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The Mind of a Journalist

The Mind of a Journalist
How Reporters View Themselves, Their World, and Their Craft

July 2009 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Written by veteran journalist and noted professor Jim Willis, with an epilogue by Marilyn Thomsen, this book introduces journalistic decision-making into the classroom, alongside discussion of reporting and writing techniques. Students peer inside the minds of a cross-section of print, broadcast, and online journalists by way of exclusive interviews and additional research that provide a deep, broad glimpse into how they perceive themselves, their world, and their craft. Ultimately, this provocative text provides added insights into how journalists think and why they do what they do.

Features and Benefits

  • Original interviews with contemporary journalists at varying career stages. Offers a rarely seen, inside look at the world of journalists from media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, CNN, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, KUSA Television in Denver, and The Oklahoman.
  • Anecdotes involving how journalists work. Translates abstract thinking into the reality of everyday journalism.
  • Interviews with several war reporters. Portrays the impact of covering war on those reporting from the field.
  • An example of how different journalists approach traumatic stories such as 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, and Hurricane Katrina. Illuminates different orientations to conveying truth and dealing with ethical dilemmas involved in such disaster coverage.

Seasoned journalists examine the following areas

  • Factors that lure young people into journalism as a career
  • The stance journalists take toward the world they are assigned to cover
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • How close to get to a story or how far to distance themselves from it
  • The socialization of journalists and the role their own personal ideologies may play in their work as reporters and editors
  • How one's faith might influence the coverage of a story
  • The mixing of news and entertainment

The Mind of a Journalist is an appropriate and innovative supplement for a variety of media studies courses, including Introduction to Journalism, News Writing and Reporting, Advanced Reporting, Journalism and Society, and Ethics, among many others.

Foreword: The Thinking Journalist
Chapter 1: The Lure of Journalism
The Love of Reading and Writing  
An Intense Curiosity  
A Desire to Contribute  
The Independence Factor  
Being on the Inside  
The Challenges of Going Deeper  
Chapter 2: The Priesthood of Journalists
Journalism as the Fourth Estate  
Learning the Ropes  
The Separated Journalist  
Journalists as Advocates  
Feeling the Pulse  
Granting Confidentiality  
Legal Ramifications of Confidentiality  
Editors Discourage Confidentiality  
Anonymous Sources in Washington  
Chapter 3: The Journalist's View of the World
The Journalist and Worldviews  
The Importance of Time  
News as a Reflection of the World  
The Concept of Ethnocentrism  
Cultural Immersion  
The Risk of Involvement  
The Concept of Ambiguity  
Diversity Among Journalists  
The Socialization of Journalists  
Beliefs, Attitudes, and Values  
Chapter 4: Journalists, Theory, and Ethics
The Pragmatics of Journalism  
Media Effects  
A Primer in Media Theory  
The Question of Objectivity  
Ethics and Journalists  
Fabricating News  
Credibility as "Currency of the Realm"  
Encouraging Ethics in Politics  
Diversity in the Newsroom  
Separating Business From Journalism  
Chapter 5: The Journalist as an Ideologue
Revisiting Objectivity  
The Subjective Prisms of Cultures  
Enduring Values  
Journalists and Politics  
What the Data Reveal  
Serving as the Victims' Voice  
Reports, Inferences, and Judgments  
Where Passion Enters In  
Op-Ed News  
Chapter 6: The Journalist and Faith
A Reluctant Story  
Top Religion Stories for 2007  
Resources for Religion Writers  
An Interesting Study  
A Journalist's Own Religion  
Faith-Based Journalistic Organizations  
Faith-Based Media  
Stepping Into Another's Faith  
An Ongoing Tension  
A Final Thought  
Chapter 7: The Journalist as Celebrity
An Obsession with Celebrity  
USC Targets the Issue  
Celebrity Journalists  
Critics From Within  
A Double Standard, an Expected Deference  
Katie Couric's New Persona  
Cooper's Emotional Journalism  
A Possible Distortion  
The Latest in a Trend?  
Chapter 8: Questions Vexing Journalists
A Young Journalist Weighs In  
One Frustrated Anchor  
Rays of Hope  
Some Stay, Some Move On  
Epilogue: Reporting From Iraq: Journalists Talk About Covering War
Afterword: A Personal Odyssey
Appendix 1: Covering Katrina: On Taking It Personally
Appendix 2: Thirteen Unique Journalists
Selected Bibliography
About the Author

This book will be essential for the level 3 course, it has so much in depth information explaining how students need to behave

Miss Rachael Rodgers
Digital media , Doncaster College
January 10, 2014

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412954570

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