Monday, April 07, 2008

Passing judgement in news item

All you journalists out there, pull out your Journalism 101 book and tell me if it is appropriate for a correspondent to insert his/her judgment while reporting a news item.

Who is off the mark here?

The Hindu : International : Protests mar torch relay
A Chinese embassy adviser in Paris Hu Chang Chun said the torch’s journey through the city would be a “great festival” for the French people and that any protests would come from a “tiny minority.” He could not have been more off the mark.

7 comments:

Dirt Digger said...

The Chindu's journalists lack logical presentation skills. The tampering of statements to add their own emphasis is ridiculous to say the least.
It reminds me of a Friends episode where Joey decides to add quotation to almost everything he speaks of.
Every four years the Olympic torch goes through every major city and I don't see how its a huge festival other than free publicity for the Olympics organizers.
If the French really wanted to show their disinterest or protest, they should've stayed away and boycotted the procession and probably start boycotting the Olympics sponsors.
The tibetians should organize a boycott of all the companies sponsoring. That would generate pressure on the Chinese.

Aanchal said...

There is no problem with the quote you have provided. It is not an example of editorialising, and, to the extent it shows the Chinese spokesman in poor light, your citing of it suggests you understand neither news nor the nuances of the English language!

Aanchal Haquette

Dirt Digger said...

Aanchal Haquette,
While I agree with you that the quote shows the spokesman in poor light, I'm baffled by your rant on HF's analysis.
Could you please detail why this is not an example of editorializing?

aanchal said...

Who is HF?

"The Met Department said Chicago would be sunny Monday. With sleet and snow lashing the windy city, it could not have been more off the mark."

If any idiot says this is "editorialisg", he/she has no business running a blog purporting to be media criticism.

Aanchal Haquette

Hindu Fundamentalist said...

Aanchal Haquette,
"He could not have ..." is clearly an instance of editorialising. It does not have a place in a news item. A poor example is no justification for turning a report into editorial.
-HF

aANCHAL said...

Look, HF and her palz are free to bash 'Chindu' or any other purported leftist trend. No skin off my back. Just don't dress it up as media criticism. You guyz clearly know zilch about journalism, based on my quick reading of this rent-a-rant site the last two days.

If u were to be really objective, u would recognise that 'Chindu' is actually fairly conservative in its news writing (hence it is also quite BORING), and that TOI, HT, Express and Pioneer are all much more guilty of blatantly mixing editorial comments and opinions in their news stories.

Dirt Digger said...

Aanchal,
Thanks for your comments. You are right when you state that Hindu is fairly conservative in its reporting.
But conservative reporting and uninteresting writing styles are two different things and anyone with a basic understanding of writing styles knows that. While one focus of this blog has been pointing out inconsistencies in Hindu's reporting like editorializing here, but the larger issue of not following any of the major Journalistic principles.
And to that effect, one of the key principles, Objectivity is ignored in several articles.
If you check the Statement of a Shared Purpose, written by the Project for Excellence in Journalism it defines it as,
"Objectivity" refers not to the person, but to the method, the testing of information, to help prevent biases from undermining the work. For example, this is pursued by seeking multiple and opposing sources.
And if you could take care to read and understand the articles by The Hindu, you would realize the precise lack of objectivity.