Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We're Doing Pretty Well

Taylr Powell

Thoughts on Race, Ethnicity, and Student Sources: Minority Newsmakers in Student-Produced Versus Professional TV News Stories

The basis of this study immediately made our wonderful E.W. Scripps School of Journalism come to mind. I find that there is a diverse student population at Ohio University, and, while there is also a diverse Journalism and Communications community here, it seems to remain mainly white. However, I greatly admire the work that Scripps students do and am very proud to be a part of it. We do a great job of keeping diversity ethics in mind and are also culturally well-rounded. This can be due in part to the rich culture here in Athens. The university draws in people from all over the world with many different backgrounds, practices and beliefs.
The curriculum at Ohio University allows people from all backgrounds to gain at least a basis of knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. Journalism majors are required to take courses in multiple areas of study; these requirements are listed in the course catalog.

In Race, Ethnicity, and Student Sources: Minority Newsmakers in Student-Produced Versus Professional TV News Stories the author poses the question, “When it comes to including diverse sources, how does the work of students in a diversity-driven, broadcast news skills class compare to work produced by professional local television reporters across the country?” After studying the work of both parties, the author found that students included more sources on average than professionals, and were “also more likely than professionals to include diverse voices earlier and more consistently throughout their stories.”

This makes me wonder though, will these students just end up getting lazy with sources like their professional counterparts? Often the students are assigned these parameters by their professors, which, in the study, led the author to conclude that managers may have a large impact on the diversity of the writers’ work. Students were working hard because they wanted to learn and were motivated by grades. Professionals are motivated by wages, but does this mean they don’t care as much?
The author also concluded that, “The constant deadline pressure and rigorous routines of local television news create a need to produce news fast and efficiently.” This may be what’s causing these writers to fall short of expectations. The author suggests focusing on: (a) explication; (b) expectation; and (c) evaluation. I agree that raising standards all around will greatly improve the ethical standards of our industry. I am confident saying that the Scripps school has taught us well when it comes to ethical standards for diversity. It’s not that hard considering the knowledge we gain completing the journalism curriculum. As long as others in the industry begin doing the same, the future of journalism looks bright.

Our chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is the top regional and national chapter for 2009-10. In this video, the current and past presidents of OUSPJ describe what the recognition means.

No comments:

Post a Comment