PRESSURE FROM SOURCES
Journalists sometimes feel external pressure directly.
A worker wants to protect his boss.
A tearful wife does not want her husband's name used in a bank embezzlement story.
A local ski hill offers the entire radio station staff free ski passes.
The relationship between journalists and publicists can be fraught with ethical problems.
More serious are "staged events" or "staged news".
A contrived "photo opportunity".
Bringing attention to an old product to give it a boost in the marketplace.
NEWS AND THE INTERNET
The Calgary Herald
National news and advertising
Cambodia Times, a national newspaper that offers full-text versions of stories from its print edition.
Jerusalem Post which offers full-text coverage of Middle East issues on its Internet version along with editorial and opinion columns.
London Electronic Telegraph that has a glitzy site that includes crossword puzzles, global news and coverage and comment from the British Isles.
Melbourne Herald Sun Interactive includes links to national Australian classified advertising section with up to 35,000 ads.
News dispatches and photographs are subject to changes at many points in the communication chain.
At these points, called gates, gatekeepers delete, trim, embellish and otherwise try to make news items more "newsworthy".
Along the path from its originator to the eventual audience, a message is subject to all kinds of deletions, additions and changes of emphasis. Example: Oldman Dam story. With large news organizations, this process may involve dozens of editors and other persons.
Also, a reporter who emphasizes one aspect of an event while ignoring another is a gatekeeper. WCB stories
GATEKEEPERS AT WORK
Most gatekeepers are invisible to the news audience, working behind the scenes and making crucial decisions.
Some journalist clubs include:
The Online Press Club.
Media Source which offers resources and sources to journalists.
John Mukulowich's Awesome List
NICAR which is the National Institute of Computer Assisted Reporting.
Pulitizer Price the top prize for top work.
Reporter's Internet Survival Guide for information covering a beat.
Society for Professional Journalists for research links and ethic codes.
Special Libraries Association News Division for research links.
GATEKEEPING AND THE HOMOLKA AND BERNARDO TRIALS
The trials of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka provide an interesting case study of gatekeeping. The St. Catherines, Ontario couple were convicted of the abduction and deaths of Kirsten French and Leslie Mahaffrey of nearby Burlington.
Judge Francis Kovacs issued the following orders about how information relating to the trial was to be reported.
The reason Kovacs gave the ban was simple: to ensure that Paul Bernardo received a fair trial.
The ban proved problematic because much of the banned information was broadcast on American television and posted on the Internet in various newsgroups.
Reporting the details of Homolka's trial made it difficult for reporters to report on Bernardo's trial.
Homolka's trial lasted only 2 days.
Bernardo's trial was different, with many details reporters found repulsive. The rapes and deaths shattered the "small town pastorialism" of St. Catherines.
Reporters had a duty to report the story, but not all of it, just enough details so the public could understand what had happened.
Even after extensive editing and debate over the graphic sexual and violent evidence, announcers would often preface a broadcast news story by saying that the content might be offensive to some.
The Associated Press is the largest news-gathering organization, with bureaus in 71 countries. In the United States, AP has 142 bureaus in state capitals and major cities.
Agence-France-Presse founded in 1835 by Charles Havas in Paris using carrier pigeons.
Tass the Moscow-based news agency which was founded in 1918 just after the Bolshevik Revolution. Supplies reports in Russian, English, French, German, Spanish and Arabic to 5500 media and non-media subscribers
Some of the wire services online include:
United Press International www.upi.com
Canadian Press and Broadcast News www.cp.org
The Canadian Press (CP) supplies news to both French and English journalists.
CP was founded in 1917 and is a co-operative venture owned and funded by daily newspapers in Canada.
Some facts about CP.
BN Data Service provides hourly news summaries and features such as weather, provincial news, entertainment, sports, health and lifestyle.
Abridged version of Chapter Eight:
Vivian, John and Peter, Maurin (1999). " Journalism". The Media of Mass Communication. Allyn and Bacon Canada, Scarborough, Ontario.