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Media Responsibility

Media Responsibility

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Media Responsibility

Länge:
132 Seiten
1 Stunde
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Sep 22, 2000
ISBN:
9781465324566
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

The writing focuses on the responsibility media has in todays society. Too frequently, the accuracy, reliability and validity of media stories is questioned. As noted in the introduction, what is the public to believe, and what guidelines are available to weigh what is or is not true? Solid, factual reporting is freely mixed with opinions. It goes on to say that clearly the book is not designed as an unwarranted attack on conventional or tabloid reporting. Rather, its goal is intended to stir public media awareness, allowing readers to examine materials transmitted and absorbed. When we can isolate and categorize media substance, then we capably decide what is factual journalism and whats fiction.

The writing focuses on the responsibility media has in todays society. Too frequently, the accuracy, reliability and validity of media stories is questioned. As noted in the introduction, what is the public to believe, and what guidelines are available to weigh what is or is not true? Solid, factual reporting is freely mixed with opinions. It goes on to say that clearly the book is not designed as an unwarranted attack on conventional or tabloid reporting. Rather, its goal is intended to stir public media awareness, allowing readers to examine materials transmitted and absorbed. When we can isolate and categorize media substance, then we capably decide what is factual journalism and whats fiction.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Sep 22, 2000
ISBN:
9781465324566
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Richard L. Sartore studied, evaluated, and applied data, generated by a hugely diverse media system to his professional life experiences. The striking dilemma for media is how best to fairly separate truthful from deceptive reporting in an era of extremely rapid technological change. This is further accentuated by a “media culture” where intensity vies for posture, despite dubious accounts containing sporadic facts. Mr. Sartore places media exposure in perspective by transmitting an intelligible understanding of tabloid and mainstream reporting. Earning a BA and three MS degrees from the SUNY at Albany and New Paltz, he has worked on different levels of education as a teacher, counselor and administrator. Mr. Sartore, a movie screenwriter, has also produced poems, articles and seven nationwide books. Presently, Mr. Sartore is a full-time writer in Clifton Park, New York.


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Media Responsibility - Richard L. Sartore

Sartore

Copyright © 2000 by Richard L. Sartore.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

This book was printed in the United States ofAmerica.

To order additional copies of this book, contact:

Xlibris Corporation

1-888-7-XLIBRIS

www.Xlibris.com

Orders@Xlibris.com

Contents

INTRODUCTION

PART I

1

GROWTH OF TABLOIDS

2

THE MEDIA TRIALS

3

LURE OF TABLOID TELEVISION

4

MAINSTREAM VERSUS TABLOID MEDIA

PART II

5

MEDIA ETHICS AND MORALS

6

SHAPING AMERICA’S ATTITUDES

7

WHERE MEDIA FITS IN!

RESOURCES

REFERENCES

YOU CAN QUOTE ME ON THAT …"

TO DAVID AND CEI

Serious efforts have been made to utilize the practical advantages ofthe tabloid format in the production of a non—sensational newspaper, the so—called ‘clean tabloid. ‘And, of course, there have been papers which cast convention to the winds and carried the tabloid to a dizzy climax of super—sensationalism. Neither of these types has attained the permanence or success achieved by the middle—of-—the—road tabloid but both are essential to the story and both left their stamp upon American journalism..

JAZZ JOURNALISM:

The Story of the Tabloid Newspaper

-Simon Michael Bessie-(pp. 160-161)

INTRODUCTION

Tabloid and mainstream media is the target of incessant public criticism. Information is sometimes too ample or sometimes deficient. The correctness, reliability and validity of stories is questioned. What is the public to believe, and what guidelines are available to weigh what is or is not true? Solid, factual reporting is freely mixed with opinions. Increasingly, people are depending upon quick tabloid reporting, typically imprecise and ambiguous. Giant technological advances contribute to the spewing of information, but consumers lack the skills and resources necessary to decipher fact from fiction in a more competitive, commercial environment. Stories which fail to resolve situations appear especially vulnerable to criticism. Receiving information with too many unanswered questions, leads people to seek alternative media that loosely speculates on answers, any answers.

So there’s pressing inquiries regarding media mistrust, lies and deception. People mature, to a large extent, based on what media depicts. Not all media is deficient, but interesting and dependency on replacement tabloid-type news sources is increasing. The lines between mainstream media and the tabloids are blurred. While there is reasonable and reliable reporting, personal lives are tragically disrupted due to disjointed, scandalous and untrustworthy information, which increasingly leaps from the tabloids into mainstream media.

Initially the word tabloid referred only to the small size newspapers. In the 1950s and 60s, it was associated with sensationalis-tic newspapers, replete with bizarre and odd stories. Peering into the unknown was inviting to readers. Tabloids insisted they served entertainment purposes only. Yet now, when public service news is in competition with entertainment news, especially tabloid reporting, turmoil reigns. What results is a culture that confuses factual news reporting with entertainment tabloids. This hyped-up information craze is all encompassing. Distorted truths are misconstrued and hurtful. News magazines presenting scandal, often overplay instances laced with questionable facts. The long-held belief of western culture going to hell with itself, is fueled by public opinion. Although conscientious talk shows try to report and analyze newsworthy situations, they are in competition with less restrictive programs.. Some programs blend news with enticing diversions. Further perplexing are discussions where a personality appears on a conventional news program, and then surfaces on a tabloid entertainment news show.

