Monday morning, Dene spoke to us about the purpose and nature of journalism to start off Week 4’s Contextual and Theoretical Studies lecture.
He alludes to the fact that ‘truth’ is merely a constructed ideal we deem ‘correct’ based on cultural and external conditioning. How do we judge what is ‘truth’ and ‘untruth’? If we are biased by nature, should ‘truth’ outweigh our opinions?
“How do you get people to watch the news? Sex, Conflict, and Fear!” a news producer claimed, when asked if ‘Breaking News’ in American news coverage is always reliable and newsworthy.
If the ‘news’ we see today is to directly mirror reality, then reality in itself is a fabricated ideal. What catches our attention, sadly, is sex, conflict, and fear.
I suppose what is important is to have sound guiding principles to live by—ones you are convinced by. That way, whatever ‘truth’ you encounter, you won’t be blinded or misguided by sex, conflict or fear.
Background: We were discussing journalism and truthiness in CTS today, and were tasked with attempting a tabloid-style short piece based on the lecture and the short video we watched where Breaking News in American news broadcasting was questioned for being merely attention-grabbing nonsense.
The format we were introduced to was the Inverted Pyramid Format, as seen in my notes below:
Starting your tabloid-style short piece with the asking the questions “Who, What Where, When and Why?” will immediately pull the reader in because you provide key information about your story upfront. Next, you approach the story with your own unique angle, and then support this with quotes or other pieces of information relevant to the story. The argument comes after, maybe by you giving a counter-argument of some sort. After that, you can provide other paragraphs of information, but the article is somewhat complete and you can end it whenever.