1Journalism is the only media enterprise thatdemocracy absolutely requires—and it is the onlymedia practice and actual business that isspecifically mentioned and protected by the U.S.Constitution.However, with the gradual decline in traditional newsaudiences, the growing criticism of a corps of EastCoast celebrity journalists, and the rise of twenty-four-hour cable news and Internet news blogs,mainstream journalists are searching for ways toreconnect with citizens.Modern Journalism in the InformationAgeFirst, in a world entangled inmedia outlets and computerhighways, we may beproducing too muchinformation.second, related problemsuggests that the amount ofinformation the media nowprovide has made littleimpact on improving publicand political life.“When watchdogs, birddogs, and bull dogs morphinto lap dogs, lazy dogs, oryellow dogs, the nation is introuble.”–Ted Stannard, former UPIreporter
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2What Is News?newsworthiness:the often unstated criteria thatjournalists use to determine which events andissues should become news reports, includingtimeliness, proximity, conflict, prominence, humaninterest, consequence, usefulness, novelty, anddeviance.news:the process of gathering information andmaking narrative reports—edited by individuals in anews organization—that create selected frames ofreference and help the public make sense ofprominent people, important events, and unusualhappenings in everyday life.Neutrality and Other Values in AmericanJournalismThe idea of respectable detachment wasn’tconceived as a moral principle so much as amarketing device.Once newspapers began to mass market themselves in themid-1880s, after steam- and rotary-powered presses madeit possible to print lots of papers and make lots of money,publishers ceased being working, opinionated journalists.They mutated instead into businessmen eager to reach thebroadest number of readers and antagonize the fewest. . .Neutrality and Other Values in AmericanJournalismReporters and editors turn some events intoreports and discard many others. Thisprocess is governed by a deeper set ofsubjective beliefs that are not neutral.