What is Journalism?
• “Good journalism holds communities
together…. Makes a difference
somewhere everyday.” (Downie)
• Can bebiased, sensational, exaggerated
or blow situations out of proportion
• Can be inaccurate, influenced by special
• Timeliness Did something happen recently or did we just learn about it?
• Impact Are many people affected or just a few?
• Proximity Did something happen close to home, or did it involve people
• Controversy Are people in disagreement about this?
• Conflict Is there confrontation or violence involved?
• Prominence Is a well-known person involved?
• Currency Are people here talking about this?
• Oddity Is what happened unusual?
And now, a little history
• “Were it left to me to decide whether we
should have a government without
newspapers or newspapers without a
government, I should not hesitate a
moment to prefer the latter.”
– Thomas Jefferson, 1787
Journalism or “the press” = The only “job”
protected by the First Amendment
Definition: “Journalism is the profession of
writing or communicating, formally employed
by publications and broadcasters, for the
benefit of a particular community of people.
The writer or journalist is expected to use
facts to describe events, ideas or issues that
are relevant to the public.” - Wikipedia
– Daily, weekly more than 1,400
– More than 12,000 titles
– More than 13,000 stations (AM, FM)
– More than 2,000 stations
– Cable, Satellite
• Standards & Ethics
– No license to practice
– Self-policing, peers
– Standards set by journalism schools and
trade groups, individual media outlets
• Society of Professional Journalists
– More than 10,000 members
• Code of Ethics
Salaries & Qualifications
How much do journalists make?
Finish: $35,000 to $15,000,000
What does it take?
• Bachelor’s Degree (journalism, English)
• Practical Experience
• Start small
• Move around
Who are these people?
• Job titles
– NEWSPAPER/MAGAZINE: Reporter,
photographer, editor, publisher, designer/layout
– RADIO: Reporter, anchor, producer, audio editor,
news director, engineer, general manager
– TV: Reporter, photographer, video editor, anchor,
producer, news director, engineer, director,
– ONLINE: writer, editor,producer, design/layout,
– Original newsgathering
– At least 2 sources per story or article
– Attribution (who said it?)
– Research (statistics, history, context)
– Writing, copy editing