Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

  1. 1. lcome to the world ofurnalism, whereporters have beengging dirt, raking muck,king headlines andadlines for centuriesw. It’s a history full ofbloid trash, of slimynsationalists, ofrunkards, deadbeats andmmers” (as a Harvardiversity president oncescribed reporters).But it’s a history full ofroes, too: men andmen risking their livestell stories of war andagedy, riskingprisonment to defendee speech. And as youn see here, reports havecome beloved charactersp culture, too, turning upmovies, comics and TVows as if guided by ancult hand.Every culture seekseffective ways to spreadnew information and gossip.In ancient times, news waswritten on clay tablets. InCaesar’s age, Romans readnewsletters compiled bycorrespondents andhandwritten by slaves.Wandering minstrels spreadnews (and the plague) in theMiddle Ages. Them cameink on paper. Voices onairwaves. Newsreels, Websites, And 24-hour cablenews networks.Thus when scholarsanalyze the rich history ofjournalism, some view it interms of technologicalprogress—for example, thedramatic impact ofbigger, faster printingpresses.Others see journalism asa specialized form literaryexpression, one that’sconstantly evolving,reflecting and shaping itsculture.Others see it as aninspiring quest for freespeech, an endless powerstruggle between Authority(trying to controlinformation) and the People(trying to learn the truth).Which brings to mind thewords of A.J. Liefling:“Freedom of the press isguaranteed only to htosewho own one.”In the pages ahead, we’lltake a quick tour of 600years of journalism history,from hieroglyphics tohypertext: the media, themessage and the politics.Technical advances andbrilliant ideas forged a newstyle of journalism. It was acentury of change, andnewspapers changeddramatically. The typinewspaper of 1800 waundisciplined mishmalegislative proceedinglong-winded essays asecondhand gossip. B1900, a new breed oftor had emerged. Jourhad become big businReporting was becomdisciplined craft. Andnewspapers were becmore entertaining andessential than ever, wmost of the features wexpect today: Snappyheadlines, Ads, ComicSports pages. And an“inverted pyramid” stywriting that made storitighter and newsier.Radio and televisionbrought an end tonewspapers’ mediamonopoly. Why? Wellyourself: Which did yoHow newsrooms workInside ReportingTim Harrower2
  2. 2. Quoted:2 “I know what time is until you ask me.”St. Augustine, The Confessions
  3. 3. How newsrooms work3 What is news? What readers want How the news comes together Who’s who in the newsroom What it’s called
  4. 4. Questions to consider4 What is news? What is a journalist? Who determines what is true and not true?
  5. 5. What is news?5 News judgment –ability todetermine which stories aremost interesting and importantto readers Editors decide where stories runand what stories do not run
  6. 6. What is news?6A tragedy involving apolice officeralways leads…Oceana isresponsible for12,000 local jobsVP’s chief of staffindicted. Wow…Promos to otherstoriesWhen the presidentvisits your city it’s abig deal. But…
  7. 7. How do we determine newsvalue?7 Relevance Usefulness Interest
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. 9
  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. What is news?11 The Metropolitan Daily Lots of pages to fill with range of topics Local to globalNews depends on the newspaperStorm warning PrintitCounty fair PrintitTuition hike PrintitVolleyball bill Kill itFlu shots PrintMaybeMaybeHold itHold itMexico bus crashGirl ScoutcookiesLottery winnerEminem sexchange
  12. 12. What is news?12 The Community Weekly Limited space Tight regional focusNews depends on the newspaperStorm warning Kill itCounty fair Print itTuition hike Kill itVolleyball bill Kill itFlu shots Print itKill itPrint itKill itKill itMexico bus crashGirl Scout cookiesLottery winnerEminem sexchange
  13. 13. What is news?13 The Communicator (SFCC’s bi-weekly student paper) Space very tight (8-12 pages, including ads) Stories focus on campus events and cultureNews depends on the newspaperStorm warning Kill itCounty fair Kill itTuition hike Print itVolleyball bill Kill itFlu shots MaybeKill itKill itPrint itKill itMexico bus crashGirl Scout cookiesLottery winnerEminem sexchange
  14. 14. What is news?14 Impact Immediacy Proximity Prominence Novelty Conflict EmotionsWhat makes a story interesting?
  15. 15. What readers want15 Some journalists dismiss“pandering” to readers. Smart journalists adjust To tastes. To reading habits. To news appetites.You might write terrific stories,but they’re worthless if nobody reads them
  16. 16. What readers want16 We ask them. We watch them. Focus groups Phone, mail and Websurveys Monitoring devicesSo how do we know what readers read?
