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کتاب Journalism & Newspapers

کتاب Journalism & Newspapers

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درباره کتاب Journalism & Newspapers

These appendices aim at helping the students in writing journalistic texts, reading newspapers, understanding these texts, as well as doing their researches. Finally, any recommendations to improve the quality of the materials provided in this book is really appreciated.

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Preface

Although many books have already been written on journalism and news writing, the scope of the subjects covered in them seems to be wider than what is needed for undergraduate English students majoring at Teaching or Translation in our country. What was motivating for me while writing this book was partially rooted in this problem, with the other one being the need to have variety in the choices available to the students. As a teacher, I believe that the freedom for the students to choose from among different choices and possibilities available to them increases their proficiency in what they are due to study for a special course.
Having this in mind, I started writing the book and now the end product is before you; a book in fifteen chapters each discussing different aspects of journalism and newspapers.
The present book mostly tries to fulfill the requirements of the course, namely, Reading Journalistic Texts. As you see, it is organized in fifteen chapters each dealing with some aspect of news.
Chapter One provides a short history of news media through introducing some activities done in the west in this regard. In Chapter Two, the science of journalism, the Standard Model of Professional Journalism is presented and an introduction is provided on the present topic. Chapter Three deals with the carrier of journalists, different attributes of journalists, the journalist’s job, freelance writing, etc. and provides the students with a holistic view of a journalist’s job. Chapter Four offers a definition of news and gives an account of the different characteristics of news based on who the addressees of the news are. In Chapter Five different sources of collecting news such as sporting events, courts, meetings, and so on are introduced. Chapter Six deals with the Intro, the first sentence or paragraph of the news and the information it includes. It also introduces different elements of news and the questions that the intro should answer. Chapter Seven consists of styles and elements of news writing and provides some information on hard news, soft news, leads, and feature stories. Chapter Eight provides us with some information regarding what the news is made of; and emphasizes that the news should be short and simple while answering all WH questions about a specific news. In Chapter Nine, the accuracy of the news, which is an important characteristic of it, is discussed. Chapter Ten deals with the structure of the news and points that are to be considered while writing it, including its grammatical construction, spelling, and punctuation.
Due to the advances of communication technology and the widespread use of internet in the present time, we have allocated Chapter Eleven to the online journalism and the effect it has had on it. Chapter Twelve is about Radio News, the way the materials are organized for it, the lead in radio news, the length of the story, lead- Ins, etc. and sheds light on different aspects of radio news. Chapter Thirteen discusses writing for the television broadcast. It deals with problems such as combining words and pictures, sound bites, television news writer, voice-overs, the split page, video instructions, sound on tape, and so on.
Since the news is broadcasted to a wide range of audiences and sometimes concerns the privacy of individuals and different groups, in Chapter Fourteen, different ethical problems involved in the work of a journalist are presented. In Chapter Fifteen, regarding the challenges of globalization, we have briefly discussed the challenges of the global journalism, the ethics of journalism in the globalized world, problems of regulation, the trauma of reporting, etc.
In the last part of the book, the readers are provided with four appendices:

● Common writing errors
● Abbreviations
● Useful websites
● Glossary of terms

These appendices aim at helping the students in writing journalistic texts, reading newspapers, understanding these texts, as well as doing their researches. Finally, any recommendations to improve the quality of the materials provided in this book is really appreciated.

