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The Mind of a Journalist

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
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

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