Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Question of Judgment

News judgment. It's one of those elusive concepts that we young journalists seem to spend a hefty amount of time trying to grasp. What is it really? In Fundamentals of Journalism, we learned that a newsworthy story had at least a few of six specific elements, but those elements become difficult to recall when trying to find stories to pitch, or when figuring out what this hour's newscast should lead with.

Hell, those elements are hard to remember while crafting blog posts.

As I ponder this, I wonder if news judgment is a matter of perspective. And whether young journalists have a harder time deciding what makes news because we're so used to our older editors and colleagues making the editorial decisions.

Is it that, because of different life experiences and frames of reference, our idea of "news" differs from those whom we work under? Is there really any "correct" news judgment, or would the nightly news, the world report and the latest headlines look different if younger journalists, minority journalists, women journalists were calling the shots?

When it really comes down to it, is judgment not just a matter of perspective? If so, then who's to decide right from wrong?

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Posted by Veronica Marché at 1:58 AM | link

Read or Post a Comment

I think one's news judgement depends on a few factors
a) your news environment (what happens in your area, what matters to the demographic)
b) your outlet's news philosophy
c) how the story is told (what needs to be present in the story)
d) who tells the story (the voices)
e) how easy it'll be to obtain elements of the story, the voices and the background

I was once told the way to cut to the chase is that to know if the story really matters you should know when a story will leave you outraged or make you cry. The right story makes you think but more importantly makes you feel some sort of way.

Posted by Blogger CNEL @ 3:26 PM, April 21, 2008 #
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