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stylized stories focusing on entertainment and lifestyle issues (Sherr and Staples, 2004).
Such facile ‘‘solutions,’’ however, may misdiagnose the problem. Buckingham (2000), for
example, argues that formal stylistics ultimately fail to engage young people. Sherr and
Staples’ (2004, p. 19) focus-group interviews suggest that the nature of the journalists *
their mode of reporting and claim to authority * is one of the critical issues. If Walter
Cronkite was once considered the most trusted person in America, today the ‘‘convention
of the older man in a suit speaking in a formal manner is anathema to young viewers’ view
of the world.’’ In an age in which comedian Jon Stewart has become one of the most
important newscaster in the United States, Sherr and Staples’ interviewees ‘‘expressed
disdain for the major network news anchors’’ and made it clear that the ‘‘traditional,
straight-faced method of delivering the news is unfamiliar and unappealing’’ (2004, p. 23,
As young people continue to turn away from news, the issue of journalistic authority
is now in play in profound ways. Bill Moyers recognized the point in his interview with Jon
Stewart. ‘‘When I report the news on this broadcast,’’ he said, ‘‘people say I’m making it up.
When you make it up, they say you’re telling the truth’’ (PBS, 2003). For many, the
traditional newscaster has lost credibility, but the comedian speaks truth. Mindich (2005,
p. 7) worries when he hears students refer to ‘‘journalists like David Letterman.’’ Letterman
is no journalist, but the point remains that exactly what is a journalist * or, more
specifically, who can command journalistic authority in a hypermediated age * has
become a central problematic. Rosen (2003) argues we are undergoing a ‘‘revolution in
journalistic authority,’’ a time in which the ‘‘system of trust’’ that undergirds the journalistic
endeavor is radically changing. MTV News’s Choose or Lose series offers an entry point into
the discussion, a window through which to consider the possibilities of journalistic
authority in an evolving media environment.
Although for many, MTV News is...
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2014 for the course ARTEDUC 2367.03 taught by Professor Tiffanylewis during the Spring '14 term at Ohio State.
- Spring '14
- The Land