We found that while journalists aimed to fulfil traditional roles, like informing and educating the public, they valued their unique role: to promote unity and reconciliation. Having lived through Rwanda’s genocide era, they wanted to prevent a similar tragedy from reoccurring.
There seems to be little learning among the news media about how they might cover elections better. Here are five weaknesses in the approach of most mainstream media.
For our latest research, we wanted to find a way to help writers accurately communicate research evidence, without diminishing reader interest in the claims. To do this, we teamed up with nine UK press offices, from journals, universities and funders, to run a randomised trial with health-related press releases.
The British press is regarded by the rest of the world as notoriously raucous. If you need an example of how raucous, the way British newspapers have reported Brexit is only one recent, if much-discussed, example. Headlines such as “Who will speak for England?”, “Enemies of the people” or “Draw a red line on immigration or else” stirred up controversy and put the media’s role in political and democratic debate into sharp focus.
The federal budget has finally answered some of the questions about the Liberal government’s plans to subsidize the news business, which were first floated late last year. But the details revealed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau raises many more questions about Ottawa’s reasons for supporting journalism.
The newspaper industry in many countries is in the doldrums. Retrenchments have become the norm with experienced journalists who specialize in a particular reporting area – known as “beat reporting” – are among the first to go.
Eat blueberries for the antioxidants. Exercise daily at a moderate intensity for optimal heart health. Get the vaccine to prevent the disease. Our decision-making and conduct is influenced by what we read, see or hear. And many parts of our lives, from the food we eat to our quality of sleep, can in some way be linked back to scientific research.
For social media and search engines, the law is back in town. Prompted by privacy invasions, the spread of misinformation, a crisis in news funding and potential interference in elections, regulators in several countries now propose a range of interventions to curb the power of digital platforms.
The federal government’s recent announcement of financial support for news organizations has been met with understandably wide-ranging reactions — from relief to skepticism, and worse. Among other measures, the package will incentivize consumers to sign up for digital news subscriptions and subsidize publishers through a tax credit on salaries paid to journalists. It’s good news for imperilled news businesses, but even some who share the government’s expressed concern over the sustainability of independent information about public affairs have expressed misgivings. The doubters include many journalists — the very people who stand most to gain from the promised support.
Eavesdropping on someone else’s conversation is considered rude in polite circles. But if you are a journalist it may well result in the kind of scoop ITV News reporter Angus Walker recently chanced upon in a hotel when he overheard remarks made by the government’s chief Brexit adviser, Olly Robbins.