Courtney Borg Comms 239 Dale Cressman April 12, 2011 Take Home Exam Essay Number 1: Objectivity is the

goal that every journalist strives to maintain. Journalism¶s objectivity could be compared to the objectivity that scientists use when conducting an experiment. The idea behind this is that even though a journalist may not be objective, the method in which he obtains his information can be objective (Kovach, and Rosenstiel 83). Although we are all human and we all have our own bias, the spirit of objectivity is what a journalist strives to achieve. During the early years of American journalism, newspapers were affiliated with the various political parties of the time. The majority of the stories were filled with bias towards the party that they were affiliated with. Yet, over time the concept of ³realism´ arose during the 19th century (Kovach, and Rosesntiel 82). This concept gave the journalists in America the idea that they should drag as many of the facts out as possible and place them before the American public and be very extreme in delivering the truth. Even though today we do not use realism, objectivity developed from that realism. It is the way by which journalists develop and maintain credibility and the process by which they gather their information. All principles of journalism lead back to objectivity.

such as Anderson Cooper (Shea). the media sets the agenda for what the public thinks about and what they consider newsworthy (Brooks 27). They should search for the truth and let the facts speak for themselves and let the public decide their own opinions based off of their work. it is a journalist¶s responsibility to take a step back from their own opinions and decide whether or not they are being objective and providing relevant information to the public. they should realize that they are setting their own agenda. No matter how hard it is to write a story. With knowledge of that theory. It is my own belief that a journalist should keep their opinions separate from their work. If they are not. I believe it is important to maintain objectivity. Various journalists keep their own personal beliefs and political beliefs from public knowledge in order to maintain their objectivity. I plan to research and verify facts thoroughly and I plan to keep my ideals separate from the stories I am covering. Objectivity is what gives journalists credibility and therefore I will strive to be objective in everything write I as a journalist. . As a future journalist.Objectivity is also the separation of journalist from audience. According to the Agenda Setting Theory.

P r i nt .Works Cited Brooks. .c o o p e r c n n. 2 0 0 7 . a n d T o m R o s e ns t i e l . p a g . Brian S. Bedford / Missouri Group. T h e E l e m e n t s o f J o u r n a l i s m . c o m / 2 0 0 9 / 0 1 / 1 4 / a nd e r s o n. S h e a . Seventh Edition. " A n d e r s o n C o o p e r . e d . N e w Y o r k : C r o w n P u b l i s h i n g G r o u p .t e l l _ n_ 1 5 8 0 2 3 . hu f f i n g t o np o s t . " H u f f i n g t o n P o s t 1 4 J a n 2 0 0 9 : n. D a n n y. 1 s t R e v . et al. ht m l > . "News Reporting and Writing". 1 3 Ap r 2 0 1 1 . B i l l . We b. Page 27 Ko v a c h . < ht t p : / / w w w .. C N N T e l l I nt e r v i e w e r s : " N o p e r s o na l q u e s t io n s " .

´ A journalist needs to check their facts before publishing a . they should not deceive their audience. Hastings source was not as reliable as the source for his previous article. Yet. they need to go through the process of verifying their facts. In order for a journalist to determine what is true. or Psy-ops. It is a journalist¶s responsibility to the public to provide truthful reports. in order to ³brain wash´ top senators and representatives.Essay Number 2: In February of this year. The article also claimed that the reasoning was to obtain more funding for his operations in Afghanistan (Hastings). The Society of Professional Journalists¶ Code of Ethics states that: ³Journalists should be honest. had written a previous article about General Stanley McChrystal and that article was partly responsible for the removal of McChrystal as the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.´ and its contents claimed that General William Caldwell of the United States army was using Psychological Operations. It was titled ³Another Runaway General. The Code of Ethics states that a journalist should do the following when it comes to reporting the truth: ³Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error« Deliberate distortion is never permissible. The author. Without the truth. Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing (Society of Professional Journalists). Nothing should be added. and they should original." Providing truth is journalism. Michael Hastings. this time. reporting and interpreting information (Society of Professional Journalists). fair and courageous in gathering. an article was released in the Rolling Stone. a journalist would lose objectivity and credibility.

