Journalism Exam Essay Sample
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- Category: journalism
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Journalism Exam Essay Sample
Section 1 (9 questions):
1. Define the news:
* “anything you can find out today that you didn’t know before” * “new or interesting information”
* “anything that makes the reader say gee whiz”
* “news is information people need to make sound decisions”
2. What does the news do?
* Satisfy our needs and problems
* Communicate with each other and get to know who our friends and enemies are.
3. What is media?
* A channel, a means to an end
* Communication technology (TV films, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, radio, video games, papers, iPods, internet, computers, phones etc.) * Mass media = connect with the masses (people/group) based on age, education and culture.
4. What does journalistic style require?
5. What is journalism?
Very simply put journalism is a system where people get the news, a service which contributes information which ensures people remain free and self-governing. Journalism listens to people’s concerns and what interests them. Helps readers make up their own minds about issues and policies.
1. List the theories in the media: the magic bullet, limited effects, the two step flow theory, the spiral of silence, agenda setting and third person effect. 2. What is print media?
The press – conveys information/news and commentary in print. 3. Journalistic style means to?
* Write the most important things first, start with the main point of your story. Get your introduction right. State what your news story is about. * Tell what has happened before why or how it has happened (put the bare facts before wider facts) * Write backwards – chronologically (begins with the climax and details followed by, in order, diminishing importance.) * Have short paragraphs which consist of one –two sentences (deliver information to the reader in easily digestible bits) * Bring all written thoughts to a natural, logical conclusion. * Write where there are no loose ends
* Write clearly, so it is easily understood
* Write with correct grammar
* Write with no opinions instead with what you know and how you deliver this story. * Write simply and make sure the readers understand the story.
4. Name eight of the essential elements of a news story are: Focus, newsworthiness, facts, sources, clarity, answers, audience and ethics. 5. Define the inverted pyramid of news?
* It is when the most newsworthy information is placed at the top and the less important information is placed at the bottom. This allows the reader to know immediately what the story is about and also enables them to pull out and stop reading without missing something important. 5Ws and 1H are used. Most important is what.
6. Name the eight different intros:
The summary lead (works best), direct (flat, undisputed, gets to the point), attribution (incorporates opinion, prediction), decision (about parliaments, councils, involves attribution and its strength lies in the importance of the decision made or the person who made it), delayed (calculated to raise expectations, makes the reader read on, known as the “buried lead” or the “suspended lead”), question (best for feature stories, but can work sometimes in news), quotation ( best for feature stories, unless quote is striking or made by someone really important) and direct address (best for feature stories when it’s more likely that the writer speaks directly to the reader).
7. How can you connect your intro to the rest of the story? By writing information related to the introduction in the middle of the news story or in some paragraphs after or relating back to the introduction.
8. The most preferred news format is the inverted pyramid structure. What are the three other formats journalists use? The circle structure (provides information which brings the report back to the main focus of the story presented in the intro), the hour glass format (starts with a summary intro, in the middle the story shifts into a more narrative form using chronology (timeline/record) to complete telling the story) and the pine tree structure (allows journalists to tell a story in greater depth. It might open with an anecdotal (subjective) intro reflecting one’s personal experience and then branch out to provide context or how the individual story relates to a larger issue or turning point. The focus of the story could then narrow again reflecting a turning point of an individual’s story.)
1. Name the 5 ways journalists use to make news stories both relevant and engaging: Inject freshness (don’t let it get predictable or formulaic, use questions, different sources etc.), present information for multiple audiences (by trying to globalise the local or localise the global); offer the news as a conversation (by keeping it in the moment. Provide past tense when possible), suggest a larger picture whenever possible and tell the story in a different way (question and answer, a rail of quotes or vignettes (descriptions, account or episode), photographs or illustrations)
2. What elements does a good news story have to contain? Proximity (includes geographical, cultural, political, social and psychological – how close is it to you?), timeliness (how new is what’s happened – did it just happen?), impact (highlights effect of what has happened, of what is said about communities, society), conflict (includes arguments, debates, charges and counter charges, fights), human interest (stories which induce (persuade) an emotional response), the unusual (includes the unexpected, surprising), prominence (importance, important people, key people), currency ( repetition or trend news – takes account of what people are thinking).
3. What is a hard intro?
Also known as the direct or summary lead – it tells what the story is about – states the essential facts of the news – makes a point about the facts (this point is why the point is significant or interesting)
1. Why is delivering a clearly and strongly written angle (the way you present the news story) in a news story important to news consumers? It is important as it clarify obviously the reason why the reader needs to take the time to read the news story. It tells the reader the answers to their questions (what’s the story about? What is the point of the story? What is the focus? What has happened? What’s the message?)
2. What is a ‘popular’ newspaper known as? What do the broadsheet readers believe regarding this type of newspaper? It is known as the tabloid. Broadcast readers believe tabloids ‘dumb down’ news contents so it’s easier for readers to absorb it. They believe tabloids are more popular because they beat up stories, making them more sensational and therefore entertaining than the news is.
3. What is a ‘quality’ newspaper known as? What do the tabloid readers believe regarding this type of newspaper? It is known as the broadsheet. Tabloid readers believe broadsheets ‘intellectualise’ the news content so it’s harder for the ordinary people to absorb. They also believe it is colourless, pedantic (dull) and boring.
