Joy Jenkins and Mimi Perreault, University of Missouri
As journalism schools focus on providing students with practical training for a changing media environment, immersive education structured in real-world newsrooms can serve as a learning lab.
Studies have suggested that teaching approaches that allow students to engage with community members within an established network (Barabasi 2003; Beckett 2008; Castells 2000; Jarvis 2006), rather than creating content with an imagined audience in mind, can enhance students’ understanding of journalism’s democratic function as a component of news literacy (Mensing 2010). This emphasis may also introduce students to newswork incorporating the values of civic journalism, as socialization within newsrooms has shown to play a key role in journalists’ acceptance of these practices (McDevitt, Gassaway, and Perez 2002). Although journalism programs have used hands-on experiences to instill tacit knowledge of the roles and functions of public journalism and develop more civic-minded practitioners (Haas 2000; Nip 2007), public-journalism training should also incorporate multimedia techniques. Further, multiplatform approaches to storytelling should allow students to apply a variety of converged skills while also interacting with audiences (Condra 2006), opportunities that professional media environments can easily provide…..
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Julie Frechette, Worcester State University, Worcester MA
By devising critical news literacy frameworks centered on networked environments, this article will evaluate the benefits and draw- backs associated with new informational sources, as well as their emerging symbiotic relationship. Studies on generational changes in news acquisition tend to dichotomise each medium (print vs. social media) along old vs. new technology and trends. Rather than create artificial dualisms between old media / traditional journalism and new media / emerging social media, the approach herein offers a more complicated and nuanced notion of critical news literacy. News literacy models must acknowledge and address the porosity of legacy news outlets and social media as they work symbiotically in the Digital Age to distribute and constitute contemporary forms of news and networks.
The goal is to widen the scope of news literacy paradigms to better ad- dress the transformational shifts that are occurring within the production and dissemination of news in society. Using a critical approach, news literacy must carefully consider the gains of local-to-global news enabled through social media and networked environments, as well as how the loss of traditional print newspapers may affect the viability of an informed and engaged citizenry as the virtual transformation of society is rapidly altering the fabric of American democracy. Similarly, news literacy re- quires a critical understanding of internet access and the digital divide in order to address how the rising prominence of information in the digital age impacts those who do not have the social and economic affordances of technology in their daily work and life.
Keywords: News literacy, civic journalism, social media, newspapers, democracy, net- worked environments, digital divide.
Seth Ashley, Boise State University
Surging in popularity, news literacy has tended to centre on an understanding of journalistic content and its importance for preserving democratic life. What typically receive less attention are the political, economic and cultural contexts in which news is produced. A focus on content is warranted, but examination of the institutions and structure of news media systems also is essential for developing a full appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of news content. Drawing on literature in media literacy, political economy of media, and media sociology, this paper argues for a context-centred approach to the critical analysis of news content as well as its production and consumption.
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Genesis and Dissemination: Some Thoughts Concerning Journalism as Knowledge
By Pradeep Nair, Harikrishnan Bhaskaran and Navneet Sharma all of Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamshala, India
This article attempts to explore the viability of journalism as academic research, asking the unasked question about the mandate of Journalism as theory, practice and in praxis.
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“Too Ghastly to Believe?” Liverpool, the Press and the May Blitz by Guy Hodgson, Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool endured more air raids in the Second World War than any British city other than London, suffering 2,736 casualties, with a further 1,173 in neighbour- ing areas (May Blitz, 2015). Merseyside suffered around 80 bombing raids between August 1940 and January 1942, the peak coming at the start of May 1941 when the Luftwaffe dropped 870 tons of high-explosive bombs and more than 112,000 incen- diaries over seven consecutive nights (May Blitz, 2015).
Keywords: Blitz, Liverpool, newspapers, morale, censorship
The Death of the Local Press by Mick Temple, Staffordshire University
This paper takes a clinical look at the current state of one of Britain’s most treasured artefacts – the local printed newspaper – and points the way towards the likely future.
The evidence is overwhelming: rapidly declining sales and radical cost-cutting exercises indicate the daily local printed newspaper will soon be dead. The traditional audience is also literally dying – and to most of our young people, the idea of getting news twelve hours after it has happened in a form which dirties your hands and involves felling half a forest, looks as quaint as relying on a carrier pigeon for the latest football scores. Not only that, but there has been a failure to both prepare and then adapt to the new media landscape. Responding far too late to the online revolu- tion, the conglomerates, who hesitated to invest and now offer user-unfriendly, PR-dominated and print-heavy online sites, face increasing challenges from a new breed of independent local jour- nalism. This does not mean that more considered printed assessments – perhaps a weekly digest and analysis of the last seven day’s events – will not continue and perhaps even prosper. But those who insist upon the continued health of the Evening Herald et al (and there are many within the industry who do so) are ignoring the evidence. Given this, the insistence of the main training and accreditation body on training future journalists according to the wishes of the representatives of a dying industry might seem perverse, and this article will briefly assess the implication of this for journalism educators.
Learning the Lessons of Leveson by Chris Frost, Liverpool John Moores University
The Leveson Inquiry was set up to examine the ethics of the press in the UK. It took evidence from 700 witnesses on the state of the British press and its standards and the failure of the Press Complaints Commission to combat ir- regularities and raise standards.
Most attention has been paid to policy surrounding press regulation since Leveson reported leading to the closure of the PCC and its replacement with the Independent Press Standards Organisation. However, Leveson also made it clear that regulation was not the only way to improve the culture and ethics of the press and that a sweeping change in practice was re- quired. This paper examines the effectiveness of a regu- lator in raising journalism standards and the importance of education in changing newsroom culture for raising standards in the future.
Keywords: IPSO, Independent Press Standards Organisation, PCC, Press Complaints Commission, self-regulation, press, complaints, Leveson Inquiry
Chasing the Accreditation Dream by Lily Canter, Sheffield Hallam University
A third of the UK’s 300 undergraduate and postgraduate journalism courses are accredited by at least one of the main accreditation bodies (NCTJ, BJTC, PPA) illustrating the marketing value universities place on such schemes in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Yet questions continue to be raised amongst academics and practitioners over the ongoing value and relevance of such accreditation schemes in a diversifying industry that currently places great emphasis on digital skills. This exploratory research is the first independent study to date to examine the value of accreditation to employers via interviews with 14 editors representing all sectors of the industry. The findings depict a changing landscape where writing skills and digital skills are held in equal regard and work experience takes precedent over qualifications. It also reveals that accreditation is not a key factor in the employment of entry-level journalists.
KEYWORDS: accreditation; journalism; education; employment; digital skills; professionalisation
Reporting US2012: Using Facebook to Communicate by Ann Luce and Matthew Charles, Bournemouth University
In November 2012, 300 students came together in The Media School at Bournemouth University in the UK to report the US Presidential Election, Over the course of 10 days, students published 176 articles on a rolling news website, garnering more than 20,000 hits. On election night itself, students produced 10 hours of live coverage on both TV and Radio, airing 30 pre-recorded video pack- ages and 35 pre-recorded radio packages. This extra- curricular, experiential learning project, demanded constant contact and communication. Facebook was chosen as the main method of communication throughout the six-week project. This paper explores the successes and failures of using a social network site to manage such a large project.
Keywords: Journalism, Facebook, US2012, Experiential Learning, Communication