Fic0114 lecture 9 newsgathering & reporting

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  • 1. Week 10 Lecture Intro to Mass Comm Philip Gan Chee Keat, School of Communication FIC 0114 July 2013 Semester
  • 2. ObjectivesObjectives • understand the most important theories of the press • describe the qualities that characterize news • identify the three main types of news stories • understand how the digital revolution has affected news gathering, reporting, and the news business • discuss the similarities of broadcast, print, and online journalism • describe the changes in the news audience over the past several years 2
  • 3. F0114 L9F0114 L9 News Gathering andNews Gathering and ReportingReporting
  • 4. The Theories of the PressThe Theories of the Press
  • 5. Theories on how the press basically operates in different political, historical and cultural environments of the world The Theories of the PressThe Theories of the Press
  • 6. Developmental TheoryDevelopmental Theory • Hatchen (1987) found that in many developing nations in the Third World, the underlying press philosophy is the concept of national service/nation building. • He made the first significant change to the four theories and added the Developmental Theory to the list in 1987.
  • 7. The Developmental TheoryThe Developmental Theory • The media can be privately owned, but usually are owned by the government. • The media are used to promote the country’s social and economic goals and to direct a sense of national purpose. • A developmental media system might be used to promote birth control or to encourage children to attend school.
  • 8. • The media become an outlet for some types of government propaganda, then, but in the name of economic and social progress for the country. • Malaysia and other developing countries. The Developmental TheoryThe Developmental Theory
  • 9. THE Origins of NewsTHE Origins of News There are essentially three origins for a story: •Naturally occurring "events" such as disasters, floods, earthquakes, fires, and airline crashes are inherently unpredictable and journalists must respond after the fact. News stories about disasters follow a predictable pattern: early reports, which frequently over estimate the severity of the disaster, rely on everyday people, because they’re frequently the only witnesses; later stories, assuming the story is newsworthy enough to become developing news over several days, tend to rely on officials – mayors and governors, insurance company representatives, disaster relief agency officials. This is the way news becomes routinized. •Created and "subsidized" news is more frequent than unpredicted news. It occurs because a person, group or organization either does something public and newsworthy and/or seeks press attention. Public relations practitioners participate in the process of news making. •"Enterprise" news is made when journalists act rather than react as they do in a disaster or tragedy. This is called enterprise news because the editor or reporter takes the initiative on a story. These can develop from beat coverage and investigative journalism. 10
  • 10. DECIDING WHAT IS NEWSDECIDING WHAT IS NEWS What is worth to be made known? The dog bit the man is not news, but the man bit the dog is news!
  • 11. News values (newsworthiness)News values (newsworthiness) Eight primary factors that determine the newsworthiness of a potential story: 1. Impact/Consequence: The significance, importance, or consequence of an event or trend; the greater the consequence, and the larger the number of people for whom an event is important the greater the newsworthiness. 2. Timeliness: The more recent, the more newsworthy. In some cases, timeliness is relative. An event may have occurred in the past but only have been learned about recently. 3. Prominence: Occurrences featuring well-know individuals or institutions are newsworthy. Well-knownness may spring either from the power the person or institution possess – the president, the Speaker of the House of Representatives – or from celebrity – the late Princess Diana or fashion designer Gianni Versace. 4. Proximity: Closeness of the occurrence tot he audience may be gauged either geographically – close by events, all other things being equal, are more important than distant ones – or in terms of the assumed values, interest and expectations of the news audience.
  • 12. News values (newsworthiness)News values (newsworthiness) Eight primary factors that determine the newsworthiness of a potential story. 5. The Novelty/Bizarre/Oddity: The firsts, and the unusual, unorthodox, or unexpected attracts attention. E.g. - Boxer Mike Tyson’s disqualification for biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear moves the story from the sports pages and the end of a newscast tot he front pages and the top of the newscast; first Malaysian man in space. 6. Conflict/Suspense: Controversy and open clashes are newsworthy, inviting attention on their own, almost regardless of what the conflict is over. Conflict reveals underlying causes of disagreement between individuals and institutions in a society. 7. Currency: Occasionally something becomes an issue whose time has come. The matter assumes a life of its own, and for a time assumes momentum in news reportage. 8. Human Interest: Those stories that have more of an entertainment factor versus any of the above - not that some of the other news values cannot have an entertainment value.
  • 13. Economics • Determines what should be covered, as investigative stories are more costly than press conferences. • Investments in technologies make tv stations cover “trivial” news to justify the cost.
  • 14. Why is this news newsworthy?
  • 15. Why is this news newsworthy?
