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  1. #31
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWGirl
    I think Michael has nailed it right here...we are all influenced by the way we look at things, and interpret them. While I agree that there is rarely, if ever 'truth' in all things human, I believe there are facts... even though pinpointing a fact is like solving a calculus limits problem...you may never actually get the number, but you can get close enough for all practical purposes.

    So it may be more practical to define Journalistic Integrity not as a reporting of 'truth' but as a reporting of facts without undo influence of personal point of view. "A red car approached the STOP sign, but did not come to a complete stop before entering the intersection." That is a fact, uninhibited by personal influence. It has more journalistic integrity than "A red car driven by an inattentive kid (who was probably talking on his cell phone) just blew right through the STOP sign." Now that last statement might have been a lot closer to the facts of the situation, but our ability to trust the integrity of the last report is diminished by things that can not be proven.

    So... to make a short story long what I am trying to say is that our perception of journalistic integrity is actually our ability to trust what the writer says. Phew!
    Credibilty is very important to any news gathering organization. You as a reader have to decide... is your local paper credible, are the national papers (NYTimes, WSJ, USAToday) credible, are the national newsmagazines (Time, Newsweek, U.S.News) credible? If they have to rely on a lot of photo manipulation, then perhaps not. And, as a former photography editor at one of those magazines... writers can always be a little out of focus, but not the photographers. Those guys worked very hard. I had enormous respect for them.

    Probably best to read all three thoroughly, supplement with some independant outlets... and IGNORE tv news!!

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy
    "... Probably best to read all three thoroughly, supplement with some independant outlets... and IGNORE tv news...!"
    You've got that right! TV news? Now there's an oxymoron! But this isn't really journalistic integrity. This is editorial integrity. And I think it's a much bigger issue.

    I haven't owned a TV for decades, and when I do watch it (usually at a friend's), I'm flabbergasted at what passes for "news." I continually ask myself, "Why did they choose to report this particular story?" "Who decided we should be informed of that event?" "Why should we care what that lunatic thinks and says?" Is it simply because he/she called a press conference? The simple act of reporting what some nut job thinks and says... gives the jerk credibility!

    Conversely... which stories did they decide were not "newsworthy?" That is to say, which stories don't they want to inform us about. If they tell us about it... it happened. If we don't know about it... it didn't happen. In other words, the media create the news by choosing what to report or not report. So, to get a more complete picture, I find I have to listen to NPR/BBC and Rush Limbaugh. Same event -- completely different stories. Can't believe either one entirely. Each gives me only half a story and between them I try to figger out what's really happening.

  3. #33
    George Papantoniou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft
    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?
    From Wikipedia:

    A maven (also mavin or mayvin) is an expert in a particular field, usually one who is self-appointed and who seeks to pass his knowledge on to others.

    In network and social theory, a maven is someone who has a disproportionate influence on other members of the network. The role of mavens in propagating knowledge and preferences has been established in various domains, from politics to social trends.

    ???????????????????????? am I a maven ??????????

  4. #34
    George Papantoniou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    You gave your opinion. That has nothing to do with truth.
    Yes, but journalistic integrity is also about telling what you REALLY think (you true opinion) about something, isn't it ? In "critique" articles (art critique, for instance) there is no single truth, but there are sincere and not-so-sincere "opinions". I often read film reviews and I am sure I can tell which ones are influenced by the film distributor's pressure to the Editor (and the critic) and which are not.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    And did anyone ever trust journalists? When was this golden age when journalists told the truth and were universally believed and admired?
    I think they did. I used to collect old newspapers. I have several going back to the 1900s. When you read them the big difference is that, with the exception of wartime papers, they report what happened without any political slant or opinionising on the part of the journalist. Just straightforward stories. The only political opinions in those papers are on the editorial page.


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

  6. #36

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    George has an important point here. Part of a journalist's job is to make his work interesting. A cynic, indeed, might say it's the only part. Few readers (and no editors) would pay for a camera review which recited only the bare facts -- the shutter speed range, the lens aperture, the weight, etc. -- as these are available from the manufacturer. They want to know what it's 'really like', as it, "The new Matzoflex is huge and butt-ugly, and the controls move with all the smoothness of a crowbar through a bucket of rusty bolts," or "This is one of those cameras that just fits naturally into your hands, with all the controls where you expect them and operating with a buttery smoothness."

    Tell me which of these statements are opinions, and which are facts.

