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What is news?
 

What is news?

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The basics of defining news, objectivity and standards. Based on "Reporting for the Media," by Bender, Davenport, Drager and Fedler (10th edition).

The basics of defining news, objectivity and standards. Based on "Reporting for the Media," by Bender, Davenport, Drager and Fedler (10th edition).

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    What is news? What is news? Presentation Transcript

    • What is news?Thinking about journalism and the decision-making process
    • Dog bites man
    • Man bites dog
    • Characteristics of news• Timeliness
    • Characteristics of news• Timeliness• Impact
    • Characteristics of news• Timeliness• Impact• Prominence
    • Characteristics of news• Timeliness• Impact• Prominence• Proximity
    • Characteristics of news• Timeliness• Impact• Prominence• Proximity• Singularity
    • Characteristics of news• Timeliness• Impact• Prominence• Proximity• Singularity• Conflict or controversy
    • Types of news• What is hard news?
    • Types of news• What is hard news? – Police and fire reporting
    • Types of news• What is hard news? – Police and fire reporting – Government
    • Types of news• What is hard news? – Police and fire reporting – Government – Disasters
    • Types of news• What is hard news? – Police and fire reporting – Government – Disasters• What is soft news?
    • Types of news• What is hard news? – Police and fire reporting – Government – Disasters• What is soft news? – Human-interest feature stories
    • Types of news• What is hard news? – Police and fire reporting – Government – Disasters• What is soft news? – Human-interest feature stories – Not necessarily tied to the news cycle
    • Types of news• What is hard news? – Police and fire reporting – Government – Disasters• What is soft news? – Human-interest feature stories – Not necessarily tied to the news cycle – Often aimed at tugging on the emotions
    • Public (civic) journalism• Listen to our readers about their concerns to shape coverage
    • Public (civic) journalism• Listen to our readers about their concerns to shape coverage• Movement died out under criticism from traditional journalists
    • Public (civic) journalism• Listen to our readers about their concerns to shape coverage• Movement died out under criticism from traditional journalists• Reborn as digital tools empower the “former audience”
    • Objectivity • Ideally, it means acting as a disinterested observer reporting facts
    • Objectivity • Ideally, it means acting as a disinterested observer reporting facts • Too often it has come to mean a mindless pursuit of “balance”
    • Objectivity • Ideally, it means acting as a disinterested observer reporting facts • Too often it has come to mean a mindless pursuit of “balance” • We need tough, neutral journalism aimed at seeking out the truth
    • Special considerations• Offensive details, especially in photos
    • Special considerations• Offensive details, especially in photos• Sensationalism for its own sake
    • Special considerations• Offensive details, especially in photos• Sensationalism for its own sake• Rumors — sometimes yes, sometimes no
    • Special considerations• Offensive details, especially in photos• Sensationalism for its own sake• Rumors — sometimes yes, sometimes no• Names of rape victims are usually withheld
    • Special considerations• Offensive details, especially in photos• Sensationalism for its own sake• Rumors — sometimes yes, sometimes no• Names of rape victims are usually withheld• Names of juvenile offenders withheld
    • Accuracy• If a person says his name is “John Smith,” ask him to spell “John” and “Smith”
    • Accuracy• If a person says his name is “John Smith,” ask him to spell “John” and “Smith”• It could be “Jon Smythe”
    • Accuracy• If a person says his name is “John Smith,” ask him to spell “John” and “Smith”• It could be “Jon Smythe”• Keep asking questions until you understand what’s going on – Passing along information that you don’t quite understand leads to fuzziness and errors
    • Credits• This presentation is a summary of Chapter 5 in “Reporting for the Media,” by John R. Bender, Lucinda D. Davenport, Michael W. Drager and Fred Fedler (10th edition)