News and Journalism

When it comes to news and journalism there are some basic codes of conduct:

  • truthfulness
  • accuracy
  • objectivity
  • impartiality
  • fairness
  • public accountability
  • limitation of harm

When watching the nightly news there are times when stories appear to not follow one, or more, of those basic codes.  A group of high school students at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, Vermont studying journalism took a critical look at a nationally broadcast story about their town.  In the video they cover the elements of the professional news organizations story and hold it up to the basic codes for journalists.  What they found was surprising.  It also shows that as watchers of the news we too should hold our news casters to these standards:

 

 

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6 thoughts on “News and Journalism

  1. Very interesting. These young kids get it. I did not know the Politifacts statistic. I hope others can watch this as it needs to echo. Yet, it will be dismissed by its target as more liberal news media stuff being taught in a liberal state. That is how it works. Great job kids.

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    1. The kids did do a great job. The Politifact statistic they used was from last year. I saw an updated statistic, not much better, recently. It is important to be critical of the news. For example a local journalist keeps saying that the last jackpot winner of a multi-state lottery happened in the state. Only when I go to the website from that lottery I can see plainly that the last jackpot winner from the state was years ago. So why is the journalist perpetuating a false statement? To encourage people to purchase lottery tickets? It makes no sense.

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      1. You speak to another key problem and that is repeating stuff they heard elsewhere without checking the source. People do this all the time, but when so called news people do it, it is a violation of the code to inform. It is makes it worse when so called legislative leaders cite incorrect information. As you and I know, there is a lot of BS on the internet and people are too lazy to verify the source or story.

        I was telling my daughter about politicians believing there own BS (did not use that word). A politician will say something, the pseudo news people will repeat it without question and then a third source will repeat it again. When the politician hears it echoed back, he or she will believe the information, but in fact, he or she made it up in the first place. Senator Jon Kyl said it best when caught in a lie, “don’t confuse what I say with the truth.”

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        1. I agree that it is an issue when news people don’t check their sources or bother to get the facts. I often wonder why journalists don’t report the correct information, or both sides, when reporting on statements from politicians. Your last paragraph reminds me of the quote by Walter Langer:

          “His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.” –Psychoanalyst Walter Langer 1943

          Link:

          Walter Langer (https://roseylinn.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/walter-langer/)

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