Ethics

Journalists don’t have to break legal laws to break ethical laws. That’s the biggest take-away from this chapter. Also, that there is a distinction between journalists and the mass media when it comes to both work and ethics.

These different ethical philosophies best summarize what journalists are meant to uphold when reporting:

Ethics of Duty

This is for the people who believe that “the end never justifies the means.” (467) There is no gray area, it’s always wrong to lie, ect. The news must be reported regardless of consequences.

Ethics of Final Ends or Consequences

This time around, the ends can justify the means. Things become relative and more gray, and right v wrong comes into question. To protect someone from harm is above all most important, even if it is difficult.

Ethics of Specific Acts

This sections gets the deepest on different types of situations, and reasonably so.

No Moral Absolutes – each situation is unique and requires its own code of ethics

Love of Neighbor – put people first in every ethical dilemma. Basically, utilitarianism

Ayn Rand’s Rational Self- Interest – also called ‘ethical egoism,’ can be very shocking and has little sensitivity to others

 

Source: NR

Media Law

As someone who has a possible interest working in media, and uses media everyday, knowing its laws are important.

The first amendment is clear to me already, and I had a godsend high school journalism teacher who made us understand our rights as student journalists. Of course that was three years ago, but the importance of the first amendment is clear.

The Freedom of Information Act (1966) and the later Electronic Freedom of Information Act (1996) both contribute to improved access to information. In 2008 the process was amended again so request processes could be done more easily.

Open meeting lays, or sunshine lays, requite “the public’s business to be conducted in public.” (445) Understandably, not everything is the business of the public, so can be kept private.

Since I understand invasion of privacy laws, copyright laws and other parts of this chapter, I’m going to focus in on something else specifically in this chapter.

People are obsessed with reputation, and reasonably so. Libel’s strict punishment and rejection in the world of journalism reflects this concern. The example used in  the textbook News: Reporting and Writing helps to further define attacks of hatred, contempt or ridicule versus just nasty comments. If anything was considered false, the trial would have ended there on basis of libel.

“Truth is the best defense against libel.” (446)

There are a few politicians, and people in general, who probably need to read this line more than others. It’s the reporter’s job to know what the truth is in order to properly line it up with how a person is presenting themselves to the public. To make sure this happens reporters have something called qualified privilege, which allows them to report anything anyone has said regardless of their privilege status or position without fear of being sued for libel.

The actual malice test protects journalists who print libel unknowingly, since leads can be misleading and there is always room for error. If the intent was not purposefully harmful, then it was not meant.

Source: NR

Portfolio 3

This portfolio, in alignment with two others like it, show my understanding of news writing in the context of AP style and my experiences. The first portfolio can be found here and the second here, to see my growth over time. The highlights of my strengths and analyzing my weaknesses will give context to what I’ve learned. 

 

Depth – In my post ‘Finding News within the News’ going quote-by- quote I was genuinely understanding what the book was saying. I was engaged in the content topic. It shows a deeper understanding of what’s being written and why, along with how to spot different types of journalism that might not always be in the best interest of the reader.

Seeing as I have only covered local beats, and will probably continue to do so for both this class and any contributions I make to the Setonian, I know understanding them is going to be critical for me. That’s why I was thorough in my reflection on the chapter that covered them: wanting to get the most out of what I know I am going to use.

When it came to news narrative types, I didn’t quite understand there are different ways to present the news besides a strict inverted pyramid, so seeing these different types all explained in detail on both how to spot and write them made me understand more what I was writing, how and why. Each type has it’s own paragraph because I was slightly taken aback with this new information.

Riskiness – This note-like format was a risk for me, seeing as I didn’t know how to go about it. I wanted to keep a detailed log about finding news within the news not only for it’s usefulness, but also because I found it interesting. Certain parts also stuck out to me, and I felt the need to quote the text exactly rather than simply paraphrase, and so this post occurred.

