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EVALUATING JOURNALISM

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The need to distinguish clearly the disciplines involved in quality reporting from the now universal capacity for conveying facts and opinions has never been more widely acknowledged. To date, attempts to classify the attributes of journalistic practice have encompassed professional traits or values, journalists' criteria of quality or excellence, and the elements or principles underlying journalism. This paper considers the utility of those streams of work for evaluating the practice of journalism and builds on the classical study of rhetoric in order to propose a new assessment framework. The proposed framework is organized within five “faculties” (discovery, examination, interpretation, style and presentation). Specific evaluative topics are associated with each of the faculties, plus potential standards (quality journalism is independent, accurate, open to appraisal, edited and uncensored) and criteria of excellence (the best journalism is ambitious, undaunted, contextual, engaging and original).
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Keywords: evaluation of journalism; journalistic culture and practice; quality; rhetoric; values

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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