What Are News 2009

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How is news changing today? What are 21st century news values?

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What Are News 2009

  1. 1. What are news?<br />News Reporting 2009 week 1 Martin Hirst<br />
  2. 2. News are agenda<br />Some serious and not so serious definitions of news<br />The evolution of views on what are news<br />A brief overview of news questions<br />A couple of new questions<br />A brief discussion of news values (new and old)<br />What news are…<br />
  3. 3. Are this news?<br />Nine-year-old Madeline covers the 2007 Martinborough Wine Festival<br />
  4. 4. News: Yesterday, Today, <br />News exists because people need information about their world<br />Yesterday: Journalism began as pamphleteering and polemics (revolutionary press in 18th/19th centuries)<br />Today: 20th century – the age of industrial journalism<br />News becomes a commodity<br />The public interest fights with private commercial interests <br />News is now a global business<br />
  5. 5. News: Tomorrow<br />The world of news and journalism is changing<br />Digital technology creates new forms of news and new ways of doing journalism<br />The line between journalists and non-journalists is blurring<br />The line between news and entertainment has almost disappeared<br />
  6. 6. Professional and Accidental<br />Professional journalists – based in news organisations, or freelancing<br />Are usually paid for defined work in news<br />Usually have some form of training<br />Are expected to abide by an ethical code of practice<br />Accidental journalists – on the scene<br />Usually have no training<br />Have no formal code of ethics<br />
  7. 7. News and Convergence<br />An expanding community of reporters<br />Citizen journalists<br />Bloggers<br />Social Networking “news”<br />Platform Shift<br />News are everywhere now<br />News are available 24/7<br />The economics of news are changing<br />
  8. 8. News are what we say it is<br />The ‘old school’ view that the editor knows best<br />News is what the audience wants – and our research tells us what the audience wants<br />News is what we can sell – what’s profitable<br />News is anything that the networks can cover live<br />Tom Bettag, Evolving Definitions of News, Nieman Reports, Winter 2006<br />
  9. 9. News are what’s worth knowing<br />“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.”<br />-- Oscar Wilde<br />
  10. 10. News are so yesterday<br />“Journalism is the first rough draft of history.”<br />Phil Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, circa 1963<br />“Journalism is in fact history on the run. It is history written in time to be acted upon: thereby not only recording events but at times influencing them.”<br />“Journalism as theater [is what] TV news is.”<br />“The secret of successful journalism is to make your readers so angry they will write half your paper for you.” -- Thomas Griffith, journalist and editor at Time<br />
  11. 11. News are irrelevant<br />“Journalism largely consists of saying "Lord Jones is Dead" to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.”<br />-- G K Chesterton<br />“Journalism is organized gossip.”<br />-- Edward Eggleston, writer and Methodist minister (1837 – 1902)<br />
  12. 12. News are about social issues<br />Finley Peter Dunne(1867-1936)<br />"The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."<br />Dunne wrote a popular syndicated column called “Mr Dooley”<br />Raises the issue of the exercise of power in the media<br />According to his biographers, Finley Pete Dunne was an anti-imperialist writer and satirist who bluntly addressed such topics as racism, the Spanish-American war, and the imperialism of the US Supreme Court.<br />
  13. 13. “…all the rest is advertising”<br />Journalism: A profession whose business is to explain to others what it personally does not understand. <br />News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.<br />Alfred Harmswoth – later, Lord Northcliffe<br />
  14. 14. News are entertaining<br />“People may expect too much of journalism. Not only do they expect it to be entertaining, they expect it to be true.”<br />-- Lewis H Lapham<br />Lewis Henry Lapham (born January 8, 1935) was the editor of the American monthly Harper's Magazine until 2006. Most recently, Lapham has founded a quarterly publication on history entitled Lapham's Quarterly. He has also written many books on politics and current affairs.<br />
  15. 15. News are hole filler<br />“Journalism is the ability to meet the challenge of filling space.”<br />-- Rebecca West, actress & journalist1892-1985<br />“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat”<br />It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.<br />-- Jerry Seinfeld<br />
  16. 16. News are an emotional attitude<br />I write … because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. <br />But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience. <br />
  17. 17. Journalists’ nose what are news<br />“A news sense is really a sense of what is important, what is vital, what has colour and life - what people are interested in. That's journalism.”<br />-- Burton Rascoe<br />
  18. 18. News are based on questions<br />News reporters have six basic jumping off points for their enquiries:<br />Who?<br />What?<br />Where?<br />When?<br />Why?<br />How?<br />“There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil - remain detached from the great”<br />-- Walter Lippmann<br />
  19. 19. News are Values <br />News values – the key ingredient in the mix<br />Public Interest<br />Timeliness<br />Novelty<br />Conflict<br />Proximity<br />Consequence<br />Public Curiosity<br />Prominence<br />Celebrity<br />Emotion<br />Comparison<br />Contradiction<br />
  20. 20. News are…<br />News are seeking the answers, that no one wants to give, to the questions everyone is asking.<br />Who is responsible?<br />What went wrong <br />Where were you when it happened?<br />When will you know the results?<br />Why are you doing this?<br />How many people are affected?<br /><ul><li>Who’s going to pay?
  21. 21. What are the effects of this policy?
  22. 22. Where have you hidden the money?
  23. 23. When will you solve this crisis?
  24. 24. Why is there a gap between rich and poor?
  25. 25. How are you going to pay?</li></li></ul><li>News are Concerned Journalists<br />Asked if bottom-line pressures were hurting television news, 53 percent [of journalists] said yes. Asked if news organisations are moving too far into entertainment, 74 percent said yes. [Bettag]<br />There is a growing debate within news organisations about our responsibilities as businesses and our responsibilities as journalists. Many journalists feel a sense of lost purpose. There is even doubt about the meaning of news, doubt evident when serious journalistic organisations drift towards opinion, infotainment and sensation out of balance with the news.<br />[Committee of Concerned Journalists, 2005]<br />

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