  • 16. MJ Oddities
  • 17. Why is this news newsworthy? Perak state assembly under a rain tree
  • 18. Why is this news newsworthy?
  • 19. THE NEWS BUSINESSTHE NEWS BUSINESS • Business model for the news media: • Advertising offsets cost of gathering and distributing news. • Internet has changed this 200-year-old model. • Decoupling of advertising from news. • Newspaper income down 23% in 2 years; local TV news revenue drop by 7%. • Revenue from online properties would never cover the shortfall. • Newspaper crisis: urgent adoption of multimedia presentation, aggregation, blogging & user content. 20
  • 20. NEWS REPORTING IN THE DIGITAL AGENEWS REPORTING IN THE DIGITAL AGE • The digital revolution has changed reporting: 1. Rise in the number of news sources. 2. Blogs 3. Citizen journalism 4. Hyperlocal news 5. Converged journalists 6. News reporting tools 22
  • 21. More Sources of NewsMore Sources of News • Internet increased number of news sources: 1. General news sites –CNN.com; TheStarOnline 2. News aggregators –Huffington Post; Google News 3. Specialized news sites-Wall Street Journal (business); ESPN (sports) 4. Blogs 23
  • 22. BlogsBlogs • Represent another source of news: • free from economic, political, corporate or advertising considerations. • Information that mainstream media wouldn’t cover. • Can have an agenda-setting effect. • Influence traditional media on selected events/ topics. • Eg. May 2011: Utusan Malaysia published an article “Christian conspiracy” on unsubstantiated claims from two bloggers. 24
  • 23. Allegations from Shamsul and Big Dog’s blogs about opposition party’s conspiracy to make Malaysia a Christian state became front page agenda of Utusan Malaysia.
  • 24. BlogsBlogs • Can provide check on traditional media. • Checking accuracy of information. • Eg. Jeff Ooi & Ahiruddin Attan exposed Brenden Pereira (ex-NST Group Editor) for plagiarising Mitch Albom (Detroit Free Press). • Provide additional outlet for reporters • Extra information to provide reasons or context why a report was in a certain angle. • Eg. CNN’s Anderson Cooper (360) • Make it possible for everyone to be a reporter • Citizen journalism witness and give first-hand information to events/ happenings. 26
  • 25. Citizen JournalismCitizen Journalism • Ordinary citizens become amateur reporters: first witnesses of happenings. • 9/11 2001; London Bombing 2005; Japanese Tsunami 2011; Arab Spring 2011. • Facilitated by digital and cell phone video cameras (miniaturisation), high speed Internet access. • Traditional media encourage citizen journalism; eg. The New York Times, CNN iReport, Ureport. (Video-Russian meteorite) 28
  • 26. • News organizations no longer monopolize what’s reported and how. • The Guardian crowdsourcing about London Riots (2011) from twitters, bloggers, videos and records sent by the crowd. • They report on news items of interest to communities.
  • 27. Hyperlocal NewsHyperlocal News • Coverage of stories of interest to very small community: • Single ZIP code. • Interest group in defined area. • Most hyperlocal news appears on web sites • Patch.com has 500 communities (including 42 neighbourhoods) • Publishers hope will draw in people who don’t generally consume news. • Content generated by users. • Inexpensive ads for local businesses and classifieds for community. 30
  • 28. The Converged JournalistThe Converged Journalist • Has skills of print journalist and video journalist. • Backpack journalists. • Mobile journalists (mojos). 31
  • 29. New ToolsNew Tools • Internet allows reporters to access wide variety of information while at their desks: • Must learn how to use these tools. • Acess documents, databases, government records and expert sources. • Computer-assisted reporting: • Perform web searches, download files and data and analyse with spreadsheets, set-up list servs and use geographic mapping software. 32
  • 30. Categories of news reporting News are categorised as: 1.Hard news 2.Soft news 3.Investigative reports
  • 31. Hard NewsHard News • Traditional fact-oriented journalism: • Who, what, where, when, why, how • Reports about important events of public concern. • News values • Crime, foreign affairs, economics, environment, science, etc. 34
  • 32. • Print media – Inverted pyramid format – Lead (basic facts stated) • Broadcast media – Square format (due to limitations: time, sound, video; every bit must be important) – More conversational, informal. – Sometimes, lead is soft news syle (grab attention) • Online media – Varied writing styles: inverted pyramid or broadcast style. – Graphics, videos, links. – News are briefs and some print version verbatims.
