Agenda Setting According to Cohen"The mass media may not be successful muchof the time in telling people what to think,but they are stunningly successful in tellingtheir audience what to think about." -Bernard Cohen
Agenda Setting & Spiral of Silence● Princess Diana, OJ Simpson Michael Jackson Trials ● Voice for the voiceless ● Nixon: Silent Majority?
Approaches to Objectivity Detachment - from stories and people in stories Fairness & Balance Absence of Interpretation Scientific Method - content analysis, sample surveys Stenography - recording what is said & repeating it back
Ethics & JournalistsJournalists worry about being fair and harming innocents Jan Wong - "Get Under the Desk" in The Globe and Mail
Society of Professional Journalists & Their Code of EthicsMembers share a dedication to ethical behavior Should be honest, fair and courageous Treat sources, subjects and colleagues with respect Free of obligation to any interest other than publics right to know Accountable to audience
Credibility: Ethics in Story FindingJournalists are faced with moral and ethicalquestions when searching for stories 1. "Under-cover" role acceptable?2. Always identify as journalist? What counts as "crossing the line" in order toget a news story?
For Example, CNN.CNN: setting out "stake-out camera" at theWhitney Houston funeral. Is this ethical? View individuals responses on Twitter.
Journalists ethical challenge● The Most difficult ethical challenge faced by Journalists: >>Get the Facts Right. >>Tell the Story Fairly.
Ethics + Politics = ???● "You cannot legislate a journalists political beliefs." >>Keep their views to themselves. >>Remain impartial.
For Example, FOX news● FOX news aggressive investigation into ACORN scandal and Pay Czars. ● 2009: Obama discredits FOX news as a "news source" and attempts to ban them from the White House Pool. ● Isnt investigation and fact-checking a central role for journalists?
Leaders in Diversity•Arlene Notoro Morgan•Peter Bhatia•Joe Hight: “Gosh, I wish journalists wouldrealize the First Amendment providesjournalists with many rights, but it does notgive us the right to trample on the lives ofinnocent people.”