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/rpalmisano/2015/10/19/covering-the-most-important-local-beats/

Intertextuality – The sheer amount of hyperlinks involved in this post is enough to show how engaged and curious I was about this tragic story, mostly because I didn’t know it happened. I took it as a lesson on what may happen if I don’t make a conscience effort to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the world outside of my own personal studies. 

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/rpalmisano/2015/10/09/finding-the-news-within-the-news/

Discussion – The response to this post was more than I expected, which is to say I received any sort of feedback. My genuine curiosity and bewilderment of the shooting prompted a conversation between my classmates I was not anticipating, others able to relate to my own findings and perspective on how the media handled this event both in articles and social media.

Timeliness – These two posts are not particularly inspired, but do show that I understand deadlines and responsibilities.

Coverage – The Upmqua shooting really caught my attention, and I wanted to give it as much attention as it deserved. Using outside sources I put together what had happened.

Although this isn’t the kind of article I am going to write for my next piece, I still took the time to understand what was happening in this post about a dramatic zoologist love triangle. I can use what the article has to offer to my advantage, so tried my best to cover all aspects of it. The interesting story helped, as well.

One of my most recent posts in an actual article, and I would like to think I covered my Homecoming preview to the best of my abilities and resources at the time. Not all of my interviews had gotten back to me in time, a lesson I learned to deal with in this piece. I would still like to think I did a good job using the quotes I had and information I could gather.

 

Some posts are obviously stronger than others, but amount of times many posts rose to the top surprised even me. I didn’t realize how much I grew as a writer and have slipped into the rhythm of journalism, or at least writing about it. I still have more to work on, and would like to expand my time-management skills into getting my work polished and having more conversations sparked and had. 

Seton Hill University’s Halloween Ca-BOO-ret

Seton Hill’s Student Theater Arts Council (STAC) is holding its annual Halloween-themed Ca-boo-ret. The event is this Sunday at Seton Hill University’s Performing Arts Center at 7 pm.

What goes on to put together this talent display is in the hands of STAC and the people it decides to let host. This year’s hosts are STAC president Kaylee Hansberry and STAC secretary Sarah Celli.

Previous years have included everything from corny conversations to the hosts recreating Saturday Night Live skits. This year look forward to Hansberry and Celli switching things up by truly embracing the Halloween spirit.

“We want to go as duos, we want to work with costumes,” said Hansberry.

Costume contest for the participants will take place, the panel of judges including Associate Professor of Theatre Denise Pullen and Theater Assistant Professor of Dance Stephen Zubal. With each piece a costume is encouraged to match by the performer, although audience costumes are just as welcome.

“It can be performance majors, or it can be just regular students,” Celli said about who to expect at the show. STAC encourages all students to sign up for future cabarets as the opportunities arise.

With only one rehearsal before curtain, strict deadlines are the first defense against previous years’ fiascos of last-minute drop outs and sheet music mishaps. This year will hopefully be smoothest yet for Evan Bellas, a student at SHU who has previously played the piano for the cabarets.

 

Follow the live-tweet @RickiPalmisano using #SHUEL227 and #caBOOret2k15.

Working in Public Relations

Public relations is very different than traditional journalism in one major way: it is very, very bias.

The whole point of public relations is to persuade a reader that the thing being read about is one way or another, usually positive. The best writers will shine a positive light even on the smallest of facts, just to keep the reader’s trust.

Source: NR

Other Types of Local Stories

Prepping for a local crime is what interested me the most. I didn’t realize how much work it would take, but proximity demands treading carefully.

There are three basic sources to check first: police officials/reports, victim, and witnesses. Supplies to bring to a scene may include: recorder, camera, and old fashioned pencil and pad. Smartphones are the best tool to have when reporting a crime scene in order to keep the story as up-to-date as possible.

Know the story, but be sensitive about the facts at first. Don’t give away details unless the story is sure-fire. Once again: verify or duck.