  17. 17. What readers want171. Readers are in a hurry.2. Readers have short attention spans.3. Readers want stories that connect.4. Readers want stories told in a compelling way.5. There’s more than just one type of reader.Things every reporter needs toremember about readers5
  18. 18. What readers want18 Spend 90% of timechasing a story, and 10%writing it. Not everything a reporterhears makes it into thefinished story.How a story gets written• Not everything is as itseems.
  19. 19. How the news comestogether19 Reporters and editors Copy editors andpresentation Business staff Photo and graphicsMajor divisions•EditorialDepartment•Advertisingdepartment•Productiondepartment•CirculationdepartmentInside a typical newsroom
  20. 20. Who’s who in thenewsroom20 At most papers, writers areeither: General assignment reporters –cover wide range of stories. Beat reporters – covera specific topic.Clear lines of authority avoid chaos
  21. 21. Who’s who in thenewsroom21• Publisher• Ultimate boss; presidesover all departments toensure profitability.• Production Manager• Oversees staff andequipment.The organization• Circulation Manager• Supervises distribution ofnewspaper.• Advertising Manager• Coordinates sales andproduction of classified anddisplay ads.
  22. 22. 22 Editor Runs the newsroom; has final sayin story selection and newsphilosophy. Managing Editor Runs day-to-day operation;resolves staffing issues.The organization• Photo Editor• Coordinates photoassignments; choosesimages.• Manages photographersand graphic artists.Who’s who in thenewsroom
  23. 23. Who’s who in thenewsroom23 Online Editor Works with other editorsand reporters to developmaterial for Web site. Manages team of reportersand editors.The organization• Copy Desk Chief• Oversees editing and(many times) layout.• Manages copy editors.
  24. 24. Who’s who in thenewsroom24 Features Editor Assigns and edits stories forfeatures section. Manages feature writers andreviewers.The organization• Sports Editor• Assigns and edits allstories running in thesports section.• Manages sportsreporters.
  25. 25. Who’s who in thenewsroom25 City Editor Assigns and edits mostlocal “hard news”stories. Manages newsreporters.The organization
  26. 26. What it’s called26 Daily – printed every day. Weekly – printed once aweek. Newsletter – printedonce per month.Talk the talk Mainstream newspaper(The New York Times,The Spokesman-Review)Alternative press(The Village Voice, TheInlander)Specialty publication(Fur & FeatherMagazine)Trade publication(American CandyIndustry Monthly)
  27. 27. What it’s called27Parts of a storyPhotoBylineDatelineLeadQuoteAttributionPhoto creditLiftout quoteTaglineHeadline
  28. 28. lcome to the world ofurnalism, whereporters have beengging dirt, raking muck,king headlines andadlines for centuriesw. It’s a history full ofbloid trash, of slimynsationalists, ofrunkards, deadbeats andmmers” (as a Harvardiversity president oncescribed reporters).But it’s a history full ofroes, too: men andmen risking their livestell stories of war andagedy, riskingprisonment to defendee speech. And as youn see here, reports havecome beloved charactersp culture, too, turning upmovies, comics and TVows as if guided by ancult hand.Every culture seekseffective ways to spreadnew information and gossip.In ancient times, news waswritten on clay tablets. InCaesar’s age, Romans readnewsletters compiled bycorrespondents andhandwritten by slaves.Wandering minstrels spreadnews (and the plague) in theMiddle Ages. Them cameink on paper. Voices onairwaves. Newsreels, Websites, And 24-hour cablenews networks.Thus when scholarsanalyze the rich history ofjournalism, some view it interms of technologicalprogress—for example, thedramatic impact of bigger,faster printing presses.Others see journalism asa specialized form literaryexpression, one that’sconstantlyevolving, reflecting andshaping its culture.Others see it as aninspiring quest for freespeech, an endless powerstruggle between Authority(trying to controlinformation) and the People(trying to learn the truth).Which brings to mind thewords of A.J. Liefling:“Freedom of the press isguaranteed only to htosewho own one.”In the pages ahead, we’lltake a quick tour of 600years of journalismhistory, from hieroglyphicsto hypertext: the media, themessage and the politics.Technical advances andbrilliant ideas forged a newstyle of journalism. It was acentury of change, andnewspapers changeddramatically. The typinewspaper of 1800 waundisciplined mishmalegislative proceedinglong-winded essays asecondhand gossip. B1900, a new breed oftor had emerged. Jourhad become big businReporting was becomdisciplined craft. Andnewspapers were becmore entertaining andessential than ever, wmost of the features wexpect today: Snappyheadlines, Ads, ComicSports pages. And an“inverted pyramid” stywriting that made storitighter and newsier.Radio and televisionbrought an end tonewspapers’ mediamonopoly. Why? Wellyourself: Which did yoHow newsrooms workInside ReportingTim Harrower2

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