Monday, April 13, 2009

Death of a Newspaper

The article we read for this blog was about a paper in Denver, Colorado closing its doors after 150 years of circulation. It spoke about the sadness of The Rocky News having to go to only the Internet, but it also spoke about the death of journalism as a whole and how the newspaper industry is in deep trouble.
It applies to our class in one major way. If any of the students in the class, like myself, have plans to go into a career of journalism, it really makes the future seem grim. It might make a few either change their choice or look into a backup plan. As for journalism as a whole, it just makes journalists and the readers wonder what is going to happen next. If this economic struggle pursues, will more papers close? Will more jobs be lost? Will every paper soon be only available on the internet? This article had a deep tone of sadness as well as dread for the journalism industry at a whole. This writer seems to believe that The Rocky News isn't special because soon many other papers will meet the same fate.
The questions I have are how are journalists who are already in the field taking this? What happens if they lose their job? Is it easy for them to just pick up another or do they have to drop their entire career? And what is this going to do to journalism study in college? Is it going to focus on non-print? Are they going to be frank and say that it is an industry that is in trouble or are they going to try combat it and fight to bring print back?

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Danger of Censorship

There was an article recently published in the New York Times featuring a photo that hasn't been seen since 2004. The photo shows soldiers returning home in their American flag draped coffins. Taking these sort of photos has been against the law on and off since 1991. The article covers two schools of thoughts. One of them being the supposed reason the government has banned these photos. Their official statement is that the photos are banned to protect the privacy of the families of the soldiers. However, others believe that it is the governments way of manipulating our view of the war in Iraq. Perhaps the government thinks if we don't see the human cost of war, our perceptions will change.

This article relates greatly to our class and journalism as a whole. One of the biggest problems we face as journalists is deciding whether or not we are allowed to print a story. In high school, the principal has the right to decide what goes in and what stays out of print if he thinks a certain story will detract from the educational environment. As students, we want to read stories about the big things going on involving students. Things like violence or drugs and alcohol are the kind of things we can't write about with the freedom we want. Outside of school, in a real newspaper, certains kinds of stories cannot be written. If a story talks about war or something that upsets the people who pay for the paper to be printed then people can lose their jobs. The thing with censorship is, once you allow one thing to be censored it just opens the door for hundreds of others. I believe as journalists we have an obligation to print the truth and sugar coating things doesn't help anyone. Just recently journalists had to be careful of how they worded the news on the recession for fear of freaking people out. But was it really helping anyone by lying about the extent of the recession?

The questions I am left with are:

Does censorship really help the public? Is ignorance really bliss, or will it just hurt us in the long run?
Is the government careful about media coverage on the war in Iraq because of the media causing people to protest in Vietnam?
Does the government really want to protect the families or are they just trying to control our perceptions of the war?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Response to Fairbault.

A) This article is about a school newspaper much like ours that wanted to print a story about a teacher who was being charged for having an inappropriate relationship with a student. It seems like they got the ok to write the story, but they had to have the superintendent review it before it was published. The editor did not want him to review it before it published (probably because he knew it would be cut) so they went to The Daily News and had it printed there instead. The Daily News worked with the students because they had the inside information that they couldn't get (the teacher's name).

B)This fits in very well with our class because we have to have Moberg review every article before we publish the Tiger Rag. It sounds like our school is much more strict than this school if they only had to have the superintendent review only this one article. Personally, I don't mind if someone reviews it, but I don't like that we can't print certain stories in our newspaper. As long as all the facts are accurate and the story fits into the school district, I think we should be able to write about the sensitive topics. High School is a breeding ground for ugly lies and vicious rumors. If the students read what the real story is and what really happened, then maybe things wouldn't get so out of control. I think it is really cool that these students thought about bringing this story to another newspaper. It makes all their work worth it if it is at least printed somewhere. I would be so ticked if I did all this investigating and running around in circles to make sure we didn't step on any toes and in the end the story wouldn't have been published.

C) I want to know how the school and the superintendent felt about the article in the news. Did they like it or were they angry that it was printed?
I love articles like these because I could see this happening to one of our staff members. I like articles about Journalism because it helps me keep up with the field I want to be in someday.