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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Yellow journalism (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mastermindreader
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Ideally, I'd say the purpose is to keep government and special interest groups in check by speaking truth to power and, thus, keeping the people informed.

In reality, it seems that the purpose is to sell advertisements and subscriptions by pandering to the very parties they are supposed to be investigating and reporting on.
TonyB2009
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I would say that the purpose of journalism is to inform society as fairly and impartially as possible about matters of interest and importance to society. Importance includes political, social, economic and legal matters, etc. Interest includes sports, arts, entertainment, etc.

I don't believe there is a place in real journalism for Kardasians, America's Got Talent, Reality Television, or Hollywood gossip.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Sep 20, 2015, S2000magician wrote:
My tastes are pretty simple.

I'd be happy if today's written journalism simply used correct spelling and grammar.


Simple, but apparently not easy.
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Magnus Eisengrim
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A local journalist once told me that the purpose of journalism was to have some stuff that keeps the ads from clanking together.
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seneca77
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The ads pay for the journalism. It's that simple. The revenue from ads at most newspapers is between 85-90%. The other 10-15% is made up from subscriptions and single-copy sales.

Most major daily newspapers have a very high "wall" between news and advertising, as sacred as the separation of church and state. News never consults with Advertising before running a story, even if that story could hurt the paper's relationship with the advertiser. It happens all the time. News runs a story critical of an advertiser or an industry or even a city/town, and advertisers pull their ad budgets.

As an industry, newspapers made a critical mistake twenty years ago. They failed to understand the impact of the Internet on the newspaper business, specifically Craigslist. Here's a company that has fewer employees than your local McDonalds and they brought an entire industry to its knees. They decimated the classified advertising section of every local paper in the country.

Years ago I worked at the Columbus Dispatch and, on Sundays, we typically had 40 pages of employment advertising (help wanted ads). That didn't count the other major categories of classifieds, such as automotive and real estate. Craigslist came along and the industry was in complete denial that it posed a threat. They did nothing.

The other mistake newspapers made was, when they finally built their online platforms, they failed to charge for their content. Newspapers gave away their stories for free, not only to individual people but aggregators and bloggers. Only in the last few years have papers begun charging for access, erecting pay walls and other subscription models. But it's too late. The revenue streams for accessing content are paltry.

When a newspaper disappears from a market, does it have an effect on how people access their national and international news? Not really. Other than a few papers around the country, a local newspaper's strength is its impact on local government and issues. It's keeping the county commissioners honest, holding the local school board accountable, holding the mayor's feet to the fire, reporting local crime and corruption, etc.

Local television and radio have a presence, but their news-gathering staff pales in comparison to what most newspapers have in place. Lose the newspaper and, in a very real sense, a community loses its watchdog.
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On Sep 20, 2015, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 20, 2015, landmark wrote:
What is the purpose of journalism?


Anyone? I don't think it's self-evident.


I don't think it's self-evident (or even true) that there's "a" purpose of journalism.
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landmark
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Fair enough.

So let's be specific. What are the purposes of a) The New York Times b) The Wall Street Journal c)Fox News d)MSNBC e)NPR ?
TonyB2009
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Quote:
On Sep 20, 2015, landmark wrote:
Fair enough.

So let's be specific. What are the purposes of a) The New York Times b) The Wall Street Journal c)Fox News d)MSNBC e)NPR ?

No purpose. I don't live in their jurisdictions. Why not ask what is the purpose of The Irish Times?

The media should have a purpose. Specific outlets serve that purpose in their circulation area. Or don't, as the case might be.
landmark
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The Irish Times--please, have a go at it.
TonyB2009
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On Sep 21, 2015, landmark wrote:
The Irish Times--please, have a go at it.

The purpose of the Irish Times is to report on Irish public life and to hold Irish politicians, business leaders, etc to public scrutiny. It does a reasonable job at that.
George Ledo
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Quote:
On Sep 20, 2015, mastermindreader wrote:
In reality, it seems that the purpose is to sell advertisements and subscriptions by pandering to the very parties they are supposed to be investigating and reporting on.