Mohsen Mobaraki
27 May 2011

1. A Short History of News Media

Journalism is not an easy business. In the year 2004 alone, 56 journalists were killed in the course of doing their jobs. It was the highest figure since 1994, when seventy-two journalists died. The running total for the decade stands at 337, not counting the large number of other media workers, such as researchers and translators, who also lost their lives.
Such deaths mostly go unnoticed. An exception was the case of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, who was murdered in such grim circumstances that it constituted a ‘story’. Pearl, 38, had set out to understand the workings of militant networks in Europe following the suicide attacks on New York and Washington in September 2001. His inquiries took him to Pakistan, where he was kidnapped and held in captivity before having his throat slit on camera. The resulting videotape, showing a man brandishing a severed head, was then handed to American officials, to ensure that the murder made its maximum political impact. Pearl’s pregnant wife said her husband had always felt impelled to go where the story led.
Of the other thirty-six journalists killed in the year of Pearl’s murder, eight died in the space of a few weeks as American troops opened up the battle to take control of Afghanistan from the Taliban. There were more Western casualties among the media in this war than in the American-led alliance directing it. In the aftermath of the subsequent invasion of Iraq, kidnappings and on-video executions became a rebel stock in trade, several of them involving journalists. Deadlier still was the car bomb which exploded in October 2004 outside the Baghdad bureau of Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned television news channel based in Dubai. The explosion killed five employees and wounded 14 others, five of them journalists, and was followed by a claim from the ‘Jihad Martyrs Brigades’ that the attack should be seen as ‘just a warning’ about the station’s reporting of the conflict. When democracy is at stake, journalism is in the firing line.
But it does not require a war for journalists to die. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, most of the thirty-seven killed in 2001 ‘were murdered in reprisal for their reporting on sensitive topics, including official crime and corruption in countries such as Bangladesh, China, Thailand, and Yugoslavia’. During the same unexceptional year, the CPJ recorded 118 of journalists being jailed, mostly from ‘little noticed crackdowns in Eritrea and Nepal, carried out after September 11,’ which provided an excuse for despots all over the world to brand their political opponents as ‘terrorists’ unworthy of basic human rights. Nor are such outrageous events confined to faraway tyrannies. Veronica Guerin was shot in her car by gangsters in Dublin in June 1996. A year earlier, a masked man had entered her home, pointed a gun at her head and then shot her in the thigh. She carried on her investigations, with the comment: ‘I am letting the public know exactly how this society operates.’
According to those who map the state of world press freedom, that freedom is now measurably in retreat from the post cold war flood tide, when it still did not cover the majority of the world’s land mass. In the new century, China has maintained its long reputation as the world’s leading jailer of journalists and Russia, along with one or two other eastern European states, has slipped from a ranking of ‘partly free’ to ‘not free’. Freedom House, the organization responsible for this survey work, identifies Burma, Cuba, Libya, Turkmenistan, and North Korea as the world’s blackest spots for free journalism. Optimists believe that, in due course, greater prosperity will foster democracy, education and greater media freedom. Pessimists ask whether there are deeper cultural forces in play against the West’s post-Enlightenment assumption that identifies free journalism as the precursor of all political and economic liberties.
From Milton to the American Constitution
From an American and European perspective, history supports the case for optimism. Ask journalists from these continents (and others, such as Australasia where cultural roots are shared) their purpose and they will often give the standard reply: to hold power to account. Behind this momentous mission lie 350 years of passionately contested history. It is worth sketching the main contours.
The narrative starts with the Reformation, when Protestants split from the censorious authority of Rome, and runs through the English Civil War (1642–8), when republicans and dissenters toppled monarchists, spurred on by the first great tract in the cause of free expression, John Milton’s Areopagitica with its radicalizing plea: ‘Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.’
From there it was a small step to the first flowering of English journalism. Boosted by the abolition of pre-publication censorship, journalists such as Daniel Defoe, Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, Jonathan Swift, John Wilkes, and Thomas Paine became men of national and, in Paine’s case, global influence. But it was not all revolutionary pamphleteering. We owe to Defoe a snapshot of the first professional reporters, working London’s coffee houses in 1728 with a ruthlessly commercial craftsmanship. Defoe writes: ‘Persons are employed... to haunt coffee houses and thrust themselves into companies where they are not known; or plant themselves at convenient distances to overhear what is said... The same persons hang and loiter about the public offices like housebreakers, waiting for an interview with some little clerk or a conference with a door keeper in order to come at a little news, or an account of transactions; for which the fee is a shilling, or a pint of wine.’
Defoe’s metaphor of the journalist as burglar sits tellingly with Janet Malcolm’s contemporary depiction of the journalist as ‘confidence man’. But whatever the ethical tensions latent in the emerging business of journalism, a free and vigorous press was an increasingly potent aspect of the political, economic, and cultural landscape of the British Isles. When the London media industry located itself in Fleet Street, a dingy thoroughfare connecting the capital’s business district to the east with the seat of political power in the west, it staked its claim to a unique power base.
