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The Mind of a Journalist
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The Mind of a Journalist
How Reporters View Themselves, Their World, and Their Craft



October 2009 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
What propels an individual into becoming a professional observer and chronicler of society, joining a group that is often targeted for criticism by the general public?

Can a journalist really have an objective view of the world and the way it operates or do journalists each operate from a specific worldview, parts of which are held in common by all journalists?

Do journalists feel they can become involved in normal social and civic activities, or is the world a detached storehouse of ideas for stories?

Is the journalist most effective on the sidelines of society, or in getting involved in the action, or taking to the field as a referee or field judge?

If journalists are so devoted to the ideals of objectivity, detachment, truth, and providing an accurate view of the world, why do so many of them leave journalism and move into public relations, media consulting, and advertising?

These are just some of the issues explored in The Mind of a Journalist: How Reporters See Themselves, Their Stories, and the World. For students and would-be journalists, this book analyzes the rational processes journalists use in defining themselves, their world, and their relation to that world.

Written by veteran journalist and noted professor Jim Willis, with many observations from working and recently retired journalists from both print and broadcast, the goal of the book is to put this discussion of journalist thinking into the classroom (alongside discussion of reporting and writing techniques). Ultimately, the book provides added insights to how journalists think and why they do what they do.

Features & Benefits:

Included throughout the book are many observations/interviews from working journalists at such media outlets as: The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, CNN, The Memphis Commercial-Appeal, WRTV Television in Indianapolis, and The Daily Oklahoman. A running single-story example (President's Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003) shows how the same story was treated by several different journalist mindsets, and thereby examining how these different mindsets defined the issues of truth, ethics, and legality for this story.

 
Foreword: The Thinking Journalist
 
Chapter 1: The Lure of Journalism
The Love of Reading and Writing

 
An Intense Curiosity

 
A Desire to Contribute

 
The Independence Factor

 
Being on the Inside

 
The Challenges of Going Deeper

 
 
Chapter 2: The Priesthood of Journalists
Journalism as the Fourth Estate

 
Learning the Ropes

 
The Separated Journalist

 
Journalists as Advocates

 
Feeling the Pulse

 
Granting Confidentiality

 
Legal Ramifications of Confidentiality

 
Editors Discourage Confidentiality

 
Anonymous Sources in Washington

 
 
Chapter 3: The Journalist's View of the World
The Journalist and Worldviews

 
The Importance of Time

 
News as a Reflection of the World

 
The Concept of Ethnocentrism

 
Cultural Immersion

 
The Risk of Involvement

 
The Concept of Ambiguity

 
Diversity Among Journalists

 
The Socialization of Journalists

 
Beliefs, Attitudes, and Values

 
 
Chapter 4: Journalists, Theory, and Ethics
The Pragmatics of Journalism

 
Media Effects

 
A Primer in Media Theory

 
The Question of Objectivity

 
Ethics and Journalists

 
Fabricating News

 
Credibility as "Currency of the Realm"

 
Encouraging Ethics in Politics

 
Diversity in the Newsroom

 
Separating Business From Journalism

 
 
Chapter 5: The Journalist as an Ideologue
Revisiting Objectivity

 
The Subjective Prisms of Cultures

 
Enduring Values

 
Journalists and Politics

 
What the Data Reveal

 
Serving as the Victims' Voice

 
Reports, Inferences, and Judgments

 
Where Passion Enters In

 
Op-Ed News

 
 
Chapter 6: The Journalist and Faith
A Reluctant Story

 
Top Religion Stories for 2007

 
Resources for Religion Writers

 
An Interesting Study

 
A Journalist's Own Religion

 
Faith-Based Journalistic Organizations

 
Faith-Based Media

 
Stepping Into Another's Faith

 
An Ongoing Tension

 
A Final Thought

 
 
Chapter 7: The Journalist as Celebrity
An Obsession with Celebrity

 
USC Targets the Issue

 
Celebrity Journalists

 
Critics From Within

 
A Double Standard, an Expected Deference

 
Katie Couric's New Persona

 
Cooper's Emotional Journalism

 
A Possible Distortion

 
The Latest in a Trend?

 
 
Chapter 8: Questions Vexing Journalists
A Young Journalist Weighs In

 
One Frustrated Anchor

 
Rays of Hope

 
Some Stay, Some Move On

 
 
Epilogue: Reporting From Iraq: Journalists Talk About Covering War
 
Afterword: A Personal Odyssey
 
Appendix 1: Covering Katrina: On Taking It Personally
 
Appendix 2: Thirteen Unique Journalists
 
Selected Bibliography
 
Index
 
About the Author

This book will be essential for the level 3 course, it has so much in depth information explaining how students need to behave

Miss Rachael Rodgers
Digital media , Doncaster College
January 10, 2014

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412954570
£43.99

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