a journalist should avoid conflicts of interest. They should remain independent from what they are reporting. That example can be seen through several journalists across the nations who refuse to share their political beliefs and other private matters with the world. Referring back to the Code of Ethics. A journalist who is directly involved with the story they are reporting cannot report that story according to the Code of Ethics. it still is important to have facts right. The article still raised an investigation into General Caldwell. Without verifying his information. and Rosesnstiel 92). Hastings used only one source that claimed that he was trained in psy-ops (Hastings). Yet. They believe that revealing their private beliefs to their audience voids their objectivity and credibility. During a . Hastings should have verified the information that his source was giving him and used multiple sources. and Ackerman). It is one of the many ways they remain objective in writing a story. The Elements of Journalism states that a journalist must maintain independence in order to keep their focus (Kovach. Another part of providing truth to the public is being transparent. That does not mean they should not have an opinion. A journalist must remain independent from their audience. and Rosenstiel 118). but even with the investigation. the source had never been trained psy-ops was actually an Information Operations officer (Schachtman. From the beginning. real or perceived (Society of Professional Journalists). they should let a more objective journalist report the story. It is also a key to gaining credibility. the article lacked a true sense of credibility compared to his previous article. In order to remain accurate in their reporting they need to be separate from their audience. ³This responsibility requires that journalists be as open and honest with audiences as they can about what they know and what they don¶t (Kovach. but that if a conflict of interest can be found. Referring to the Rolling Stone article.news story.´ Transparency means that a journalist does not hide any information from their audience.

journalism searches for truth in the everyday life. In order for a journalist to remain objective they should be careful when reporting on stories that involve their religious beliefs. religion and journalism are similar because they are both seeking for the truth. If the story involves their religious institution. According to The Mind of a Journalist. Yet. which as stated before is against the Code of Ethics. the key to maintaining that objectivity is by being truthful. while religion searches for the answers to life. Journalists should strive to search for the truth and continue to remain objective.time where the public¶s trust of journalists is low. If remaining objective is a key part of journalism. credibility is important. how does one maintain the past principles of journalism when it comes to faith and journalism? Is it possible for a journalist to be truthful when it comes to sharing empirical truth even if it conflicts their own personal beliefs? It is important for a journalist to remain independent as previously stated. Credibility leads to trust which comes from a journalist remaining transparent. No matter what a journalist does. they need to be honest with their audience. whether it is government corruption or what is happening in Afghanistan. Yet. it could lead to personal conflicts of interests. . even though the truth they are searching for is quite different from one another (Willis).

" R o l l i n g S t o n e 2 3 F e b 2 0 1 1 : n. T ho u s a n d O a k s . < ht t p : / / w w w .i l l e g a l . N o a h. 1 3 A p r . S e n a t o r s .O p s o n U . p a g . T h e M i n d o f a J o u r n a l i s t .u . " A no t h e r R u n a w a y G e ne r a l : Ar m y D e p l o ys P s y.spj.d e p lo ys . W e b. I n c . 2 0 0 9 .g e n e r a l. Ko v a c h .a r m y. .s p i n . 1 s t R e v . P r i nt . P r i nt . B i l l . r o l l i n g s t o ne . < http://www. 2 0 0 7 . G e n e r a l ¶ s L a w ye r R u l e d . W e b.org/ethicscode. 1 3 Ap r 2 0 1 1 . T h e E l e m e n t s o f J o u r n a l i s m . a n d S p e n c e r A c k e r m a n.s . c o m / d a ng e r r o o m/ 2 0 1 1 / 0 2 / l a w ye r t o ld . M i c h a e l .asp> W i l l i s . S c h a c t ma n. C A : S A G E P u b l i c a t io ns . . S o c ie t y o f P r o f e s s i o na l J o u r na l i s t s . " µ I l l e g a l P s yo p ¶ N e it h e r I l l e g a l N o r P s yo p .h i s .p s y o p / > .o n. W i l l i a m J a m e s . w i r e d . c o m/ p o l it i c s / n e w s / a no t h e r r u n a w a y.w a s nt . N e w Y o r k : C r o w n P u b l i s h i n g G r o u p . S . a n d T o m R o s e ns t i e l . e d .s e n a t o r s .o p s . p a g .g e n e r a l. < ht t p : / / w w w . C o d e o f E t h i c s .p s y.Works Cited H a s t i n g s .2 0 1 1 0 2 2 3 > . " W i r e d 2 7 F e b 2 0 1 1 : n.

