Understanding Journalism: A Guide to Issues by John Wilson

By John Wilson

By no means has the media been so significantly considered as this day. Documenting many parts of discussion and dispute among newshounds, the media, public businesses and politicians, the writer identifies why conflicts will proceed. overlaying issues from govt bias to censorship, authentic secrets and techniques to freedom of knowledge and animal rights to obscenity, this hugely informative paintings is a necessary consultant to all these fascinated by journalism and the media.

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It arises because the Act speaks of treatment ‘in programmes’, not ‘by programmes’. Although the ‘unjust or unfair’ treatment must be ‘in’ a programme, this leaves open the possibility that material left out could make the programme unfair. Another aspect argued about is whether material gathered for a programme but not used can constitute an unwarranted infringement of privacy ‘in a programme’. Even more obscurely, it is wondered whether unsuccessful attempts to gather material could amount to unwarranted infringement.

So must dramatised documentaries. The Radio Authority is much the most severe about drama that dabbles in current controversies. While the ITC and the BBC haver in favour of creative talent, the Authority does not hesitate. ’ The word ‘designed’ could be a loophole for the mischievous, offering acquittal on a technicality. The Authority’s code forbids one-sided fiction on controversial issues being debated in parliament, a modern echo of the discredited and long-dead ‘fourteen day rule’, accepted under pressure by the BBC and eventually imposed by government in the 1950s, to stop broadcasters dealing with issues a fortnight before a parliamentary debate.

Reports are dropped because others are too long. Stories give way to better latecomers. Journalism enjoys the unexpected, the story no one knew was going to happen, what the agenda of a business meeting would call ‘AOB’. On a good day in journalism, ‘Any Other Business’ leaps excitedly to the top of the programme, knocking out many other items on the agenda, and consumes most of the front page of the newspaper so that the earlier intended ‘lead’ goes down page abbreviated and other stories become ‘news briefs’ with more coverage inside.

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