Watchdog journalism is making the affairs of the powerful intuitions more transparent to the public.
I think this is a perfect definition of watchdog journalism. Watchdog journalism is basically investigative reporting. There are three different types of investigative reporting that group 7 talked about.
Original investigative reporting: this is basically uncovering new information to tell the public. Here is an example of this term…
This site is dedicated to telling citizens of Texas about new information that they uncover. This article was released because the information inside of it would effect the publics lives. That is a main reason why investigative reports are brought to the publics attention.
Interpretive investigative reporting: this type of reporting uses old information or information found by another source to put together a new story. Here is an example of this type of reporting…
The investigative reporter in this clip is adding new insights to old information. The chaos in Greece was not new information that he was investigating, it was old news that he was adding onto. He was providing the public with a deeper understanding of the topic.
Reporting on investigating: this final type of investigative reporting is the most confusing to understand. It is investigating an official investigation that is already underway yourself. It often comes about because of a leak of information. An example of this would be difficult to find, but here is a link to an interesting story about investigative reporting done by PBS.
Watchdog journalism is a dying trade, and we, as the next generation of journalists, need to help to revive it. Investigative journalism brings something different to journalism that cannot be acquired anywhere else. It is often the type of journalism that brings public attention. Watergate is the most successful and famous example of investigative reporting. This scandal helped journalism gain appeal from celebrities and the public. The press is the fifth estate, and investigative reporting is the center of that fifth estate.
I think that journalists need to show passion when they are reporting. If there was no passion in journalism, then how many people would continue to watch the news? I think the results would be dramatic.
In this article a professor of journalism at Harvard is talking about how we often think that there is a pattern for journalism. We, as journalism students, think that there is no way to be an original, exciting journalist. I agree with the professor here that we are the future of journalism. It is up to us to show passion in our journalism and show that it is possible for news writing to be exciting and different.
In this video Campbell Brown starts crying after she hears about a little girl who died in the earthquake in Haiti. I think that she did an amazing job on this story and the way she showed emotion only added to her story and made her seem like a real human being. So if according to some people, showing emotion in journalism is not proper and okay, then they are saying that her story here is not good journalism. I think that emotion in journalism can add to the story and can make us believe the story even more.
This link has 8 keys to success. I think that these eight keys to success apply perfectly to journalism and any career really. What I think is interesting is that the first key is passion. We need passion in our journalism today and we need to show that we care about the story that we are reporting about. I think that as journalism students it is our responsibility to create a new standard of news reporting, and I think that this new standard should have passion in journalism as its first goal.
As journalists, we must stay independent from any other faction. We must stay independent in mind, externalities, and in practice. I do not think that this means that we need to watch from afar and watch the news happen just to keep a completely neutral view. This link talks about what it really means to be independent from a faction.
He talks about opinion journalism in the article, which I think is a very controversial subject. Some people do not even consider editorialists to be true journalists because they are inserting their opinion into the article. They are journalists though and they too must take care that they do not support or endorse a certain political faction or group.
This link talks about how journalists who criticize a certain group or faction, are often thought to be working for the opposite group. In less civilized countries they are sometimes killed under this assumption. The linked article above says this about the issue,
“Journalists who criticise a politician, faction or security official are often perceived by one side as working for a rival faction. Several journalists who work for the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation and the WAFA Palestine News Agency were attacked last year by Hamas supporters, who accused the news organisations of being mouthpieces for Fatah.”
I think that this is a perfect example of factions. It is not know whether or not the journalist was actually working for the opposite group, but they were not being independent from factions either way. The public does not know if we as journalists actually have ties to factions, they just notice if it appears that we do. As journalists we need to completely remove ourselves from any ties to factions and we need to work towards creating dedicated, interesting news.
This clip from the book ties everything together and really explains what the issue is.
This link is just a background on the speaker that I found to be interesting. I loved listening to him speak about his home country and about the journalism he did in Mexico. He didn’t talk about journalism as much as I would have liked him to, but this video gives a little more background on his journalism in Mexico.
Luis Najera shared many interesting stories and experiences while he was doing journalism in Mexico. He risked his life for the sake of journalism many times. I think it is amazing that he was so dedicated to journalism that he was willing to give up his life for it. He thought that bringing to light the drug problem in Mexico was so important that it was worth his life. I hope that one day I can be that passionate about journalism.
