November 03, 2005

The Animals of Journalism: Presentation on Chapter 10

"...related problems of tunnel vision and blind spots: that is, the dangers posed by looking in only on direction for an explanantion..." (163)

Hedgehogs vs. Foxes

"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." (164)

A hedgehog reporter may focus on one idea or factor, and although that one thought may be important, focusing on one aspect prevents the journalist from seeing other alternatives.

To prevent hedgehog reporting, a journalist should look at both objective and subjective indicators.

1. Of or having to do with a material object.
2. Having actual existence or reality.
3. Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices: an objective critic.
4. Based on observable phenomena; presented factually: an objective appraisal.

1. Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world: a subjective decision.
2. Particular to a given person; personal: subjective experience.
3. Relating to or determined by the mind as the subject of experience.
4. Characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind.
5. Relating to or being experience or knowledge as conditioned by personal mental characteristics or states.

Objectivity and subjectivity are "not mutually exclusive" (164). If one explanation is ignored, then the journalist can (again) become a hedgehog.

~neither personal characteristics (subjective) or objective forces are the right angle; one must take a blend of both
~hedgehog reporters may seem like the "bad guys," but they may just be trying to avoid bias when they only create more

"...inadequate and partial understandings of social problems don't help the victims or anyone else" (165)

Posted by KatherineLambert at November 3, 2005 03:38 PM

Katie, your presentation was excellent. I especially liked the way you contrasted objective and subjective journalism and showed how effective they are when combined. Great job!

Posted by: NancyGregg at November 4, 2005 12:22 PM

Thank you so much, Nancy! I was a little disappointed about the overall outcome, so I'm so glad that someone thought I did well.

Posted by: Katie Lambert at November 5, 2005 08:35 PM

Hey Katie. I thought your presentation on Ch 10 was great. You really cleared up the hedgehog reporting for me. When i was reading that I was so confused and did not know at all what it meant. But when you got up there and did your thing...i got it. Thanks for clearing things up for me, especially the objective and subjective indicators. I think that this will help me in the future of writing articles.

Posted by: Denamarie at November 8, 2005 12:23 PM


Your presentation enlightened me about the emotional fuel that we pour on fires sometimes as reporters and sometimes as private citizens.

It is important that we apply that theory to hedgehog reporting in order to fully grasp the concept.

Good Job, Lamb.

Posted by: Katie Aikins at November 10, 2005 02:59 PM
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