101 Reasons Why We Need Journalism

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WHY 101 Reasons?

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In August 2010, the University of Alabama Department of Journalism will debut a new 1-credit course designed to enlighten and excite a new generation of students about journalism.

I need examples!  Current examples!

I read a lot of newspapers, look at a lot of news magazines and news programs.  I know we need journalism.

But, I believe THIS YEAR– in 2010– I can find 101 reasons WHY we need journalism.

In the midst of sharing a little about journalism history, a little about journalistic writing styles, a little about how laws and policy affect journalism and the ethical way we do we do, I want to share the GOOD NEWS of the GOSPEL of JOURNALISM.

I believe we as journalism advocates are journalism evangelists.  Our calling is to spread the gospel and in the process, win over some new converts.  They may be students at a university, middle or high school students or even — and often most importantly– members of the general public who have become distrusting of journalists.

This blog will help me on track with my journey to find these examples.  It will also keep it organized and documented in one place.

Once it gets going, I am believing some great journalists out there will take the time to send me examples of good journalism that they know about and should be showcased.

For each of the 101 reasons, there are some basic requirements,  I have to be able to link to the reason on the WEB.     I also have to be able to determine by reading the journalism that it reflects the tenets of great journalism– truthful, well-sourced, complete and has the potential to make a difference.

We see a lot of news stories out there, but they don’t always have much potential to make a difference.

In our class, we point to what are now 10 Elements of Journalism developed several years ago by the Committee for Concerned Journalists as a guide.    The first nine were published in the 2001 book The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and The Public Should Expect based on conversations that began in 1997.  The tenth element was added in an updated/revised edition of the book published in 2007.   I should be able to see the story exemplifying ONE of the 10 elements:

  1. Journalism’s First Obligation is to the Truth
  2. Its First Loyalty is to Citizens
  3. Its Essence is a Discipline of Verification
  4. Its Practitioners Must Maintain An Independence From Those They Cover
  5. It Must Serve As an Independent Monitor of Power
  6. It Must Provide a Forum for Public Criticism and Compromise
  7. It Must Strive to Make the Significant Interesting and Relevant
  8. It Must Keep the News Comprehensive and Proportional
  9. Its Practitioners Must Be Allowed To Exercise Their Personal Conscience.
  10. Citizens, too have rights and responsibilities when it comes to the news.

And so the journey begins..

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Written by George Daniels

June 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

    Mr WordPress

    June 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm


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