• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Written by veteran journalist and noted professor Jim Willis, with an epilogue by Marilyn Thomsen, this book introduces journalistic decision-making into the classroom, alongside discussion of reporting and writing techniques. Students peer inside the minds of a cross-section of print, broadcast, and online journalists by way of exclusive interviews and additional research that provide a deep, broad glimpse into how they perceive themselves, their world, and their craft. Ultimately, this provocative text provides added insights into how journalists think and why they do what they do.

Features and Benefits

  • Original interviews with contemporary journalists at varying career stages. Offers a rarely seen, inside look at the world of journalists from media outlets such as theLos Angeles Times, theBoston Globe, CNN, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, KUSA Television in Denver, and The Oklahoman.
  • Anecdotes involving how journalists work. Translates abstract thinking into the reality of everyday journalism.
  • Interviews with several war reporters. Portrays the impact of covering war on those reporting from the field.
  • An example of how different journalists approach traumatic stories such as 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, and Hurricane Katrina. Illuminates different orientations to conveying truth and dealing with ethical dilemmas involved in such disaster coverage.

Seasoned journalists examine the following areas

  • Factors that lure young people into journalism as a career
  • The stance journalists take toward the world they are assigned to cover
  • Ethical dilemmas
  • How close to get to a story or how far to distance themselves from it
  • The socialization of journalists and the role their own personal ideologies may play in their work as reporters and editors
  • How one's faith might influence the coverage of a story
  • The mixing of news and entertainment

The Mind of a Journalist is an appropriate and innovative supplement for a variety of media studies courses, including Introduction to Journalism, News Writing and Reporting, Advanced Reporting, Journalism and Society, and Ethics, among many others.

The Journalist as an Ideologue
The journalist as an ideologue

Objectivity. Detachment. Impartiality. Many journalists wear these credentials as a referee in a football game might wear his pinstripes to indicate his neutral role on the playing field. Ideology doesn't fit into most journalists’ thinking about themselves, at least not while they're on the job anyway. Most journalists feel they should check their belief system at the door of the story—before entering in, before describing what lies out in front of them. But “shoulds” sometimes fall short of actual practice, and—in reality—journalists can no more disconnect themselves from their worldviews and value systems than can anyone else. So the trick is figuring out what to do with that worldview and what to do with those values ...

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