My intent is not to write exclusively about tabloids, a sizable facet of media life. Tabloids can be better understood in relation to diverse communication mediums. Tabloids, despite a controversial position in society, do not function in isolation. The real and the imaginary have to be reconciled in order to establish an objective opinion. Tabloids and establishment media present imagery, if accepted by the reader, actually becomes truth.

Tabloid journalism is not a recent phenomenon. Sensationalism is part of news. Within the past three decades, tabloidism steadily swelled, first with supermarket tabloid sales and then tabloid television talk shows in the early 1980s. The tabloid media is under fire by critics who maintain it threatens the intellect of the audience. Further, the claim that tabloid journalism is legitimate, is contested by journalists. They believe the professional title journalist is not appropriate for a tabloid writer.

By way of definition, whether conventional or tabloid media, certain characteristics are common. Both involve mass communication. The differences between traditional and tabloid (tabs) reporting are detailed in the subsequent chapters. Are they comparable or are they completely dissimilar? How responsible are they? How do these two forms of reporting affect personal attitudes? Finally, in this technologically complex society, where exactly does traditional and tabloid journalism fit in? Clearly the book is not designed as an unwarranted attack on conventional or tabloid reporting. Rather, it’s goal is intended to stir public media awareness, allowing readers to examine materials transmitted and absorbed. When we can isolate and categorize media substance, then we capably decide what is factual journalism and what’s fiction.

Richard L. Sartore

Clifton Park, New York

PART I

THE NICHE OF TABLOIDS

The tabloid formula has proven sufficiently elastic to cover the entire range of journalistic behavior from earnest solemnity to uproarious abandon and examples of each type had achieved a measure of success. In little more than a decade, the tabloid had advanced from the tentative position of an experiment to an established place in American life.

JAZZ JOURNALISM:

The Story of the Tabloid Newspaper

-Simon Michael Bessie-

1

GROWTH OF TABLOIDS

Modern society is undergoing dramatic changes in journalism methods. Particularly noteworthy is the tabloid popularity. Sensational headlines capture readers. As incredible as it seems, you’re left with I can’t believe this! Historically, however, tabloid and mainstream journalism saturated the American tradition. Early in 1689, Boston attempted to publish a domestic American newspaper. Titled THE PRESENT STATE OF THE NEW ENGLISH AFFAIRS, the subheading stated that THIS IS PUBLISHED TO PREVENT FALSE REPORTS. The essence of newspaper history was established in bringing about the dichotomy between those who reported the news and the public. License and freedom could not be clearly categorized into good or bad. There was no organized press in early New England, but men with printing presses and experience existed. News sheets and pamphlets were published to stir up revolt against England. The first publisher of a newspaper in America was Benjamin Harris, an unsavory character who was considered a bigot and a person of poor news judgement. This was the beginning of sensational stories, similar to today’s tabloids, telling about the Mohawk Indians described in detail for showing little mercy to captives and being branded as miserable savages.

The beginning of tabloid reporting can be traced to the seventeenth-century when moralizing and puritanism was conveniently conveyed in newsprint. Outstanding events, covered in newsbooks by puritan writers like Cotton Mather, strikingly paralleled modern day tabloids. Early seventeenth century writers were concerned about reporting puritanical statements rather than researching. Although the news media continued to cover predictable and unusual events in the eighteenth century, the moralistic factor diminished, and reporting became more objective.

BACKGROUND OF TABLOIDS

Tabloids are potentially an advanced form of news reporting. Surprisingly, tabloid news is not novel and actually precedes traditional reporting. With the advent of drawings centuries ago on cave dwellings, tabloid-type illustrations were drawn upon the walls of primitive caveman dwellings. The focus has always been on the artistic and historical value of these brief illustrations, but they convey a message compatible with today’s tabloids. Expression is a form of communication. Pictures, drawings and symbols, convey a vivid picture of era events. Newspapers provide a similar public service. Pictures and words discuss what is happening to people and the world, similar to earlier tabloids. The drastic technological changes, particularly after the Civil War, brought profound changes to American society and, consequently, spurred the increased growth of tabloids. There was a significant shift from the country to the city. Rural towns declined while cities swelled. Agrarian lifestyles remained prevalent, but cities sprung up everywhere. With increasing immigration at the turn of the nineteenth century, a craving for material wealth and economic power was evident. Cities meant financial gains, fashions, entertainment and personal growth. Traditional journalism too slowly reorganized to meet this up-beat pace. Newspapers were shorter, with numerous pictures and quick accounts to match the fast paced living city style. The nineteenth century brought industrial and financial development, expanded factories, and an upsurge in power.

Not only did the later inventions of the 19th century boost journalism worldwide, but individuals adopted a rapid and speedy media. The tempo of American life increased and speed became a prominent part of American life. Thus newspapers adapted and furnish readers with appropriate news in a quick and reliable manner. As news expanded, so did the reader’s interest in different areas. Readers were not prone to

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