>Journalistic Integrity in Post Modernity

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I finally got my big sister to write something on my blog. Still waiting forever on a few other family members (Hint Hint insert the rest of the family.) De Anna J. Ward is a former anchor and reporter for a CBS Affiliate. She is now the CDO for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Its weird waking up in the morning and watching your sister sitting behind a desk telling people what is going on in the news. She has offered to grace the website with a few thoughts about journalism and media in a postmodern world that I think are worth the time to read:
Back in the day when journalism was ‘pure’, I remember sitting in class learning the fundamentals of what’s expected of those who choose to work in the media. The professors talked about searching for the truth, shedding light on indecency and the improper, and giving a voice to the voiceless. Starting out at various stations, there was a thrill to uncover the ills of the world and ‘save the day’. Unfortunately, that was unrealistic and now, in the 21st century,  journalism has evolved into something completely different. Stories are driven by ratings and advertising. During the morning meetings, story line-up and discussions evolve around what the sales department has sold that day or what sponsorships needs to be highlighted. This may seem like a generalization, but it’s more of the norm than not. And in this age of new media, i.e. blogs, websites, Twitter, etc., the truth is interspersed with truth and opinion. Fact-checking is an afterthought, and full disclosure of what the basis of the story topic may be, is no longer required. The media is and always be a part of society…the question is, what will be the cost?
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8 thoughts on “>Journalistic Integrity in Post Modernity

  1. >Great article and sooo true. I too remember sitting in my mass com class learning about 'true' journalism. One thing that stuck out that a professor of mine said was "when shows like Phil Donahue and Oprah become popular shows, traditional news media is on it's way out." News is more about feelings than truth.

  2. >Stories are driven by ratings and advertisingCouldn't agree more. We are constantly calling out the mainstream media on my blog for this very reason. I think the Shirley Sherrod story was a tangible wake-up call for a lot of journalists that their profession had gone too far and needs to readjust it's compass.

  3. >Wonderful input!! When you watch the news or listen to media of some other sort, there is always something that is left to question. I had first hand experience when an incident happended in my home several years ago. Everything that was told was partial truth and it hurt our family in a sense. Thank God that the impact of what was misinterpreted by the media didn't have a lasting negative effect on my family.

  4. >As a television news anchor and reporter with more than 15 years experience, I can say that I've seen this unfortunate tale evolve in some places. I'm grateful to say it hasn't happened at my station yet… Our newsroom fiercely protects our ability to cover news without the bias of the sales department. Our general manager and sales manager operate with a hands-off approach to news being careful not to influence us towards or away from a story because of any "vested" interest the station may or may not have.Having said that, the concern I DO have at our station is the infiltration of modern technology and doing MORE with LESS. It's become a little frightening. Gone are the days of true photojournalism, which I believe encompasses the art of telling a good story through good VIDEO AND WORDS. Now, we're moving to "one-man bands" or "multi-media jounalists" where we hand "kids" and sometimes veteran reporters a less than quality video camera and tell them to shoot their own story. Quality is certain to suffer when you do this and has. We're being told in this Youtube generation that the viewer doesn't care so much about quality video anymore and thus the push toward quanity and inflating the story counts is stressed. Instead of 5 QUALITY stories in a block of the newscast, producers are being pushed to squeeze 10 and even more stories into a block touching on many more subjects but offering MUCH less depth on those stories than what we offered once upon a time…I could go on and on, but I certainly agree with Ms. Ward, television journalism is not what it used to be! Viewers must demand better or this downward spiral will continue.

  5. >Very true. I especially agree with the part that spoke to how truth is interspersed with truth and opinion. We are certainly living in a time of relativity. Truth is being watered down to the point that those who are addicted to political correctness are getting their fix regularly. Truth must be sought out and defended. The question is… Who will do it?

  6. >I'm still trying to figure out navigate on your site. LOL. You saw this true with the incident at our church. The news was reporting one thing and then when you talk to "trustworthy" people, their story was different. Sometimes it can be hard to get the "truth" because people add more to a story then it really is.

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