Opportunities and Challenges

Another challenge centers on broadcasting companies remaining current with emerging technologies without compromising the central goal of providing reliable and important news stories to consumers.

6.3.4 Hybrid News Models 1. Objective: Analyze the New York Times hybrid newspaper model

The transition into yet another new model for news has not been easy. Significant parts of the news audience take comfort in the fact-centric Bennett Model, while other parts of the audience want information in a meaningful context. At no place more than the New York Times, the premiere newspaper in the United States, is this tension more evident. The Times has restated its commitment to the tradition in the fact-centric event coverage extolled in the Bennett Model but acknowledges that other journalistic forms, including the meaningful context prescribed by the Hutchins Commission, can add important perspective.

The National Association of Broadcasters, discusses the state of the broadcast industry.

The result at the Times is a hybrid form of reporting, generally with labels on articles

that go beyond straightforward news reporting. The Times’ detailed categorization of articles with perspective both in print and online may seem strained if not tedious, but it is an attempt to navigate the wide range of reader expectations that flow from the Bennett and Hutchins periods. These are some of the major categories that the Times has devised:

News Analysis: Under this label, thorough reporting draws heavily on the expertise of the reporter. The goal: To help readers understand underlying cases or possible consequences without reflecting the writer’s personal opinion.

Appraisal: These usually accompany an obituary, with a critic or specialized writer offering a broad evaluation of the career, work, or a major figure.

Reporter’s Notebook: These are behind-the-scenes glimpses, usually anecdotes or brief reports from an on-scene reporter, to flesh out the reader’s sense of a major story.

Writing Prompt Applying Your Media Literacy – Rethinking News Models

Is the hybrid news model as laid out by the New York Times too complicated for news audiences? Are there alternatives? Explain your assessment.

The response entered here will appear in the performance dashboard and can be viewed by your instructor.

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6.4 Values That Shape News

Study Preview Journalists make important decisions on which events, phenomena, and issues are reported and which are not. The personal values journalists bring to their work and therefore determine which stories are told, and also how they are told, generally coincide with mainstream American values.

Learning Objectives By the end of this module you will be able to:

  1. 6.4.1 Describe the value of a journalist’s judgment in deciding what is news
  2. 6.4.2 Outline typical values of U.S. journalists

6.4.1 News Judgment 1. Objective: Describe the value of a journalist’s judgment in deciding what is

news

Even with Bennett Model’s values-free pretext under which most mainstream U.S. journalism functions, values cannot be completely set aside. The fact is that journalists make choices, and those choices are often value-driven. NBC newscaster Chet Huntley, after years of trying to come up with a definition of news, threw up his hands and declared: “News is what I decide is news.” Huntley wasn’t being arrogant. Rather, he was pointing out that there are no clinical criteria for news that sidestep human judgment about which stories to tell and how to tell them. Even if an event has intrinsic qualities as news, such as the prominence of the people involved and the event’s consequence and drama, it becomes news only when it’s reported. Huntley’s point was that the journalist’s judgment is indispensable in deciding what is news.

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