David Weaver & Lars Willnat
Are U.S. journalists really that different? A comparative look at the norms and values of journalists around the world
IU Journalism professors David Weaver and Lars Willnat presented findings from their soon-to-be-released book, The Global Journalist in the 21st Century, for IU Telecom’s T600 Proseminar. The presentation provided information gleaned from a massive survey of nearly 29,000 journalists from around 40 countries. The survey covered topics on demographics, perceived roles of journalists, and ethics surrounding journalistic methods. In sum, David and Lars found that U.S. journalists are notably different from journalists around the world. Compared to international averages, they are more likely to be older, male, married, and college educated. US journalists are more likely to endorse the occupation’s watchdog role and emphasize quick reporting. Finally, they are more likely to condone badgering sources, using personal documents, and undercover employment to find stories.
Interestingly, the findings don’t reveal if countries are becoming more divergent or similar along the aforementioned topics. However, most countries endorse quick reporting and objectivity and believe that protecting sources’ identities is an important ethical boundary.
Dissent at a Distance
RTV 180 experienced a jam-packed T600 session today on social movements and the role technology plays in these movements. Rather than the standard two-person presentation, three individuals treated us with the fruits of the research labor. The first was Hans Ibold from IU Journalism. Using several events as examples, he identified key characteristics of recent social movements. Additionally, he indicated that these movements are capable of revealing transnational links between events and emotions.
The second speaker was IU Telecom‘s own Lindsay Ems. She approached her research by asking in what ways was technology being used in social movements. By investigating numerous recent social movements in a case study, she identified a striking example of hypocrisy. In short, the US urged Twitter to remain active during the Iranian election protests, but responded with extreme prejudice to protesters of the local G20 summit using twitter in a similar manner.
The final speaker, Joe DiGrazia of IU Sociology, provided a quick overview of his own research. He concluded that social media don’t change the way movement occur; rather, they provide a space for grievance—a place to form collective action where physical presence isn’t necessary.