The only way to verify the facts that are coming out of that area is through the citizen journalists (Fassihi). Along with the rise of Internet publication. With less use of the traditional media outlets. The article also states that advertising revenue on the Internet mainly goes to search engines such as Google (Rosenstiel). will become an aid to journalists. The citizens¶ information will continue the public forum that . but in order for the industry to thrive. Whether it be switching to paid online subscriptions such as the New York Times is currently doing or continuing the struggle in gaining advertising revenue. Tom Rosenstiel states that one of the five myths about the future of journalism is that journalism will be fine as soon as the advertising revenue catches up (Rosenstiel). the industry needs to evolve and maintain a way to make a profit from the online news environment. The journalism industry may be heading to the online world.Essay Number 3: The rise of the Internet has produced several problems for the journalism industry. advertising revenue declines and then what is to become of journalism industry? In order for journalism to thrive in the changing environment. Citizen journalism. Citizen journalism has taken a center stage recently because the violence in the Middle East. a solution for revenue needs to be found. These outlets allow the citizens have part in the industry giving their voice and opinion on the news stories. In a recent article in the Washington Post. the online world gives citizens a part in the journalism industry through blogging and websites such as YouTube. the industry will find which method will help them gain profit in the new environment. the audience has started using the traditional news outlets less and less. As online news becomes more readily available to the public. as the journalism industry evolves to suit the change of environment.

Although there is no federal protection of journalists. they must reveal their sources. Julian . It is part of the extreme of truth by giving all of the information. questions arise over sites like WikiLeaks and over people like James O¶ Keefe. such as the Code of Ethics. If summoned to a court of law. the standard of the industry. While in the future the website could become a source for journalists. While revealing government documents is part of watchdog journalism. has endangered the lives of thousands of United States troops overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq (Mackey). Blogging and such will provide points of views that a journalist cannot share because they must remain objective. but WikiLeaks cannot be considered journalism while it has a lack of ethics associated with journalism. which is provided by the Society of Professional Journalists. Along with the rise of citizen journalism. WikiLeaks. Citizen journalists. as journalists. A normal citizen does not have to follow these of Code of Ethics because they are not subject to it because they are not considered professional journalists. they do not have the same control. under these laws. endangering parties who are not directly involved is not a part of it. do not have the luxury of the protection. The creator of WikiLeaks. various states across the nation have laws called shield laws which protect a journalist from revealing their sources in a state court. A journalist follows the Code of Ethics. Objectivity and training is what divides a journalist from the rest. on the other hand. citizen journalism is not protected. Journalists should minimize harm that could happen from their news stories and that they should realize what could happen from the release of information (Society of Professional Journalists).journalists provide. Should they be considered journalism? While both provide the truth to the public. Even under the law.

If the website was designed for the public interest. If we treat citizens with respect. after all. The methods in which O¶ Keefe has used to obtain his news stories have been questionable and surreptitious. A person who follows the code should be considered a journalist because they are following the industry¶s professional organization¶s code. It is the golden rule. I feel it is best for journalists to follow the Code of Ethics. but that does not mean he is a journalist. . As a journalist. claims that the website is designed for the public interest. he investigates organizations and tries to reveal the truth to the public. one must be ethical and follow the code of ethics provided to us by our professional organization. He has done several investigative pieces in various organizations. they in turn will treat us with respect. As a self-proclaimed muckraker. A journalist should always search for the truth and follow the Code of Ethics as they stay in that search. to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As the environment of the industry changes over time. but according to the Pew Research Center.Assange. like WikiLeaks. Being honest and transparent with citizens will help them be honest and transparent with journalists. such as the very recent sting on Planned Parenthood and even the trap with then NPR senior vice-president Ronald Schiller (Cohen). Therefore the information provided by them can be considered distorted. a journalist must avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public (Society of Professional Journalists). According to the Code of Ethics. then why do Americans believe that WikiLeaks is harmful to it? James O¶ Keefe. is an example of modern muckraking. 60% of the public believe that WikiLeaks is detrimental to the public interest (Pew Research Center).