  • 33. Soft NewsSoft News • Features: • Wide range of topics • Human interest • Appeal to curiosity, skepticism, amazement, sympathy. • To entertain • Structures: • Inverted pyramid style • Chronological order • Q&A • Shocking start & explanation • More common on TV than radio. 36
  • 34. Investigative ReportsInvestigative Reports • Significant information about matters of public importance: exposing corruption, financial embellishment, irresponsible leadership, social issues, etc. • Very expensive & time consuming. • Longer than typical news item-run as a segment of newsmagazine; a series of reports in print. • Eg. Malaysiakini’s exclusive on slavery in Malaysia (2005). • Bloggers: Little green footballs –exposed Dan Rather's assertions on 60 Minutes that the Killian documents were genuine. 37
  • 35. -George Bush got preferential treatment during the Vietnam War -He wangled his way into the Texas Air National Guard back in the 1960s to avoid service in Vietnam -Portrayed Bush as a slacker and “cowardly draft dodger.” The Rathergate Controversy (2004)
  • 36. THE NEWS FLOWTHE NEWS FLOW Characteristics of news reporting: •Many gatekeepers in print and broadcast news. •Online reporting may have fewer gatekeepers. •Bloggers-none/ community verification. 39
  • 37. Print MediaPrint Media • Sources of print news • Staff reports & wire services • Other contributing sources, less important (feature syndicates, handouts, releases) • Organisation • City editor (assigns, approves & supervises reporters) • Beat reporters (regular coverage of police/ city hall) • General assignment reporters • Copy desk (further editing stories). • Managing editor & assistant managing editor (overall preparation of the paper). • All are gatekeepers. 40
  • 38. Broadcast MediaBroadcast Media • Sources of broadcast news • Local reporters & wire services • Syndicated news services • Network feeds • Organisation • News director (overall operation) • Executive producer & producers • Decide stories to cover, who & how to cover • Story order in newscast • Time to each story • Write copy for some stories • Integrate live reports • Assignment editor (assigns & monitors activities of the news crew) • Reporters and anchors (most reporters are general assignment reporters) • Camera crews, sound editors, writers, etc • All are gatekeepers. 41
  • 39. Online MediaOnline Media • News flow and production process similar to traditional media • Organisation • Top executives • Structure & specialty/ pages of site • Editors • Story presentation, updates & content • Reporters 42
  • 40. THE WIRE SERVICESTHE WIRE SERVICES • Two biggest wire services: • AP: Associated Press • UPI: United Press International • Others: • Reuters • Agence-France-Press • Eyes & ears for local papers/ broadcasting stations without foreign correspondents. • Shift focus to cable and web. • Wire services provide most of the news about what’s going on outside the local community. 43
  • 41. MEDIA DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES IN NEWSMEDIA DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES IN NEWS COVERAGECOVERAGE • Print, online or broadcast is better? • Print, broadcast, and online media all have strengths and weaknesses. • All play crucial role in informing the public. 44
  • 42. DifferencesDifferences • Print & online news are organized in space; TV stories organized in time. • TV covers fewer stories and in less detail. • TV better at transmitting experience or impressions; print & online better at facts, information, lengthy analysis. • Newspapers & online have more permanence; can cover complex stories better. • TV has strong visual dimension, but visual is also important to print & online. 45
  • 43. • Appearance and personality of reporters are more important in TV than in print and online: • TV newscasters can become stars. • Print & online reporters are more anonymous. 46
  • 44. SimilaritiesSimilarities • Print, broadcast, and online journalists share basic values and journalistic principles: • Honesty (no inventions of quotes & stories) • Accuracy (right facts) • Balance (voices from all sides) • Objectivity (no bias/ personal comments-detached with no judgment) • Maintaining credibility • Credibility is key in keeping public’s trust. 47
  • 45. READERSHIP AND VIEWERSHIPREADERSHIP AND VIEWERSHIP • Audiences for news have been shrinking and getting older. • Except for Internet, exposure to all sources of news has decreased. • Prefers online news sites, Youtube and mobiles. • Audience has become less likely to trust the media. 48
  • 46. 51
  • 47. 52 1. The qualities that characterize news are timeliness, proximity, prominence, consequence, and human interest. Economics is also important. 2. News media are searching for new business models. 3. There are three main types of news stories: hard, soft, and investigative. 4. The digital revolution has increased the number of available news sources, encouraged the growth of blogs, contributed to the rise of citizen journalism and hyperlocal news, and supplied new tools to reporters. 5. The Associated Press is a wire service that provides stories to print and broadcast journalists. 6. Print, broadcast, and online journalism have their unique strengths and weaknesses. 7. All forms of news media strive for credibility. 8. Online news enables audience members to select from more news sources and customize their news. 9. The audience for news has been declining across all media. Quick Summary
  • 48. ?? 53 aanyny Questions
  • 49. !! 54 tthankhank You