Luis was using his journalism skills for a good cause. He was trying to fix an obvious issue in his country, and he ended up being threatened for that. I loved that he used his position as a journalist to talk about a specific issue. Luis is a great example of what kind of journalist I hopefully will become and I love that I had an opportunity to hear him speak.
This clip starts off the first thing I want to discuss. Has social media pushed transparency and made it acceptable to either not be transparent at all or to be too transparent? I think that in social media we are not as transparent as we should be. When posting on blogs or other social sites, we often do not disclose sources or where we got the information from. I think that this has made it easier for journalists to not be transparent.
I also believe that on social medias we gain a sense of invincibility. We are a different version of ourselves in a way, so we often do things that we would not do in print. Journalists could possibly not feel an obligation to disclose sources because they are on social medias so it is not really themselves.
This site just talks about how social media has changed journalism. They give many different ways in this article and I thought they were all very valid points.
This next link is an interview with a man who introduced a site where readers can check journalists sources. This site combined with social media sites can help transparency to still be apparent in our news today. I think that transparency is essential in news writing and social media sites, along with other sites like the one mentioned above, are the future of news writing. There are consequences to not being transparent in news writing, and I believe that those consequences could also change along with news writing in general.
Is it possible for journalists to practice perfect objectivity and distance in their reporting?
This question was asked during group three’s class discussion. I do not believe it is possible for journalists to practice perfect objectivity and distance in their reporting. The goal of journalism is to be perfectly objective, but I think that it is nearly impossible to be perfectly objective. We will have some sort of emotional connection to nearly every story we do as journalists, so naturally we will be slightly subjective when writing the story. All news stations or newspapers have at least a slight reputation to lean to the left or right, and this has resulted from a lack of objectivity in journalism.
This link shows different opinions on whether or not journalists can be truly objective. It is a controversial issue that no two people agree completely on.
I like the analogy that he makes in this video. He says that just because objectivity is not attainable, does not mean we should do away with it. He compares objectivity to marriage. Just because many marriages end in divorce doesn’t mean that we should get rid of marriage all together. I thought that he gave some interesting insights into objectivity.
“We pick out what our culture has already defined for us, and we tend to perceive that which we have picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture.” Walter Lippmann
The next thing I want to discuss is whether or not it is possible for us to shed our original culture and if shedding it could help with objectivity in journalism. I think that once a a journalist is born into a culture, it is very difficult for them to change their ways even if they are completely immersed in another culture. I think that it could make objectivity worse. The reporter will most likely be biased towards their culture and could make their journalism lean towards their original culture.
This article talks about different ethical standards in journalism and the rules that journalists should follow. The last section says that cultures should be respected and followed. I think that even if a person puts themselves into another culture, they will not be able to overcome cultural differences. It would be difficult to learn all the different customs of a different culture, and then to have to be a journalist on top of that would be nearly impossible.
Journalism’s first loyalty is to citizens.
This principle is a difficult one for journalists to follow in my opinion. There are so many outside (or inside) sources that could potentially take a journalists loyalty. Here is an example I found…
This cartoon demonstrates the principle I was talking about earlier. They are showing that the government controls journalism and that journalists loyalty lies with the government. Some reporters or news stations do put their loyalty with the government or with powerful people, when it should be with the general public. The public should be the first obligation of journalist’s, but that is not the case in journalism today.
Some journalists loyalty tends to change often. This article talks about what loyalty is and how a role reversal has taken place recently. They defined loyalty as an allegiance to a person, place, or ideal. Journalists lately have been switching their loyalty from the public to other ideals. This article thinks that a journalists loyalty lies with the truth, which would be an ideal. They believe that loyalty has transferred from a person to an idea. I think that loyalty could lie with both potentially.
This next article has an interesting view on journalist’s loyalty. They think that loyalty has shifted. At one time journalists used to identify themselves with a certain organization or news station, but they are now identifying themselves as individuals more often, which mirrors our ideals as a nation. We are starting to shift our thinking in all areas of our lives to more individualistic thinking. Journalists are following this trend, and it is resulting in a shift in loyalty. I think that loyalty should be with the public and journalists have the responsibility to report for and to the general public.