"A New Wave of Journalism" -- the positive effects of "public journalism."

Essay by cheatingisBADCollege, UndergraduateA-, November 2003

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A New Wave of Journalism

A new movement against mainstream journalism, called "public Journalism," is doing away with sensationalized reporting and instead focusing on the needs of the public. The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot is a newspaper that has put this new method into effect with great results. Through this paper's change it becomes obvious that today's mainstream media is less concerned about public needs and more worried about ratings and selling entertainment. Public journalism has got the mainstream beat on terms of producing more facts and information, involving readers interactively, and obligation to report true, significant news.

Before the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot adopted this new approach it would follow local elections by the political badmouthing among the candidates. Accusations and political maneuvers did not reflect the facts of the election or truth about the candidates. This reporting was more akin to gossip than reporting, spreading the personal judgments of those involved rather than the actual truth of matters.

Now, the newspaper presents the running politicians as candidates applying for positions important to the town's future. Instead of focusing on the personal attacks or bias judgments, the paper distinctly describes the backgrounds and qualifications of each candidate. Also, the paper describes the duties of the offices the candidates are running for. A full description of the duties a candidate would have to fulfill should prove very helpful to the public when deciding which candidate seems better capable. The change they have implemented is a much more factual and informative one.

The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot has also made a way for the public to get involved. The paper now offers a forum for towns-people to ask the candidates themselves questions and receive the answers. The publication also urges readers to contact the campaigns with further inquiries by listing that information as well. Now the readers...