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14a 2 t4_chapterfourteenpowerpoint_new

  1. 1. Chapter Fourteen Voices and Visions: Part One: The News Media . © 2010. Wanda Teays. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. <ul><li>Journalists form an important antidote to social chaos by reporting and analyzing newsworthy material and placing it in a historical and political context. </li></ul><ul><li>This is a vital role to play in our society. </li></ul><ul><li>As journalist Frank Rich says, “A public estranged from the press is also disengaged from the institutions and newsmakers that journalists cover—and will understandably look outside the system for both information and leadership.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Be on the watch for “tabloidism.” However entertaining such articles may be, the time devoted to the sensational or titillating is time lost on other, potentially much more significant, issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Periodically mainstream (“legitimate”) news media have been known to succumb to tabloid-style journalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Be on the lookout for tabloidism. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>By turning its spotlight on an event, a public figure, political issue, societal problem, or moral controversy, the press can relay relevant details and information so we are well-informed. </li></ul><ul><li>One important function of a newspaper is to serve as a watchdog over the institutions in the society. </li></ul><ul><li>EXAMPLES: Seymour Hersh of TheNew Yorker broke the story about Abu Ghraib, Dana Priest of the Washington Post , ran stories on detainees being sent to countries known to use torture, and Eileen Welsome broke the story about human radiation experiments in the 40s, and so on. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Structure: How is the article set out? Note where the thesis is presented and how the author proceeds. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Language: Any loaded terms, technical terms, bias, or prejudicial language? Does the title reflect the focus of the article? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Symbols and Images: What sort of picture do you get from this article? Is the style forceful and hard-hitting, or is it subtle—even folksy? Try to characterize the approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Analogies and Metaphors: Does the author use a comparison to make a point? Analogies and metaphors can carry a great deal of weight, so watch for them. </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Testimony or Expert Witnesses: Any reliance on what others had to say about the issue? If so, how is that done? Are those who give testimony or expert “advice” well qualified to be doing so? Note the credentials of those who are cited. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Frame of Reference: From what point of view is the article written? Does the author write from a personal, or subjective, perspective? On the subjective/objective scale, where would you place this article? Is it written in the first person, or from a neutral stance? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive/Prescriptive: How much does the author spend describing a state of affairs, going into detail on the specifics of the case? Does the author set out a position on what course of action ought to be taken? </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Baggage: Is there evidence that this article is culturally embedded; that is, reflective of a certain time and place? How much does the author draw from the culture (social or political scene, music, art, literature, movies, TV, religion) within the article? </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of Audience: Does the author write for a specialized, or learned, audience? Or is the article geared to anyone who can read? How much is presumed on the part of the reader by the author? </li></ul><ul><li>Balance and Fairness: What does the author include and/or exclude? Do we get both sides (when it would be appropriate for the author to do so)? Is anything either included or omitted that shows short sightedness or bias? </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>In assessing style and content we need to watch the use of language. </li></ul><ul><li>The words used can make a great deal of difference in the readers’ understanding of an issue or an event. A word or phrase can shape the meaning of an entire passage. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, all of these refer to the same person: Michelle Obama, Mrs. Obama, the First Lady, the President’s wife, and Sacha’s mother. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Look at the terms used to refer to “detainees”: </li></ul><ul><li>“ insurgents” </li></ul><ul><li>“ illegal combatants” </li></ul><ul><li>“ foreign combatants” </li></ul><ul><li>“ enemy combatants” </li></ul><ul><li>“ unlawful combatants” </li></ul><ul><li>“ unlawful enemy combatants” </li></ul><ul><li>“ unprivileged enemy combatants” </li></ul><ul><li>A Free Press is Vital: </li></ul><ul><li>We can only succeed as a free country if citizens are informed and have the ability and right to think for themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>This means the right to access information. </li></ul><ul><li>A free press is an important source of information, ideas, and insights. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>The free expression of ideas is vital for a Democratic society. </li></ul><ul><li>Without an open inquiry allowing for diverse perspectives, we get tunnel vision . </li></ul><ul><li>That is why it is crucial that the news media seek to present balanced coverage and offer a range of perspectives on the social issues we face as a society. </li></ul><ul><li>Presenting diverse perspectives—a range of voices—helps us getting a more well-rounded view. </li></ul>
  10. 10. © 2008. NikScott.Reprinted with permission .
  11. 11. <ul><li>Social commentator and linguist Noam Chomsky recommends that we ask ourselves two key questions about the media: </li></ul><ul><li>ONE: How do they relate to other systems of power and authority? </li></ul><ul><li> This asks about the internal structure of the media and their setting in the broader society. </li></ul><ul><li>TWO: What can we infer about the media product itself, in light of what we observe about the structure? </li></ul><ul><li> This asks about mass media (entertainment/Hollywood, soap operas, etc.) and about the elite media. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Political —Seek diversity of political viewpoints. (Look at the range of </li></ul><ul><li>voices and ideas in the discussion). </li></ul><ul><li>Economic —Seek diversity in terms of financial or class interests. </li></ul><ul><li> (Look at who stands to gain or lose). </li></ul><ul><li>Frame of Reference—- Seek diversity of perspectives. (Look at gender, race, class, and so on). </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptual —-- Seek diversity in ways problems are defined and solved </li></ul><ul><li> (Look at approach taken, use of language, assumptions, and recognition of alternative interpretations). </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical—- Seek diversity of ethical and religious viewpoints (Look at values and beliefs). </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural —— Seek diversity of opposing viewpoints. (Look at worldview, social traditions, group identification). </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>THE POWER OF SPORTS MEDIA </li></ul><ul><li>SPORTS COVERAGE— </li></ul><ul><li>CHECKLIST </li></ul><ul><li>Sports coverage has a unique role in the news media and remains a staple of print, radio, and TV. </li></ul><ul><li>The fascination with sports crosses age, gender, race, and political lines, and knows neither geographic nor linguistic boundaries. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the reasoning . Zero-in on arguments, assess the strength of evidence cited in support of the conclusion.   </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze and evaluate . Check for warranted versus unwarranted assumptions, potential sources of bias or prejudice, stereotypical thinking, and the use of images and symbols. </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for visual and verbal messages . Check the presentation of information and the use of images/photographs. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Check the use of language . Watch for loaded terms, biased language, asymmetrical descriptions, repetition, metaphors, and poetic expressions to convey an idea. </li></ul><ul><li>Notice inductive and deductive lines of reasoning . Watch for use of analogies, reliance on statistical studies, cause and effect reasoning. </li></ul><ul><li>Be on the alert for fallacious reasoning . </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of the frame of reference . Consider other perspectives that might be taken on the situation and how things would change if other voices were heard. </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for cultural or ethnic sensitivity . Examine the values and worldview implicitly presented, narrowing or broadening our understanding of the people or issues involved. </li></ul>