    As for Jeanette's well-observed post, it's dead easy to introduce exactly the same bias while retaining the illusion of 'facts' for the uncritical reader. "John Smith, who saw the event, said "I was just about to cross. The driver was on his cell-phone and didn't even slow down. Another two seconds and..." Then "Police confirmed that the driver, Fred Bloggs, is 18 and only passed his driving test three weeks ago, and estimated his speed at 55 miles an hour in a 30 zone."

    Another question is for those who distrust journalists. Whom do you trust, universally and as a group? Politicians? Policemen? Priests? Software designers? Enron executives?If I were generalizing at all -- which I hesitate to do in this situation -- I think I'd put journalists as a group slightly above average in the trustworthiness stakes, because they seldom have as much to gain from distorting the truth.

    Cheers,

    Roger
    Last edited by Roger Hicks; 05-26-2006 at 02:20 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: mistype

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks

    Another question is for those who distrust journalists. Whom do you trust, universally and as a group? Politicians? Policemen? Priests? Software designers? Enron executives?If I were generalizing at all -- which I hesitate to do in this situation -- I think I'd put journalists as a group slightly above average in the trustworthiness stakes, because they seldom have as much to gain from distorting the truth.

    Cheers,

    Roger
    Sometimes they have alot to gain from distorting the truth, or more often alot to fear from not distorting it. A little noteriety for someone who aims low, both in goals and kicks, feeds petty scribblers well enough.

    Funny enough, one of my articles recently was on the banking system in Lithuania (yes, they have a banking industry in Lithuania). One point emphasized by every banker I met was that the banking regulator, the National Bank of Lithuania, has a higher level of trust in nationwide public polls than churches there. Maybe there's alot of athiests, maybe the central bank has managed to maintain its integrity before the public.

    This was a fact that I reported, but a fact of an opinion. Or is it a statistic, and then worse than a damn lie? Aaagh! Time for a beer.

    One last point, though, is a tendency to lionise reporters in the past. Since nobody told me how old the term 'yellow journalism' is, here's something from Wikipedia:

    "the yellow press increased circulation and readership heavily throughout the 19th century, especially in the United States. Early practitioners, such as Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, seem to have equated the sensational reporting of murders, gory accidents, and the like, with the need of the democratic common man to be entertained by subjects beyond dry politics."

    So let's try going back earlier to find a time free of crap journos. Oh, and it wasn't only in the US - the entry has a cartoon from 'Punch' complaining about sensationalism in the British press - dated 1888.

    Mr. Bagehot's The Economist is a cut above because there is and was something to be above.
    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.

  8. #38
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    One point strikes me - the ever-widening gulf between print journalism and TV journalism. Print journalism was traditionally scrutinised by an eagle-eyed and very severe editor, who would mercilessly trim copy down to the minimum and completely reject any story deemed unworthy of inclusion in the paper in question.

    TV journalism, on the other hand, more and more consists of filling allotted slots even when you have nothing to say. How many times have you seen TV news when a studio anchor interviews a field reporter who says, in effect: "I have no information as yet, it's too soon to tell, it could be yes, it could be no, we'll just have to wait and see" and is given 2 minutes or more of air time for this.

    Add to this the endless vox pop interviews along the lines of "Yes, there was a big bang. No, I couldn't see anything. Yes, I think it's terrible. People who do this should be locked up" and for good measure add an interview of a politician by the "attack dog" type of interviewer so popular in Britain (Jeremy Paxman, etc.), where the interviewer constantly interrupts the interviewee, who nonetheless attempts to continue talking (as he/she has been trained to do by media coaches) and to put over ONLY what he/she wants to say regardless of what questions are asked. I sometimes watch a 30-minute news broadcast and feel that it actually had no substance at all!

  9. #39

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    George, are you assuming for yourself the role of maven?
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  10. #40

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    Dear Andy,

    'With the exception of wartime papers' -- as a Swiss friend pointed out, the English are so belligerent that it's hard to find a time in the last 200 years when they HAVEN'T been involved in a war somewhere, sometime during the year. This may be one reason why Hitler never wanted to fight the British.

    See also Jim's comments on the yellow/gutter press. The oldest papers/magazines I have are for 1739 and I can see plenty of bias there: "Whipped at the tail of a cart for being Egyptians" -- or 'gypsies' or maybe 'asylum seekers' as the current UK press has it.

    Cheers,

    Roger

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