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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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