CMU 200 Winter 2000



Questions to consider while going over the Week 6 readings on the culture, values and ethics of professional journalism. No papers are due on the readings, but points may be discussed in sections. These questions may also help you prepare for the exams.


"The Brave New World of Media Politics", Iyengar/Reeves, ix - xx

In what ways does the article suggest, as President Kennedy did, that the press is a "valuable arm of the Presidency?"


"Overview", Iyengar/Reeves, 1-8

According to the overview, current presidents have lost what critical power?


"The Socialization of Reporters", Iyengar/Reeves, 9-17

What is the gender, ethnicity and education level of the typical journalist today?

Does the proportion of females and minority groups in journalism today equal their proportion in the actual population? Has this proportion changed since the 1970's?

What kinds of trends in terms of gender, ethnicity and type of education do the authors notice when comparing journalists of the 60's and 70's to those of today?

What is one of the most significant predictors of journalists' job satisfaction?

What professional responsibilities do most journalists see as extremely important today?

Do most journalists consider setting the political agenda an important and/or appropriate role for the journalist?


"Covering the Trial", Iyengar/Reeves, 29-32

According to Boyarsky, what's the worst thing a journalist can do?

What does Boyarsky suggest inspired the "media monster"?

What does television anchor Warren Olvey say that people are NOT getting when they peer through the "peephole" of a TV camera?

"The Question of Media Bias", Iyengar/Reeves, 40-42

How does Reeves justify frowning upon the bias of conservative thinkers and journalists while at the same time defending the "liberal prism" of the press?


"No Justice for Throwaway People", "Investigative report will stir your emotions, maybe stir us all to act", "KOMO Announces it won't cover 'irresponsible or illegal' acts", "Broadcast of Man's Death Rekindles a Debate in Los Angeles", "British Paper's Sting Nets an Earl and a Scolding from a Judge", from the packet

These newspaper articles deal with cases of investigative journalism and raise questions concerning journalists' perceived social and ethical responsibilities. In which of the cases do you think the journalists did not fulfill their social, ethical or professional responsibilities? Are there any guidelines that you think might help to separate "good" investigative journalism from "bad" or irresponsible journalism?