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  1. #11

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    As far as non journalistic integrity is concerned, how about the large format maven that uses an avatar with one of those nicely constructed cameras that make postage stamp sized negatives?
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    Dear Jim,

    Thanks for an excellent and illuminating reply. 'Facet' in a superb image of the nature of journalism as is 'the truth...' versus 'the whole truth'.

    Initially I was thinking that there's quite a difference between what you do and what George and I do, but then I reflected that financial investment and photography are at least as much matters of opinion as of fact. There's probably more opinion in finance!

    Cheers,

    Roger
    Dear Roger,

    I came to financial writing via a philosophy degree, so those with a purely business background might beg to differ.

    The idea of a text as a facet of the truth lies buried in the nature of a finished piece. Even an 'exhaustive' account still can't take everything into consideration, and my aim is to arm the reader enough to take some factors into account when making a decision - something both of our articles have done.

    That said, it still takes some intelligence on the reader's part to do something with what's been said and not be upset with what's been left out. I learned much about LF photography from your works (thank you!) but even that wasn't enough to warn me about dark slides flying away on very windy days. I blamed myself for not being attentive (it could have been written in there), not for you failing to mention it in what I read.

    In my opinion, any article that focuses on presenting information, as opposed to a point of view, is roughly the same - one needs to be clear as well as identify opinion and fact, and have a sufficient scope. In this case it doesn't matter much if it is a Kiev camera, City of Kyiv Eurobond, or a photo of Kyiv/Kiev. If you want to persuade people to buy it, believe in it or tear it down and start all over again, it becomes a diferent sort of writing, at least from my limited experience in copy writing. It's a matter of looking at writing by function, not topic.


    One related question, is taking one's audience into consideration a part of integrity as well? The focus on integrity is usually on the 'truth' of the matter, but what about making it understandable as well to the people you want/hope will be reading it?

    cheers,
    Jim
    The Kiev 88: Mamiya's key to success in Ukraine.

    Photography without film is like Macroeconomics without reading goat entrails, and look at the mess that got us into.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft
    I think that journalistic integrity is very hard to come by. I believe that if I were to work as a reporter for a media outlet that was either of liberal or conservative philosophy, in their general outlook, that I woukd be well aware of that fact and that it would influence the way I chose to write my article.
    Their general outlook would influence my desire to work for them in the first place.

    Out here, there are other considerations, too. I look at politics as a fascinating, life-long train wreck, and wouldn't mind covering it. My choice to write about business was formed in part because of the greater demand for articles on the subject, but also because they still haven't arrested anyone for ordering the beheading of a journalist here in 2001, though the hatchetmen, so to speak, are finally on trial.
    The Kiev 88: Mamiya's key to success in Ukraine.

    Photography without film is like Macroeconomics without reading goat entrails, and look at the mess that got us into.

  4. #14

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    I believe that my own philosophy would determine who I would like to work for. I believe that my desire to eat would make me much more flexible.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  5. #15
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    I think the size and 'power' of the medium for which you write can be a factor. The father of two of my students just won his second Pulitzer for commentary (their mother won won some years ago as well). He pulls no punches and if the paper for which he writes deserves castigation (for example, not reporting a story he feels desperately needs significant coverage), he delivers it. But the quality, humanity and depth of his writing plus the towering reputation of his employer supercede the commercial and/or political constraints that a lesser writer for a more provincial paper might feel the need to succumb to.

    Way back when I got all dithered about hi-fi, I stopped reading a "popular" audio magazine because it seemed to NEVER! find anything bad to say about anything it reviewed. Useless. I switched to a high-end oriented journal that reviewed everything it covered in perhaps way to much depth, but at least at the end the conclusions offered gave me a solid basis to make a possibly very expensive buying decision. Integrity? I sure hoped so. The manufacturers even got a forum in the magazine to rebut or comment on the review.

    Perhaps it would be good to hear from some people who hang out and are editors and/or publishers as well. Ailsa? Brooks? Others?
    John Voss

    My Blog

  6. #16
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    "I look at politics as a fascinating, life-long train wreck, and wouldn't mind covering it." This is a very nice statement about "politics" in general and gets to the crux of the issue. It seems we humans have a need to be involved in the lives of others, so politics is a logical place to work to fulfill this need. The political journalist seems to have a need to be there as well, so they have employment in a symbiotic relationship, sort of like the relationship between a critic and an artist.

    "I believe that my own philosophy would determine who I would like to work for. I believe that my desire to eat would make me much more flexible." Claire, well stated. We do need to eat, don't we?

    For me, a journalist with integrity has the ability to be factual within the context and history of his story. This is a difficult task, because context and history are so vast and human experience is so limited. tim

  7. #17
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    If a publisher, editor, or writer puts ideology ahead of truth, it is not journalism, it is propoganda.

    The american obsession over conservative/liberal bias is simply an excuse to sandbag the truth. But most 'bias' is just the result of laziness and lack of character. Even a simple story involves hard work.

    The responsibility of a writer or photographer is to find the truth of a story and report it. It is really THAT simple. Errors happen, oversights occur, decisions have to be made: that is the reality of being finite beings existing within an infinite reality. But when a journalist is accountable and responisble for his words, and morally committed to telling the truth, that is integrity.

    It is very simple. It is the simplest thing in the world.

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  8. #18
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    I guess my current feelings about "journalistic integrity" fall toward the dark end of the spectrum, as well. While I used to think it really meant something, it has probably always been a well-promoted fiction. Even the best-intentioned journalist can usually only present a truth, not the truth, and the whole truth is well beyond the scope of any reporting. Even history books aren't much better.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  9. #19
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    Oxymoron?




    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  10. #20

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    Thanks everyone.

    I find it intriguing that there still seem to be people who believe that there is a single truth that can be accurately analyzed and comprehensively reported. Where is this 'truth' that the journalist is supposed to discover? And what pictures is the photographer 'supposed' to take?

    Sure, it's a lie to say that something has happened when it hasn't, or that it hasn't happened when it has; but life is not always that simple. Consider the following statement and question:

    A terrorist is someone who tries to overthrow a legitimately constituted government.

    What was it George Washington was trying to do?

    Or look at the situation in the Near East as (a) an Israeli or (b) a Palestinian.

    Most people would agree that it's no lie to report 90 per cent of a story because you can't get it all in. But what about 80 per cent... 70 per cent... 30 per cent... 10 per cent...?

    As for Michael's suggestion, I'd have to agree with him but add that in journalism it can sometimes be hard to tell an oxymoron from a common or garden moron.

    Cheers,

    Roger

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