ERIC Number: ED233348
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Three Perspectives on American Journalism. Journalism Monographs Number Eighty-Three.
Culbertson, Hugh M.
Journalism Monographs, n83 Jun 1983
A study of 258 news personnel from 17 newspapers indicated that professional attitudes toward contemporary newspaper journalism fell into three distinct clusters: traditional, interpretative, and activist. Traditional journalists focused on local and spot news, downgraded interpretative and national/international material, and shared their audience's news preferences. Less concerned with local interests, interpreters stressed national news and human interest stories, while activists emphasized international news. Both interpreters and activists stressed investigative reporting. According to multiple-regression analyses, traditionalism indicated both local orientation and pragmatic efficiency--spot news can be processed quickly using newswriting conventions. Results were supported by L. Kohlberg's six-stage model of moral/ethical development. Stage 1, emphasizing arbitrary, fixed rules, reflected the traditionalist stance. Stage 4--basing beliefs on logical reasoning rather then on majority opinion--suggested the interpretative attitude, while stage 6--positing a concern for universal ethical principles--described the approach of many activists. Further research is needed on the possible associations between belief clusters and professionals in journalism. (MM)
Descriptors: Communication Research, Job Analysis, Journalism, News Reporting, News Writing, Newspapers, Occupational Information, Orientation, Philosophy, Press Opinion
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Journalism, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208 ($5.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Identifiers: Audience Awareness; News Reporters; News Values
Note: Publication of this monograph was made possible by the Gannett Foundation.