Today in Intro to Media we’re going to talk about journalism, the First Amendment, whistleblowers and other topics. We’ll even check out the video of the guy who crashed the Super Bowl.
Among the questions we’ll explore:
How familiar are Americans with the First Amendment? Who can name the rights that the First Amendment guarantees? See First Amendment survey.
Should the media act as a government watchdog? If so, how’s the media doing? See Paper Cuts.
What role do whistleblowers play? See Jason Jones’ interview with former NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake.
Can’t we trust the government? See sampling of investigative news stories here and the case of Bell, Calif., here.
Circling back to the First Amendment survey, why does support for our freedoms seem so soft? Continue reading →
Journalism is part of the bedrock of our democratic society. “Journalism exposes corruption, draws attention to injustice, holds politicians and businesses accountable for their promises and duties. It informs citizens and consumers, helps organize public opinion, explains complex issues and clarifies essential disagreements. Journalism plays an irreplaceable role in both democratic politics and market economies.”1
Journalism reminds us of our freedoms. A 2012 survey showed only 13 percent of respondents were able to name freedom of the press as one of five freedoms protected by the First Amendment. “While Americans remain generally supportive of First Amendment freedoms, it’s clear that as a nation we need to re-energize our efforts to provide education about those rights, starting with understanding what they are.”2
Journalism emphasizes the importance of truth-tellers and explainers. “Journalists are not merely purveyors of facts.”3 They carry out vital work in the public interest. Continue reading →