4. Name the nine ways journalists keep the public informed: Help keep governments honest and help us decide who to vote for, help us view our world in context by looking at events on a local, regional, global scale, warn of danger and deceptions, help right injustices, expose hypocrisy, promote health and safety, help us make informed choices about products, services, allow us to express our feelings and opinions about people, events and draw communities together in times of trouble and disaster.
5. What are rounds? They are specialist areas of journalism given to journalists/reporters who have gained the necessary experience, confidence and expertise in their field.
6. Name the ten rounds: Politics, crime, health, education, sport, entertainment/celebrity, human interest, finance, features (lifestyle, drive (campaign, fundraiser), etc.), local news such as infrastructure, transport, employment, emergencies, accidents, and public events.
7. What does shotgun writing refer to? It is when newspaper features aim to please a broad audience in terms of age, interests, backgrounds. Section two (5 questions)
1. You are placed at the scene of an accident/disaster. E.g. hurricane scenario, fire, car accident, collapsing of a bridge etc. please answer the following questions:
Question 1: where and who would you get your sources from?
Emergency personnel, the people involved the police, the witnesses, courts, politicians, daily diaries, the media, internet, news wires/agencies, business/unions/money, reports/studies/statistics, interviews etc.
Question 2: What may be newsworthy to news consumers about this event? What questions would they want answered? The news consumers would want these questions answered: what’s the story about? What is the point of the story? What is the focus? What has happened? What’s the message? Who, what, when, where, when and how. This event maybe newsworthy as it involves someone important, precautions, let the audience experience some of the tragedies of life so they can make decisions, help people that are in need because of the disaster, charities, fundraiser e.g. Queensland floods. It may be educating, explaining, updating and informing.
Question 3: how would you interview your source? What type of questions would you ask? With either the funnel approach – asking general questions first and then tackle more specific/challenging ones as the interview progresses and the interviewee gets more comfortable about answering questions. The inverted funnel approach – used when time is a factor, in other words, questions are asked which get right to the point. Type of questions asked include: basic questions(5Ws and 2H(much, many) ), yes/no questions, leading( the answer is stated in the question), loaded(statement of value within the question), probing(how and why questions), mirror(reflect point of view made by the source) and problem solver(creates a hypothetical situation for the interviewee). Week 7
1. What is bias? Allowing/ensuring/indulging in the distortion of the truth; the presentation of untruths and or not all the truth. 2. What does the news need? Content that Explains, educates, informs and updates. 3. What is churnalism? a) The unedited, uncritical (naïve, accepting) inclusion of a press release. b) Checking the reliability of press release information or attributable “spin”. Week 8
Not that important
1. Online journalism means journalists can offer the news: Faster – text, photos, audio, video and graphics in small digestible bits of information (favouring great slabs of text, “chunking”, a piece of text that conveys a single idea) 2. What are the benefits of online journalism? Space and readers can become part of the news. 3. Online news needs to:
Have an online heading (4-6 words) that works with the introduction, have an intro: a catchy synopsis of the most newsworthy points in no more than 20-25 words, include a geographical pointer if not include it in the heading; explain the 5Ws and 1H followed by the strongest quote and include chronology (timeline of events) and background. Week 11
1. What is a press release used for? By who?
Public relations (PR) companies use press releases to publicise its clients or products, with the aim of turning them into news stories. Often these press releases are not much more than advertorials. 2. What is a press release?
Simply put, a press release is news to the media, prepared in a journalistic manner. Is a statement prepared for distribution to the media. Is an advertorial piece composed to capture the attention of journalists with the aim of having its contents published, broadcasted etc.
3. Why are press releases sent to journalists?
To cover-up something, to promote something/someone and to talk big about something/someone. 4. Define spin: the process whereby an organisation or individual ensures that information placed into the public sphere, usually through PR channel, puts them in the best light possible. This word has a negative meaning as it implies information manipulation. 5. What questions need to be asked when journalists receive press releases? Why was it sent? What was the underlying motive? On whose behalf was it written and why? What issue may be being managed here? Who has most to gain – or lose – if the press release gets published? 6. What is the purpose of press releases?
To promote a company, a product, a service, a technology, a person and an organisation. 7. What are the steps a press release needs to follow?
Disclose the facts of the story quickly and accurately, provide updates as new information becomes available, demonstrate compassion for victims, never say “no comment”( it will only fuel rumour and speculation), release all the information on official letterheads, put the date and time at the top of every page, include contact details of a person who can be contacted 24 hours a day, double space the information, consult with legal counsel before releasing information and don’t except responsibility without consultation, keep a log of information released, when and to whom. 8. What are the eight types of headings used?
Direct headlines (states a unique selling proposition), indirect headlines (make a point in a roundabout way to raise curiosity, which needs to be satisfied in the main text), news headlines (state an important fact about a product/service/policy etc.), how-to headlines (offer a promise of problem solution or guidelines etc.), Question headlines (which the reader can emphasise), command headlines (tell the reader what to do), reason – why headlines (lists the features of the product/service), testimonial headlines (made by someone endorsing(approving) product/service)