The Journalist as an Idealogue


This particular presentation I won’t lie, caused me some headache and anxiety.  Everybody in the class was becoming so opinionated and I thought to myself: “Chill out everybody!” I may have just been in an anxious mood or have been hearing too much about what a journalist could be, that inside I just cracked; but maybe I’m right.  Every week in Comms 239, we have been learning that a journalist should be objective, detached, impartial, and that their first loyalty is to the reader.  I can tell you for endless hours how a journalist must have credible sources and get their facts strait without being biased.  Their writing must be transparent and original but remember what type of ambiguity your audience needs. So what is the point? Now, I know much better what it takes to be a journalist; however, I still believe my previous thought of what a journalist is–a sense-maker and a writer of important facts.  Truthfully, I believe there is too much contention over what a journalist is or does.  Now that we understand what they are supposed to do, we can be the best journalists as we can, but can we move on?  Journalists know what they must do so lets leave it to that.

What I did like from this week’s lesson, is learning that journalists should use the inference language, which is an interpretation or making a picture of all the puzzle pieces.  Journalists should not just report, but get the down-low of “how” something happened and let the public know.  This is what I loved because it finally made journalists seem more interesting!  The words we’ve learned that journalists should be, makes them seem so boring I couldn’t stand it.  I believe this is a turning point for me and we’re getting into the good stuff.  When I write stories, it must have a purpose; I can’t simply tell a story for the heck of it.  Why does it matter?  The answer to that question is what brings people in.  Stories are communication skills. It is what I want to know so I’d hope that is what journalists can give to the public.



Another subject I’d like to touch on, is the question of a journalist’s complete objectivity.  I do not believe it is possible.  Opinions and twists on stories are what makes a story interesting!  We can be unbiased, but points of view will sneak into a story without even meaning to simply because the writer cannot change their background.  For example, if I just stated the facts of what a journalist should be without explanation or purpose or my idea behind the facts, people would be left wondering why and probably not even read my article. We must make it a story or facts with a purpose!

In the reporting sense, we must remember that your tone of voice can sound judgmental, so we must be cautious! This following link is to a video that shows how body language can effect what you are saying:

Judgmental Thief

I loved learning as well, what values are most important to Americans because, as a whole, the public is usually unaware.  We know very well what we individually think is important, but it is good to know what is important to everyone:

1. Altraistic Democracy 2. Responsible Capitalism 3. Order 4. Moderation 5. Leadership 6. Small-town Pastoralism 7. Rugged Individualism 8. Ethnocentrism.

These values shape our society and are very true to the U.S. They are important overall to the well-being of our country and journalists who know this can better cover their subjects.


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