Wednesday, April 8, 2009

J is for Judging Journalism

In editing we have been discussing news packages. Sometimes I stop and think about the power of the press. We are charged with the decision to choose the news, how to present and what photos to run with it. That’s a lot of judgment calls, but judgment in journalism also comes from ethical decisions and legal battles as well.

News judgment is potentially the greatest job an editor has. Today in my Issues in Journalism class, we discussed news judgment as it pertains to the future of newspapers. This brief article on CJR really sums up what we discussed in class today.

As a grad student, I have been taught by “old school” journalists who have instilled the core values of journalism within me. So I can understand how hard it is to transition to the new way of journalism that seems to be spreading across the Internet. Still our guest speaker said something that was quite troubling in regards to this phenomenon. She said that older journalists, who choose not to embrace the Internet and learn how to use it, will lose their jobs.

As nice as technology is, I think it is very unfair to lose the reporters who have spent their lives dedicated to public service without the Internet. Judging their journalism should be of higher rank than judging how to get it out. This is where the business model becomes more important than serving the public and that is where journalism should be judged.

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