COM00481 Week 1 Defining Journalism


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Lecture 1 in the Fourth Estate: News Journalism Class at SCU. Topic: Defining journalism

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COM00481 Week 1 Defining Journalism

  1. 1. + The Fourth Estate: News Journalism Topic 1: Defining Journalism
  2. 2. + The Fourth Estate Syllabus (see also back page of UIG)  Topic 1: Defining Journalism  Topic 7: Ideas and research  Topic 2: What is news?  Topic 8: News sources  Topic 3: Style and language  Topic 9: Interviewing  Topic 4: Story Structure  Topic 10: Moral minefield  Topic 5: Focus and follow-up  Topic 11: Journalism law  Topic 6: News technology & people  Topic 12: Indigenous issues in the media
  3. 3. + Jeanti St Clair See UIG for contact details. Twitter: @jeantistclair1 Student Contact Hours: Tues 2pm – 3pm (appointment only) Thursdays: 10am – 11am (open office) Please make an appointment by email Former ABC, News Limited journalist. Extensive experience in independent and community media
  4. 4. + Today’s lecture Defining Journalism  Journalism’s role in society  Journalism as a set of cultural practices  Trust, objectivity and truth-telling  Journalism as a conversation with readers  Journalism as a profession  Unit materials, assessment overview, and weekly topics
  5. 5. + What is a journalist?  ‘news workers, information workers, gathers, reporters, entertainers, historians, researchers, explainers, probers and writers…editors, communicators, storytellers, producers and presenters’ (Tapsall and Varley pp. 5-6).
  6. 6. + Superman’s alter ego was a journalist, Clark Kent
  7. 7. + Cinematic and television depictions Watch: All the President’s Men, Goodnight and Goodluck, Veronica Guerin, Balibo State of Play, and the Newsroom series
  8. 8. Wikileaks + Founder is Julian Assange a journalist? Accepting the 2011 Walkley Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism
  9. 9. Media as social + change agent
  10. 10. + Why do you believe what you read?
  11. 11. + News of the World Phone Hacking
  12. 12. + Roy Morgan 2013 poll of professional PUBLIC IMAGE In 2013, Federal politicians rate 14% , and state pollies 13% (toxic party political fighting) In 2013, Newspaper Journalists rated 19%. Why is this?
  13. 13. + Roy Morgan 2013 poll of professional PUBLIC IMAGE IN 2013, university lecturers rated 68% Nurses top the list at 90% Source:
  14. 14. + News circulates ‘new’ information about the world through a process of mediation, filtering, interpretation and re-presentation Journalists have the job of accurately and fairly processing this information for public consumption.
  15. 15. + Journalism as a cultural practice  forms culture (our ways of living/behaving/ understanding the world)  is made up of ritualised ways of doing things (techniques of reporting, styles of writing)  is influenced by relationships of power  whose practices are impacted by technological change
  16. 16. + The Fourth Estate  The ‘estates of the realm’: Historical roots in French Revolution included clergy, nobility, and commoners.  Today, the media claims title of the Fourth Estate and plays an integral part of representative democracy alongside  the parliament,  the executive (ministry)  the judiciary.  Journalists monitor actions of other ‘estates’ on behalf of the public, and communicate between people and parliament.  But is the relationship between press and parliament too close to ensure journalists maintain their independence?  A Fifth Estate? Emerging theory that ‘networked individuals’ via internet (social media, bloggers, whistleblowers and Wikileaks) constitute a Fifth Estate (See Dutton or Cooper, S.)
  17. 17. + Journalists safety DATA FOR 2013 Reporters Without Borders ( found:     PETER GRESTE TRIAL IN EGYPT 75 journalists killed 4 media assistants killed 38 netizens and citizen journalists killed Iraq (10), Syria (10) India (8) and Somalia (7) among most dangerous countries.,41582.html
  18. 18. + Journalism on the Open Web News, not a product News is a process  The Guardian ad promoting its Open Journalism processes:  h?v=WW_dBQPAeDY News is not one-way News is a conversation between journalists & readers
  19. 19. + News production as a conversation      Social Media: about half of all Twitter and Facebook users get at least some of their news from those sites Twitter as a source of breaking news content Crowdsourcing story ideas Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Be transparent in showing your research or source materials where possible Follow me on Twitter: jeantistclair1
  20. 20. + Your mission  On to: completing this subject, you should be able      Discuss the roles that news journalism can play in contemporary societies Define news and distinguish its characteristics from feature and opinion writing Explain how news is produced and published for different readerships. Apply journalistic techniques and conventions to the accurate research and writing of news stories. Critically discuss representational, legal and ethical issues in contemporary journalism.  COM00481 Unit Information Guide, page 8
  21. 21. + Assessments  Online quizzes – test your current affairs knowledge as well as theoretical and practical skills. Weeks 3, 6, 9, 12  News article production – build your skills in write in news style and form. Includes reflection and development of your network of sources. Weeks 5 and 8.  News story revision – develops your editing skills. You must improve on your two news stories, and explain why you have made those edits.  See UIG – and more detail in tutorial in week 1 (Externals attend scheduled collaborate session).
  22. 22. + To do this well….  Read newspapers, online news, your readings, your UIG and the study guide  Do the writing and reporting exercises  Participate in class and online  Follow the assignment guidelines  Hand in your assignments on time
  23. 23. + Tutorial is next ….  In Room 193 (computer lab directly downstairs)  From 10am-12pm