Rosenstiel, The Elements of Journalism

Chap 2, Kovach and Rosenstiel, The Elements of Journalism

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    Truth: The First and Most Confusing Principle Truth: The First and Most Confusing Principle Presentation Transcript

    • cm 135 an introduction to journalisml FALL 2013 BRUCE CLARY, INSTRUCTOR Truth: The First and Most Confusing Principle
    • cm 135 an introduction to journalisml What is the purpose of journalism? The purpose of journalism is to provide citizens the information they need to be free and self-governing. FALL 2013 BRUCE CLARY, INSTRUCTOR
    • cm 135 an introduction to journalisml What is journalism’s first loyalty? Journalism’s first loyalty is to citizens. FALL 2013 BRUCE CLARY, INSTRUCTOR
    • cm 135 an introduction to journalisml What is journalism’s first obligation? FALL 2013 BRUCE CLARY, INSTRUCTOR Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. This disinterested pursuit of truth is what sets journalism apart from all other forms of communication.
    • cm 135 an introduction to journalisml Why is the principle of truth so confusing? •The belief that “perception is reality” seems to prove itself over and over in everyday experience •It has become common to accept the conclusion that truth, in the philosophical sense, is indeterminable •But mostly it is because… FALL 2013 BRUCE CLARY, INSTRUCTOR
    • cm 135 an introduction to journalisml …Truth—even the functional truth that journalists pursue—is extraordinarily complex. FALL 2013 BRUCE CLARY, INSTRUCTOR All but the simplest stories involve layers of truth and falsity.
    • cm 135 an introduction to journalisml So…what distinguishes journalistic truth? •It is practical, not philosophical. •It is based on getting the facts right, but it is more than that. It is making sense of the facts. •This making sense of the facts is a process. FALL 2013 BRUCE CLARY, INSTRUCTOR
    • cm 135 an introduction to journalisml Journalistic truth emerges over time Journalistic truth results from a process that strips away misinformation and disinformation •Early stories concentrate on getting the facts right. •Later stories begin the process of making sense out of the facts. FALL 2013 BRUCE CLARY, INSTRUCTOR
    • cm 135 an introduction to journalisml What do Kovach and Rosenstiel mean by… •Journalism of verification? •Journalism of assertion? •Journalism of affirmation? •Journalism of aggregation? FALL 2013 BRUCE CLARY, INSTRUCTOR
    • cm 135 an introduction to journalisml In an age flooded with information, what does the public need from journalists? “The press needs to…sift out the rumor, the innuendo, the insignificant, and the spin….Give citizens identifiable sources and verify the information, highlighting what is important to know and filtering out what is not…. [People] need an answer to the question: ‘What here can I believe?’ The role of the press, then, in this new age is to answer the question: ‘Where is the good stuff?’” (48-49) Synthesis and verification FALL 2013 BRUCE CLARY, INSTRUCTOR
    • cm 135 an introduction to journalisml Memorable Words “It is no longer enough to report the fact truthfully. It is now necessary to report the truth about the fact.” —1947 Hutchins Commission Report “I can think of nothing more gallant…than attempting to get at the facts; attempting to tell things as they really are…. Reality, though never fully attained, can be defined. Reality is that which, when you don’t believe it, it doesn’t go away.” —Peter Vierick, historian FALL 2013 BRUCE CLARY, INSTRUCTOR