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Reading Response #12 – Pulling it all together

1. Comment on to how author Mark Deuze (Chapter 5 – Journalism,  in Media Work) sees journalism today and in the future and how his views are similar or dissimilar to your own.
2. Based on all your work this semester – the readings, guest speakers, critique postings and assignments – what does it mean to be a journalist today? In the future?  I saw this use of a vine video on the news this week.
3. Based on your answer to #2, do you have suggestions for ways the Journalism department should tweak its curriculum for the next generation of journalists-in-training?
As usual, don’t answer in a vacuum but feel free to also comment on your classmates’ postings.

Don’t forget to post your responses by Tuesday 11/26 @11:59p.

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  1. Olivia La Bianca Olivia La Bianca

    What does it mean to be a journalist? I don’t think that this is something that can be answered in a blog post comment, by any means. The field, at first something I viewed as something very simple and uniform, has taken on a whole new set of facets after this semester.

    Taking journalism and inserting it into other areas of interest – through games, social media, etc. – seems to be on the rise, which is definitely something that the department should take into consideration when tweaking their programs.

    Being well versed in online communication was emphasized strongly throughout this course, more so than good writing skills or good interviewing skills, or anything the more “traditional” courses may have focused on. While this definitely pounded into my head the importance of social media and the shift in focus in newsrooms around the world, I would strongly encourage the department not to completely leave behind the basics.

    What does it mean to be a journalist? I think it means to be aware, and to share that awareness with others regardless of the medium.

  2. Lucas Rodgers Lucas Rodgers

    I generally agree with Deuze’s views on the present and future of journalism. The industry is definitely going through some major changes, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to define journalism. Traditional journalism may be coming to an end, but the practice will adapt and survive, as it always has. The idea of “network journalism” seems like it will shape the future, along with backpack journalism. Journalists will need to utilize multimedia, social networks, programming, etc. to distribute news. One of the downsides to this, which I think Deuze touches upon, is that journalists will have to do more and more work for less and less pay. One of the reasons I chose to study journalism, was because I didn’t like the idea of being a “mouse monkey” stuck behind a computer all day. I think keeping up with social media is quite exhausting, and sometimes I wish I could just forget about all of the ‘online presence’ stuff. Despite this, I still think that news games might be appealing. Deuze seems to believe that news games will become a more prominent part of journalism in the future. It would be a good way to combine journalism and game development into projects that could lead to new and more compelling ways to tell news stories.
    Whenever I hear the question: What does it mean to be a journalist?, I think of George Orwell’s quote: “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations.” Of course, that’s a rather narrow definition for journalism by today’s standards, but I think the idea behind the quote is still very relevant. Investigative journalism is dying in the U.S. and throughout the world, and this is a very bad omen for democracy. I think it’s a journalist’s duty to hold accountable those in positions of authority, be them government officials, corporations, or powerful and influential individuals. A journalist needs to tell the truth, and inform the public of matters that rightfully concern them, but may not necessarily be what they want to hear. The growing amount of commercialism in journalism has led news organizations to become more entertainment-oriented and, avoid reporting on serious, controversial issues. Journalists need to avoid the pressures toward self-censorship, that come from the massive conglomerations of media. Basically, a journalist is a storyteller, first and foremost. These days, there are many different ways to tell a story, but ideally the stories will always be truthful, objective and beneficial to society and democracy.
    As for ways for the journalism department to improve its curriculum, I agree with Olivia that the basic skills and ethics of traditional journalism should always be taught. In addition to this, students should be able to learn at least a little bit of every different medium. I imagine that offering some courses with more of a focus on data journalism and programming will ultimately help future journalists as well.

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