Source: NR

Article Model

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/zoo-meerkat-expert-sentenced-over-assault-on-monkey-handler/2015/10/14/67ba3d42-728c-11e5-ba14-318f8e87a2fc_story.html

The cutline for this article is kind of amazing. It describes who I am looking at, then promptly why she matters and fits into the larger scheme of things. It turns an otherwise ordinary photo into an extraordinary one.

The lead, “A former meerkat expert at London Zoo has been ordered to pay compensation to a monkey handler she attacked with a wine glass in a love spat over a llama-keeper,” immediately grabs my attention. That doesn’t happen everyday, much less ever. Using animals as a description adds humor to the whole situation, making it almost seem unreal. Seems stranger than fiction, really.

Putting quotes around “nasty” allows the reader to understand this is just a colloquial term, and adds even more humor to the situation. It gives more dialogue to the story, as well.

The unusual situation makes this newsworthy, the titles of these people alone wonderful, much less all in one sentence. This also brings up the politics of workplace dating, however, and reels even more potential readers in.

Source: Article Model

Covering the Most Important Local Beats

When finding people, titles are “unimportant,” only relevant once you need to write the article. (299) Who knows the information isn’t as important as the fact that they simply know it. Information on how an organization works can also be seen in a budget, showing which places more resources are given to. After all, money is power and power is politics.

Understanding how local governments work is a big part of this kind of reporting. There are many positions to keep track of, and decisions will be more easily seen at a local level.

Schools are yet another structure to know. Testing has become core, so understand what the scores mean when compared and look for other ways to judge a school, such as college attendance and publishing standards. What is pay like? Does this reflect on the administration or the teachers the school has?

Higher Education complicates things even more. Politics, finances, and pedagogy are heavy on college campuses. One doesn’t even have to leave campus to have plenty of great leads, I know this just as well. Even reading the Setonian it’s obvious.

Right now, reporting on the police is a lot to handle. Getting rid of any stigmas and lore about police is the first step to writing a good, unbias story. Trying to fit in allows others to trust quicker, understanding when things look similar. Encouraging gossip caught me off-guard, but it makes sense in a police station if I want a good story. Remember: verify or duck!

Yes, sports does–apparently–count as beat reporting. Just like everything else, getting the “why” and “how” of a game is important.

Source: NR

Article Inspiration 1

http://www.denverpost.com/informants/ci_27954528/colorado-gang-slaying-by-atf-informant-shows-perils

This is part 3 of 3 in a series, but I like the way it starts. The cutting up, not so much. This article is the closest I could find to how I want to write mine: witty, engaging, and tells the full story. Mine will be more time-pressed, of course.

I would like to interview a substantial amount of people for my article, since the idea I already have for it required that to some extent to avoid just turning into a review.

Source: Article Inspiration 1

Different News Narratives

Seeing as I still struggle with the Inverted Pyramid Structure, this chapter has been a God-send. It’s all about how to avoid said structure with others that will still be just as correct, although not as preferred–something I can live with.

Using my novel-writing skills can actually be useful, as it turns out. using chronology is acceptable so long as the ‘characters’ encounter complications along the way that are both interesting to the story and news-worthy. Having an outline is helpful for this type, which is what I would like to do since outlining is my forte. Chronology is most accepted for “a detailed sequence of events in a story.” (222) Basically, to give all the details and how they match up.

Or, use a News Narrative. If nothing else, it’s a hybrid of Chronology and Inverted. Have the timeliness of the first without too much pressure, yet the hard-hitting news of the second without too heavy of a newsworthy story.

The Focus Structure is useful as well. It follows one person as a representative of the larger group, which to me seems a little sketchy. If anything journalism should be about getting all angles of a story, not just one as this suggests. These stories tend to be more abstract and aimed towards the reader, giving human-interest meaning to a story. The story usually has a theme to get across, and to me doesn’t sound too much like journalism as it does happening to use a real-life example in one of my creative writing or lit classes.

Source: NR