ERIC Number: ED247584
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
A Report on Detroit Media Coverage of Magnum and Vista: A Case Study of Press Criticism.
Becker, Lee B.; And Others
A four-month investigation was conducted of media coverage of two controversies involving government officials in Detroit, Michigan. Data were gathered from three sources: journalists involved in covering the stories, people involved in the stories, and the printed stories. Using public documents, the history of one of the controversies was reconstructed, and this was used to compare what actually happened with the media's interpretation of what happened. Among the conclusions reached in the study are the following: (1) the media raised legitimate and important questions about how the city of Detroit conducted its business in both controversies; (2) the stories as covered by the media differed in significant ways from the story as reconstructed; (3) the media seemed particularly inept in explaining, in both controversies, the nature of the investigation and the role the media were playing in it; (4) the media made extensive use of unnamed sources in both controversies; (5) in both cases, the media repeatedly released information suggesting wrongdoing; (6) broadcast journalists viewed the controversies as newspaper stories and reported mostly what the newspapers were reporting; and (7) the columns of the newspapers studied contained some clear instances of racist language. Media reaction to the study was somewhat defensive and narrowly focused. (A copy of one columnist's reaction to the study is appended.) (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Media Coverage; Michigan (Detroit)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (67th, Gainesville, FL, August 5-8, 1984).