2 0 0 7 . 2010. The Lede.org/ethicscode.com/2011/01/19/u-s-officialsreportedly-said-wikileaks-revelations-were-not-damaging/>.com/opinions/five-myths-about-the-future-ofjournalism/2011/04/05/AF5UxiuC_story. <http://pewresearch. "Five Myths About the Future of Journalism. Web. < http://www. 2011. P r i nt . Mackey. 8 Dec.C.com/article/SB1000142405274870453020 4576236463818851514. 2011. "Why Sting Operations Cheapen Public Policy Discourse. 1 s t R e v . T h e E l e m e n t s o f J o u r n a l i s m . "WikiLeaks: No Harm. 2011.html>.php?option=com_ content&view=article&id=10816:why-sting-operations-cheapen-public-policydiscourse&catid=149:rick-cohen&Itemid=991>. Web. Ko v a c h .13 Apr.washingtonpost. "Public Sees WikiLeaks as Harmful. <http://www. 1 Apr. 11 Jan.com. N e w Y o r k : C r o w n P u b l i s h i n g G r o u p . 13 Apr. New York Times. a n d T o m R o s e ns t i e l . Tom. Fassihi. World & D." The Nonprofit Quarterly(2011). Farnaz. <http://online.wsj.Washingtonpost. Rosenstiel. S o c ie t y o f P r o f e s s i o na l J o u r na l i s t s .Works Cited Cohen.nytimes.asp> .org/index." Web log post. Area News and Headlines .html>. No Foul. C o d e o f E t h i c s ." The Washington Post: National.nonprofitquarterly.org/>." Wall Street Journal. Web. "Syria Rallies Grow in Face of Threats. <http://www. Rick.spj. <http://thelede. B i l l . Web. Robert. 13 Apr. Web. e d . 2011.blogs." Pew Research Center. 2011.

Probably one of the first famous muckrakers of the . Muckraking. They need to protect the public from harm.Essay Number 4: As young reporters in 1972. Being a muckraker has always been seen as a negative term for a person. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein teamed together and revealed to the world the incidents of the Watergate scandal. societal. Their news stories led to the eventual government investigations and resignation of President Richard Nixon. muckraking was the original form of investigative journalism. could their stories be considered watchdog journalism or muckraking journalism? The idea of watchdog journalism refers to the idea that the free press is the guard for the public from tyranny. Yet. Yet these programs cannot be called watchdog because they do not do the investigations themselves nor do they focus on the ³powerful few´ (Kovach 150). became very popular during the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. According to The Elements of Journalism the watchdog principle of journalism means ³watching over the powerful few to protect the many. The tag of watchdog journalism is given to many different modern programs. such as the television program ³60 Minutes´. the muckrakers were the ones who brought about government. on the other hand. According Kovach. whether it be corporate executives or the government. In order for the program to be considered watchdog. and various other reforms such as the case of Ida Tarbell.´ The focus of watchdog journalism is purely those who are in charge. the focus needs to be on the elite who are in power. They investigated the government and revealed the truth to the American public. Yet. Those stories are one of the greatest examples of investigative journalism.

Her dedicated. personal investigation where no information could have previously been found by others. A journalist will use actual people and cover actual events. It gives a voice to those who do not have a voice among the powerful elite. Without the success of watchdog journalists such as Bob . watchdog journalism involves direct investigation and using previous investigations. While his book The Jungle revealed horrendous conditions of the meat packing industry and led to the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. they should take the government¶s information with a grain of salt and question whether or not what the government is saying is true. That is the goal of watchdog journalism. An example of a muckraker who was not a journalist would be Upton Sinclair. a journalist is responsible for letting the public know the truth. the elite. A journalist should not just rely on the government for their information. Ida Tarbell was known for investigating and reporting John D. and then they warn the public. When government breaks the law. a muckraker does not necessarily need to be a journalist. She investigated through hundreds of papers and information in order to report successfully. personal research led to her revealing Rockefeller¶s underhanded business practices to the public. They monitor them. A watchdog journalist focuses on those who are in power. Muckraking involves direct. Many believe that currently the watchdog press is dead and that journalists have become the lap dog of government (Thomas). Rockefeller¶s negative business practices in the oil industry. While watchdog journalism exclusively relies on journalists. waiting for a moment the elite overstep boundaries. The watchdog press is meant to protect the public. Yet it is a journalist¶s responsibility to provide the people with the truth.nation. all of the characters and the story line of the book were fictitious (Humane Society of America).

the government would not be in check and would run over the public that supports them. journalism should continue on reporting the corruption of the American government and revealing the truth.Woodward and Carl Bernstein. . Therefore.

Works Cited Humane Society of the United States: "The Jungle: Upton Sinclair's Roar Is Even Louder to Animal Advocates Today.com/2010/12/30/1489436/white-house-presscorps-is-a-lapdog. Not a Watchdog. Web. Carl.html>.theolympian." The Olympian. 2 0 0 7 . 2006. ." March 10. 1 s t R e v . P r i nt . "White House Press Corps Is a Lapdog. 2010. <http://www. B i l l . Thomas. a n d T o m R o s e ns t i e l . N e w Y o r k : C r o w n P u b l i s h i n g G r o u p . 30 Dec. Ko v a c h . T h e E l e m e n t s o f J o u r n a l i s m . e d .