First off: THOSE COOKIES WERE DIFFERENT… haha. But anyway, I wanted to start off talking about the belief that one’s culture is superior to another. When this group was discussing this idea it instantly made me think of how prideful the US is. Yes, we are an amazing country and we really have done so much. I acknowledge the fact that we have changed the way the world views certain things, and we really do have a free country in most aspects. But, I think almost every country has some amazing things to offer.
This relates to journalism because it kind of goes along with being humble and honest about the situation. If you were writing a story about something that was going on in another country and you wrote about it in a boastful way like how the US would never go through something like that because we are better, this comes off very unprofessional.
Something else this group talked about that I found rather interesting is how crime is always in the media. By clicking HERE you can see a source I found that I think explains why this is. This next site gives a different look at why crime is always featured in the media. Click HERE to view that site.
Lastly I would like to talk a little about how Americans like small town stories because they can see the real people that those feature. I found a cute little site that focuses on a small town and you really can get the small town feel just from viewing it. Click HERE to view it. I think Americans like this because we all get so busy and we are always hearing about crazy things happening on the news but isn’t it so great to hear that little heart warming story about the family who makes pies for their whole neighborhood every year? It makes us stop and think and want to be better people so I totally understand why these types of stories are still relevant even in our fast past world.
I think this is one of the hardest aspects of journalism. Remaining neutral is pretty much impossible but we have to do this to the best of our ability. It is so easy to judge and to throw our opinion into the picture because of the way we were raised. For example, I am Mormon and I have a hard time writing stories about things that are against my religion because I obviously have a strong opinion about those things. I had to write a story about gay marriage and I wanted to write things like: these people THINK they are right. If I were to have said that it makes it seem like I disagree with what they think. That would be my opinion inserted into something that should not have my opinion.
I found a cool exercise you can do to practice writing in third person so your opinion does not shine through. Click HERE to look at that. Another helpful source I found that can help people learn to separate fact and opinion is HERE. The teacher from that site is trying to teach young aspiring journalists how to affectively learn from a young age how to throw your opinion out of journalism to give people the full story.
There is a news manual online that also provides explanations on how to be a good journalist. They have a big section on the importance of placing fact away from opinion. Click HERE to read that.
Having a diverse newsroom is also part of this process. Having different types of people to cover different things can be very beneficial because different people see things differently. If everyone thinks the exact same way, the news will be so boring. If each member of the team has a different type of thinking, they can being something new and diverse to the table.
Professionalism is something that is slipping away every day. I think that it needs to be a bigger part of the world because when professionalism is lost, things become chaotic. Some of the elements this group specifically talked about were granting confidentiality to their sources. This is an element of professionalism because we are adults. If you tell someone you will not reveal their name, and you reveal their name, that is totally breaking a trust you had with them and that is definitely not professional. I found an article that you can see by clicking HERE and it is about breaking trust. This is extremely unprofessional and if you want to remain in the market with a job, you need to make sure to stay professional and remain honest in all of your doings.
Another element of being professional in journalism in detaching yourself from the story. Sometimes you will have to write a story about something you do not agree with but in order to remain professional, you must write it without any bias and get down the facts. I found a really interesting clip of speakers in a panel discussing how to remain professional in a field that can be a little bit malicious and crazy at times. Click HERE to view it. I really like how he addresses being professional in this field in other countries as well because it gave me another perspective to this idea.
When I was looking online at something that could better explain a professional, I found some great definitions on Wikipedia. Click HERE to see them because I think that they sum up what it means to be professional in todays day in age. The definition that stood out to me most said: “Reasonable work morale and motivation. Having interest and desire to do a job well as holding positive attitude towards the profession are important elements in attaining a high level of professionalism.” The part that says having interest and desire to so a job well… that is exactly what the world needs. If this methodology were in place today, the whole world would seem a whole lot more professional.
This picture is ironic because professionalism is EVERYONE’S job. 🙂
One of this group’s biggest points is enforcing Journalism’s first loyalty is to citizens. This pretty much means that the person writing the news needs to know the audience. You are not writing for yourself because what you want to hear about and think is important, is different from what the audience wants to hear about. The citizens are your audience and you need to be making sure to meet their needs. They also talked about an idea of a wall that was in place where the writer wrote and never heard anything from their viewers for feedback and there was no connection between the two. The wall separated the writer from the reader and that is a huge problem. There needs to be more like a mesh net. The two need to be connected so that the writer can successfully make their point go across to those who will be reading it.
The is an article I found that discusses the importance of being loyal first, to the citizens if you click HERE. It discusses that the writer needs to be honest with the readers and keep them informed on the truth. They need to write about what they would want to hear and not hind things just because they can. If they want the trust of their audience, they need to remain honest and always put their opinion first.
If you click HERE you can see an article I found that is also explaining the purpose of being loyal to the citizens. There is a quote from that article that I think really hits home to this fact and it is pretty self explanatory. It says, “A commitment to citizens is more than professional egoism. It is the implied covenant with the public…. The notion that those who report the news are not obstructed from digging up and telling the truth—even at the expense of the owners’ other financial interests.”
When this group preformed, I thought about what I have learned in my other comms classes thus far. In my first broadcasting class, Comms 275, we learned a lot about the importance of speaking the truth. Something I did not realize before applying to my major is that if you do anything untruthful in the news, you lose trust. That is the hard truth. People will not watch or listen to you if in the past you have given inaccurate data. The news is all about going to the paper or turning on your tv and getting accurate information. If you break the trust of the viewers, or your boss, you are out of a job. I had never thought of that before but it makes sense.
I think one of the biggest opposites from the news are politicians. They often say what we want them to say and do not speak truth. They have a hard time genuinely gaining the trust of the citizens because people know politicians are known for lying. They want to appear to be the best and they do what they have to, for this to happen. If you click HERE you can see a debate between politicians. I would like to believe many things they are saying but often times I cannot.
I am not trying to stir anything up but in my opinion Mitt Romney will be the best candidate. I feel like he is very honest and he is just a great guy. He is in my home ward and I have known him for quite some time and he has always been such a nice, good person. When he talks about him views, I do think he is being truthful and says the right things, because he is just that good. Click HERE to view some of his debating.
Lastly, I found an article HERE talking about truth and I think it applies to journalism at BYU because if we want to have God on our side, we need to be truthful. God can also lead us to the truth by the spirit.
When being asked: what is journalism and who is a journalist, the answer at first seems simple but after some thought I realized it was not. To me, journalism is the recording of events in a straightforward, storytelling form. It is not a bullet point of facts but instead a story of events that have taken place. It is meant to be easy and pleasing to read but objective for the most part. Journalism is the facts of a situation so that people know what happened without having to be there. Today in class we talked about journalism giving a voice to the voiceless and I think that is definitely true and a big part of what journalism is. We would not know about random people being victims of fraud without a journalism story reporting and having those random people tell their story of what happened to them.
Journalists’ obviously go along with this because they are they ones who write these stories and get them out to the public. They are the ones who decide what is important about the situation and what can be kept out of the story. They write it in a way that people will want to know more and they will keep reading. A journalist is anyone who writes stories meant for an audience who is seeking to know the truth. A journalists’ job is based on the public trusting them so they always have to be honest and keep that trust. If they break it, the public no longer trusts them and they are out of a job. Integrity is a big part of the job and making sure to keep deadlines and be curious enough to get the full story.