Media & Conflict

Saturday, September 20, 2008

By: Pat Tierney

This past week I had the opportunity to hit the McCain Palin campaign trail during their mid-west tour. One of their largest rallies, was right here in Iowa, at an airport hanger in Cedar Rapids.

Having a photography background really makes me key into the press pool photographers. This Cedar Rapids event was no different. The rally started off with the excited cheers of a couple thousand McCain and Palin supporters. After only 10 minutes though the domineer changed.

From the back corner, right in front of one of the largest media platforms, a girl jumped on a man's shoulders and started yelling in protest as Sen. McCain was giving his speech. Sen. McCain calmly ignored the taunting but the press did not.

As if wild wolves on a pack of sheep, all cameras focused on this girl. Photographers we're scrambling around the press area to get that "shot."

That "shot" was taken over and over again, as Sen. McCain tried to continue his speech. As I was standing there surrounded by press, my mind couldn't help but think about the media's obsession with conflict.

Time and time again the public has seen the headlines that scream about conflict. Conflict sells papers, it attacks viewers, and will get reader attention. Some may say that the protester at the McCain Palin rally was or wasn't the biggest news from the event. But there's no questions about it - that the media had it covered all over.


The world of journalism.

By: Sarah Keller

At our Simpsonian meeting last Monday a Simpson Alumni, who is now an editor for The Record Herold and Indianola Tribune, came and spoke to our class about his job and the world of journalism.

Something that he said which really stuck out in my mind was that today's papers are about 40 percent news and 60 percent advertisements. It used to be that news papers were about 50/50 or even 60 percent news and 40 percent advertisements. This statement just reinforces what we have talked about in class about the subject of a reader only giving a few seconds to an article, things in today's fast past society need to to be short and informative. One web site showing support of the statement that newspapers have more advertisements than news is the popular site, where there are advertisements on the top and the side margins

Another thing that the editor spoke of that I really enjoyed was regarding the subject of jobs in journalism. Many people in the classes have blogged about how it is impossible to get a job in journalism in the world today. However, according to the editor who spoke to our class last week, when his newspaper is looking for people to hire, they look for people with experience; but they also look for new young talented adults who can write stories well and fast. This could be any number of students in our class.

The last thing that the editor spoke of that I would like to share is about the importance of the inverted pyramid, which we have been discussing in class. He said that it is necessary to use the inverted pyramid about 90 percent of the time, and it is an important thing to know in the field of journalism.

It disappoints me a little bit that news in today's society has to be very short and to the point, and that there is more room for advertisements than news itself. But that is what society wants today, and I believe that journalist are doing a great job of meeting these requirements.


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