Thomas Paine’s contribution to the American brief history surpasses even Defoe’s. The son of a Norfolk stay-maker, Paine fomented revolution on both sides of the Atlantic. He sailed for Philadelphia in 1774 and two years later published Common Sense, a pamphlet setting out the case for American independence from British rule. A best-seller in America, it was also, according to a contemporary report, ‘received in France and in all Europe with rapture’. The next year, Paine returned to England and wrote Rights of Man, arguing that human beings have a natural right to govern themselves, rather than to be governed by the beneficiaries of inherited title and power. Arraigned for treason, he fled to Paris and was elected a Deputy in the National Convention, before being swept aside by revolutionary factionalism, which led to his imprisonment and almost to his death. Paine then returned to the United States, where he lived out his days on the uneasy borderland between political power and journalism.
Milton’s spirit and Paine’s didactic radicalism are written deep into the heart of the American Constitution and its First Amendment that: ‘Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech or of the press’, a momentously important linkage between the universal individual right of free expression and the liberties owing to the dominant news medium of the day. Thomas Jefferson reinforced the point when he wrote in 1787 to Colonel Edward Carrington the most comforting words in the history of journalism, that: ‘The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.’
Blood-Stained Newsprint
Amid the bloodier footprints of the French Revolution, Paine’s influence is less easy to specify. This was a political maelstrom which thrust many journalists into often brief positions of public influence and, in some cases, direct political office, with all the attendant risks. The editor of the Ami du Peuple, Jean Paul Marat, was murdered in his bath, leaving for posterity a copy of his newspaper stained with his own blood. One commentator has described the French Revolution as ‘journalism’s big bang’; the point at which it started to become the pervasive engine of modern, democratic societies.
This mighty legacy touches French journalism today. France’s journalism, with its roots in the political tract and the essay rather than the witnessed news report, tends to be more intellectually adventurous and serious than its Anglo-Saxon counterpart, but it is also less empirically forensic. French journalism is also more sensitive to the privacy of individuals: soft, say its Anglo-Saxon critics; grown up say its advocates. According to the historian Jack Richard Censer, the radical newspapermen of the French revolutionary period ‘generally saw themselves as politicians with a primary responsibility to influence the course of events and with little allegiance toward any abstract journalistic ethic’.
An Asian Model?
It is important to note, however, that the English and American newspapers which flourished in this long period of democratization were by no means the first in the world. China, for example, had official information sheets (tipao) centuries before the years of revolution in Europe and America, spawning unofficial rivals of sufficient journalistic enterprise that the Sung dynasty (960–1279) felt it necessary to suppress them. The attitude today of the Chinese authorities to news media freedom on both the Chinese main land and in the former British colony of Hong Kong leaves a great deal to be desired from a western liberal standpoint, but the history and culture of these places can hardly be expected to lead to a replication of Euro-American news industry values. The history and cultural context of a newspaper like the South China Morning Post, which has flourished in its own way under British colonialism and re-accession by the People’s Republic of China, indicates the complexities involved.
The resulting tensions are highly visible within a modern city state like Singapore, shaped by a post-colonial experience which has seen rapid and successful economic development, not least in the area of the new communications technologies. To Western eyes it is paradoxical that the government of Singapore should simultaneously be committed to one of the most sophisticated communications infrastructures in the world, whilst also running a regime of censorship and media restriction, which has brought it into conflict with some of the west’s most respected media companies, including The Economist and the Wall Street Journal.
The modern Japanese press, by contrast, enjoys the protection of a national constitution which enshrines the principle of press freedom, established under strong American influence after the Second World War, and is not subject to state censorship. But the workings of Japanese news media are barely recognizable to journalists from the United States or Britain. Japanese society works more through negotiation, collaboration and consensus than through strong ideological difference and competition. Japanese journalists are bound together in a network of a thousand ‘press clubs’, all linked to major institutional or industrial sources of power and therefore of news. These clubs are designed to ensure that both sides play by a set of unofficial rules. It is, in essence, a form of self-regulation, designed to avoid embarrassment and misunderstanding, but which in the opinion of its (mostly Western) critics neuters and homogenizes Japan’s journalism through the management of news flows.
On Liberty
It is upon the intellectual foundations of European liberalism, however, that the edifice of the free press stands. In early nineteenth-century Britain, the liberal intelligentsia was in no doubt about the need to contest the more étatiste view of journalism they saw across the English Channel, just as they also contested a more Gallic dirigiste view of economic policy. James Mill, the Scots utilitarian, argued in an influential essay in 1811 that the dangers of a timorous press, too friendly to established political power, greatly exceeded the political dangers of its opposite. Mill thought the relative political stability of England, Holland, Switzerland, and the United States, compared with the bloody turmoil in France, resulted not from an excessively free press in France, but from an excessively controlled one. Almost half a century later, Mill’s son, the philosopher John Stuart Mill, delivered the most eloquent case for political and economic liberalism in the English language. In his 1859 essay On Liberty he writes:

