Monday, September 16, 2013

Discussion Question for 9/16/13, Chapters 4-5 of Blur

Hey everyone! Hope your late Sunday night studying is going well.

In Chapter 4 of Blur, I was struck by the authors' assertion that journalism should open inquiry, and that "its purpose is deliberation of public life". While I would argue this is what distinguishes journalism from straight-up news reporting, I wonder in today's media-saturated world, which kind of journalism you prefer to consume: 
A) Journalism that reports straight news, asking few questions beyond the 5 W's and an H, or
B) Journalism that is more analysis - heavy and raises more questions than it can answer. 

I find this dichotomy compelling in context of Friday's guest lecture by Jack Mitchell, when he mentioned the difference between Thomas Jefferson's free exchange of ideas, and Walter Lippman's idea that experts should advise governments and the media should engineer consent. (Somewhat like Chomsky's idea of manufacturing consent). 

On a more personal level, I report news from time to time on WORT FM and regularly on my show at WSUM FM. Sometimes I find this distinction -  between raising legitimate questions and biased analysis - difficult to overcome. Is it ever completely possible to be neutral and completely guided by the facts? Even when you are confronted with solid evidence, there are multiple ways to interpret it given one's schemas -- right? 

I look forward to your answers below, and at discussion tomorrow. 


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