Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Block Club Chicago offered two versions of the same breaking news story — with and without a horrifying video
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
March 17, 2011, noon

Questioning Walter Lippmann and our methods of journalism training

Editor’s Note: Our sister publication Nieman Reports is out with its spring issue, which spotlights the efforts of reporters trying to uncover corruption. We’re highlighting a few entries that connect with subjects we follow in the Lab, but go read the whole issue. In this piece, James Miller of the University of London’s Center for the Study of Global Media and Democracy at Goldsmiths writes about different approaches to journalism training.

Walter Lippmann complained in 1919 that American journalists were doing the work of “preachers, revivalists, prophets and agitators.” They reported the news “by entirely private and unexamined standards.” People would look back, Lippmann observed acidly in his book Liberty and the News, and wonder how nations that thought themselves to be self-governing “provided no genuine training schools for the [journalists] upon whose sagacity they were dependent.”

Lippmann considered making training in schools of journalism a requirement for the job. But what he really wanted, philosophically, was to model the practice of journalism on science, which had successfully harnessed the “discipline of modernized logic.” Decades later, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, in The Elements of Journalism, were still pursuing the same possibly illusive end, encouraging newspeople to adopt the rigor of their five “intellectual principles of a science of reporting.” If the dream of a scientific journalism has yet to be fulfilled, the more prosaic of Lippmann’s visions seems to have been realized.

Keep reading »

POSTED     March 17, 2011, noon
SHARE THIS STORY
   
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Block Club Chicago offered two versions of the same breaking news story — with and without a horrifying video
Readers told the nonprofit local newsroom that they appreciated the option to read an article omitting graphic video and images of 13-year-old Adam Toledo’s death.
Substack will spend $1 million to support “up to 30” local news writers
“This is not a grants program, nor is it inspired by philanthropic intent.”
Would you pay $34.99 a month to get news from Reuters.com? That’s their hope
Who deems Reuters.com so essential that they’ll pay more than two Netflixes a month for it?