I designed a set for a TV news program some years ago, and one day the news director remarked casually that the purpose of TV news is to bring an audience to an advertiser. From the way she said it, I knew she was half-joking... but only half.
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jstreiff
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This is what Bill Siemering, original Program Director at NPR wrote in 1974 when the network was founded. I would suggest it remains true today :

"National Public Radio will serve the individual; it will promote personal growth; it will regard the individual differences among men with respect and joy rather than derision and hate; it will celebrate the human experience as infinitely varied rather than vacuous and banal; it will encourage a sense of active constructive participation, rather than apathetic helplessness."

I think it fair to say the above describes neither CNN nor Fox News.
John
seneca77
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Quote:
On Sep 22, 2015, jstreiff wrote:
This is what Bill Siemering, original Program Director at NPR wrote in 1974 when the network was founded. I would suggest it remains true today :

"National Public Radio will serve the individual; it will promote personal growth; it will regard the individual differences among men with respect and joy rather than derision and hate; it will celebrate the human experience as infinitely varied rather than vacuous and banal; it will encourage a sense of active constructive participation, rather than apathetic helplessness."

I think it fair to say the above describes neither CNN nor Fox News.


Thanks for sharing that quote. Love NPR!
imgic
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I've put the BBC news app on my iPad. Get better world wide coverage with a more balance viewpoint, a more interesting perspective, and cool spelling of words like "colour."
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balducci
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I may be biased, but I find the Canadian national newspapers to be pretty good.

This (Canada's largest and probably most respected national newspaper) is generally regarded as a conservative leaning newspaper but it is not afraid to take a 'liberal' position if it makes sense:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

It consistently wins awards for its in depth coverage of meaningful stories:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/awards/na......4579253/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/awards/th......4836870/

This is the other national newspaper in Canada:

http://www.nationalpost.com/index.html

It is also conservative, but in a pretty rigid, ideological, partisan way. Still, it often provides some in-depth news coverage.

I will add, I think the print versions of both are better than their online versions. I think that is how it is with any decent newspaper.
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Starrpower
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I don't mind liberal or conservative outlets, as long as they keep their slants to the editorials and/or opinion sections or shows. Let the people form their own opinions on what that news means. Despite what some may think, I see the liberal bias as being more what they choose to report or not report. When you cover 6 protesters at an event and play it up big, that suggests credibility ant THAT is how the media is liberal. They are supporting the cause without actually making an opinion about it. Omission is also just as much a slant as adding an opinion, and some people don't seem to get that, or at least they don't admit it.

Maher and O'Reilley can opine all they want, since they are not reporters or newscasters. Reporters should report, plain and simple. Cronkite started the bad trend of working his opinions into the newscasts, and that's when things go awry.

Sponsored news is a culprit. When newscasts go for ratings, the news suffers.
mastermindreader
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Guess you never heard of Edward R. Morrow.
Starrpower
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I have!
jstreiff
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I think the biggest issue with modern journalism is not so much liberal vs conservative but instead the trend to chase ratings (or traffic in the case of online). Editors and producers make some horrendous decisions in this regard. It results in the endless repeating of the same limited footage over and over again. This is coupled with irrelevant and highly speculative uninformed statements by on-air personalities and commentators that are often dead wrong in hindsight. The editorial mindset is best characterized un my opinion as 'childish'.

This all started, from my perspective, with Ted Turner and the 24 hour news concept. There is simply not enough real news to fill an entire day without endless repetition. Even with repetition there would still be voids. This why an enterprising producer at CNN came up with the now questionable idea of journalists interviewing other journalists to fill air time. Some 'journalists' today have carved out their own niches that would never have been possible had this trend, grounded in the silly 24 hour news concept, never took off.
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I think the most serious problem with modern journalism has been the influence of visual media, starting with television. A visual medium is automatically biased toward emotions that the written word is not. Reading, "A young boy was found dead on a beach in Turkey" would have had a different impact than the rather powerful photograph that moved us all. But moved us toward what? Understanding what?

In Plato's allegory of the cave, it is no accident that the shadows on the cave wall that people mistake for reality are visual images rather than the spoken or written word.

Neil Postman, anyone?
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