‘The peculiar evil of silencing an expression of opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.’

Liberals (in the English, historical meaning of that word, rather than its looser contemporary American usage) were thus the friends of press freedom, philosophically, politically, and commercially. They opposed special taxes or stamp duties on newspapers as vigorously as they supported greater freedom to trade. The upshot was a proliferation of titles in what is often seen as the golden era of the British press: politically radical but not yet, in the early stages of the industrial revolution, narrowly corporate. Henry Hetherington’s Poor Man’s Guardian, launched in 1831, in defiance of stamp duty, declared: ‘It is the cause of the rabble we advocate, the poor, the suffering, the industrious, the productive classes.... We will teach this rabble their power – we will teach them that they are your master, instead of being your slaves.’ Yet only two years after the launch of Poor Man’s Guardian, Hetherington was also promising readers of his Two penny Dispatch a diet of ‘murders, rapes, suicides, burnings, mailings, theatricals, races, pugilism and... every sort of devilment that will make it sell’. Thus did the lion of radical political journalism lie down with the lamb of tabloid sexploitation.
Before long, bigger newspapers, free from taxation and fat with advertising, were trumpeting the glories of a ‘new journalism’. In 1852, The Times defined as its purpose: ‘to obtain the earliest and most correct intelligence of the events of the time and instantly, by disclosing them, to make them the common property of the nation’. By now, papers like The Times were enjoying the greater news coverage made possible by the emerging news agencies, such as the one launched by Julius Reuter in 1851.
Government by Journalism
In these circumstances, journalism asserted itself, pre-figuring the era of media hyper-power in which we now live. The embodiment of what Victorian intellectuals called the ‘New Journalism’ was W. T. Stead, editor of the Pall Mall Gazette (۱), who specialized in controversial exposures of sex rackets, as a result of which he found himself in jail. It was in Holloway Prison, in 1886, that Stead wrote a remarkable essay on the future of journalism, informing the world that journalism had now become ‘superior to that of any other institution or profession known among men’. For Stead, the journalist was the key to comprehending public opinion, ‘to be both eye and ear for the community’. He concluded: ‘I have not yet lost faith in the possibility of some of our great newspaper proprietors who will content themselves with a reasonable fortune, and devote the surplus of their gigantic profits to the development of their newspapers as an engine of social reform and as a means of government.’ A means of government? Stead was not kidding. Through ‘an exhaustive interrogation of public opinion’, such a newspaper would acquire an authority which politicians would be unable to ignore.

‘The journalist would speak with an authority far superior to that possessed by any other person; for he would have been the latest to interrogate the democracy. Parliament has attained its utmost development. There is need of a new representative method, not to supersede but to supplement that which exists – a system which will be more elastic, more simple, more direct and more closely in contact with the mind of the people.... When the time does arrive, and the man and the money are both forthcoming, government by journalism will no longer be a somewhat hyperbolic phrase, but a solid fact.’

This early techno-utopianism foreshadows today’s alarms about ‘government by the media’ and declining affiliation to institutions of representative democracy. Stead’s hubris was in tune with an era when newspapers were launched not with soberly descriptive titles such as The Times, The Gazette, and The Record, but a blaze with popular aspiration: the Mirror, the Sun, the Comet, and the Star. Most of Britain’s great popular newspapers of today were born in the final years of Queen Victoria’s reign: the Daily Mail (1896), the Daily Express (1900), and the Daily Mirror (1903). Parallel forces were at work in the United States, where proprietors like William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer were creating the so-called ‘yellow’ press. The newspaper industries of Britain and the United States entered the twentieth century at the peak of their political and economic power.
Media Monopoly, Communism and Fascism
This heyday of the market-based, industrialized free press was, however, remarkably short-lived. Within a couple of decades of the new century, the market-based model for the development of news media came under challenge, first from radio, then from television and, towards the end of the twentieth century, from the internet. These were media which would soon acquire a reach never achieved by newspapers and they were born not in tiny printers’ shops subject to the laws of a market economy; rather, they were inventions naturally and speedily commandeered by governments, which took the view that the new communications technologies must be owned or licensed by the state. It is too easily forgotten that the media technologies of the twentieth century have their roots not in markets, but in monopoly or licensed oligopoly.
The implications for journalism would be far reaching, as democratic governments sought new ways, either through direct control of the emerging technologies or through the medium of ‘independent’ regulatory bodies, to satisfy themselves that the news media would operate within a broadly defined and accepted public interest. As the twentieth century gave way to the twenty-first, and the technologies of analogue radio and television surrendered to digital communications technologies, making it possible for broadcast-type services to be transmitted globally and instantly across a range of infrastructures, new challenges would emerge. Now that newspapers, radio and television could share delivery platforms, via broadband internet, would it still make sense, or even be possible, to regulate them differently? If not, would the trend be in the direction of greater market-based freedom associated with the free press? Or would the new communications networks, in all their complexity, be regulated for content and standards by some state or political authority?

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