#3567 Created 03/04/2014 Updated 02/06/2018
Note: These are my notes from reading John Nerone"s "Journalism", pp. 196-208 in Simonson, et. Al, eds., Handbook of Communication History, (routledge, 2012).
Journalism is a few things:
--the discipline of producing the news
--a part of the broader academic and professional sphere of Journalism
--a part of a much broader academic and cultural sphere of literature, philosophy, and art.
(end dd adds)
Attributes (social media attributes by dd)
--periodicity (always on)
--distribution in public spaces (hybrid always-on public/private space)
--self-defined, self-supervised profession (undefined except by software, evolved practice)
--originally in early u.s. a link between Government and "consent of the governed" via postal distribution. A sore spot with Republicans. (originally a way of hooking up with friends)
--commercialization and industrialization of newspapers added 'economic advantage' to journalism's focus on 'public good' (social media ignores 'public good' as a standard, but achieves a similar effect through crowdsourcing)
--journalism added "professionalism" as counter to commercial pressure (social media ignores both professionalism and somewhat opposes commercial pressure).
--"professionalism" included emergence of journalism schools to teach 'professional practice' (social media spawns informal sharing of skills)
--individual 'bylines' added personal responsibility to individual journalist (anonymous commenting destroys personal responsibility)
--John Nerone: "Journalism as a discipline of verification was invented as a kind of negotiated settlement to a complicated three-way struggle between the public, publishers, and news-workers." (social media is a discipline of self-description,
--Journalism lacks: an underlying science, financial independence, autonomy.
--body of knowledge necessarily shared with public;
--practical, non-theoretical basis;
--a practice of craft skills; necessary broad educational grounding in humanities, social sciences;
--specialized field knowledge (i.e. political, scientific, technical);
--no external licensing or approval;
--employment dependent on organizations centered in external economics (advertising, distribution, sponsorship, partisan affiliations, etc.
--dependence on subsidized information sources;
--self-defined "ethics" and "objectivity";
Journalists individually tasked with policing own self-defined values.
Journalists tasked with middle position of responsibility for informing public, and also representing (speaking as) public (gate-keeping, agenda-setting, and issue-framing).
--lack of autonomy results in serving interests of corporations;
--inability to frame means choosing from predefined alternatives;
--inability to gate-keep leads to restating prepacked information;
--inability to set agendas means passive endorsement of existing power structures;
--functioning with commercial context serves specific governmental and business interests;