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Unformatted text preview: Review Notes Page 1 of 37 News Fans: Given that travel today is treacherous and that some of you commute, I’m going to cancel our last class and, instead, give you a guide that you can use to help prepare for the final exam on Friday Dec. 10. What’s here does NOT cover everything, but it does cover a good many of the basics. If you have specific questions beyond this, reach me by e-mail at [email protected] , but please do not ask if this or that point will be on the final. The form will be short-answer, multiple-choice and true/false. There will probably be about 100 questions. I try to cover the waterfront, about 40 percent from lectures, the rest from assigned readings. Understand the primary points and conclusions articulated by the essays and be able to tie the author to the work. You do NOT need to focus on minutiae. Pay attention to that which applies directly to news, news judgment, what makes something libelous, how to defend against a charge of libel or invasion of privacy. Lord Acton , one of the most learned and articulate men of the 19th century: Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Joseph Pulitzer said that journalists had to be among the best educated people in the country. Good journalism is based on a libertarian principle: The notion that if you know the truth you will use it to be free. Burgeoning mass of info makes journalism’s role as sorter ever more important; no longer just the gatekeeper. Reuven Frank , a famous newsman, years ago said, “News is information that someone somewhere wants suppressed. Everything else is entertainment.” Mark Twain: Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul. President John F. Kennedy called us “the last of the noble poor.” John Steinbeck — It has the greatest virtue and the greatest evil. It is the first thing a dictator controls. It is the mother of literature and the perpetrator of crap. In many cases, it is the only history we have, and yet it is the tool of the worst men. But over a long period of time and because it is the product of so many men and women, it is perhaps the purest thing we have. Honesty has a way of creeping into it, even when it was not intended. George Orwell’s famous line: Good prose is like a windowpane. Writing a news story is an exercise in decision-making. Objectivity in pure form does not exist in journalism’s real world. It can’t. The instant you decide that one thing is more important than another, objectivity is gone. Review Notes Page 2 of 37 Journalists do use a sense of objectivity in trying to determine what is true and what is not, but after that, after a set of facts has been gathered and it is time to present them, the best anyone can do is to do so fairly, efficiently and in a balanced and appealing manner....
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- Spring '08