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News Story Review: Unbiased Journalism

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Question:

Discuss about the News Story Review for Unbiased Journalism.

 

Answer:

The news event being addressed for this study is the recent case of ball tampering conducted by three Australian players and the punishment dealt to them. Both the news stories revolve around the unethical practices by the Australian players. The themes and ideas that are relevant to the unit are the news value, unbiased journalism and credibility of the newspaper[1]. Two news stories from CNN and The Guardian have been referred to for this paper. However, both the reports addresses the same issue but from a different news angle. One addresses the unethical practices conducted by the Australian players and the other is much concerned about the future of the Australian cricket team. Both news stories address the public sentiment and are impartial in their addressing of the topic.

The report from CNN addresses the issue that even though the Australian team is famous for its groundbreaking performance, yet the recent scandal has severely impacted the integrity of the Australian cricket team and asks whether it is the appropriate time to bring about more strict changes regarding the punishment for unfair and unethical practices in the sport[2]. The report from Guardian addresses the issue from the viewpoint of the Australian sentiment and states how the ban imposed on the three accused players should be reduced, according to the statement presented by the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) to the Cricket Australia[3]. Both the news stories address the same topic, however they differ in the perspective through which it would be viewed. One news story is impartial and covers both public opinion and statements of the Australian cricket administration in its reporting while the other in its reporting, states the emotional and sentimental turmoil that the Australian cricket scenario is currently experiencing. Regardless, the CNN news story compiles public reaction and statements in its report relating to the topic, but The Guardian’s news report is only based on the ACA’s statements to the CA and their feelings and remarks regarding the ban. 

 

Both the news stories are based on recent and relevant information, which is unusual in nature and are based on proven facts. The reporters too have been impartial and unbiased in their reporting of the event. Cricket is a global sport, which finds its appeal among individuals from all over the world. The Australian cricket team had always prided itself being a dominant force in the sport. However, the recent acts committed by 3 renowned players, involving the Captain and the Vice-Captain came as a shock and disgraceful act to many. Therefore, the most relevant news value that can be considered for both news stories is the value of impact[4]. The news stories are based on a event that had a great impact over the global base of cricket fans, is negative in nature, based on an unexpected act and is not a event which occurs frequently. Apart from this, the news story found a great appeal to the worldwide audience and is easy to grasp as well. Thus, the consideration of all of these characteristics, imply the presence of the impact value of news story[5]. Both news stories somewhat present the same event and thus share the same news value but The Guardian’s news story has a presence of human interest value as well.

The news article by the CNN compiles its report with the statements made by the Australian Captain (now former) Steve Smith in the press conference, along with statements from the former Australian Prime Minister and a Network Ten cricket commentator. It also reports the statements made by the former Australian cricket legends and cricket journalists as well. The report from The Guardian is compiled only on the basis of the statements issued by the ACA president, who spoke on behalf of the entire ACA. These resources play a significant role in the journalist’s construction of the story since their reports are inclusive of remarks from prominent sources of authority and relevance. A good news story is supposed to include the opinions of individuals who are known to the public and are also in a suitable position of power, making them more accurate, reliable and significant to the audience/readers, and both of the news stories follow this rule in their reporting style[6].

In recent times, the sources of news have grown in abundance. There is a rising trend of printing news regarding the information gained from confidential or anonymous sources and whistleblowers. The social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have become great sources of news as well. However, the most reliable sources of news are considered to be the following:-

  • Press conferences
  • Statements made by celebrities and politicians (or prominent and famous individuals)
  • Press releases
  • News published by the Associated Press
  • Content posted on official and government websites
  • Relevant files (can be later used as evidence)

At present, Twitter too can be considered a reliable source since news stories arise from the tweets posted by the prominent people themselves, and can be checked later on[7]. All of these above stated sources are considered believable by the people due to their assurance of providing accurate information and facts.

Public sphere is a concept that states that the exchange and discussion of opinions between two people may lead to the formation of a common judgment. A proper news story is supposed to report the news in a manner that it affects the thought process of the reader and generates an opinion in his head. The news story reported by CNN is related to public sphere since it addresses the news in a way that is less in facts but is more based on the opinions of people regarding the event that occurred. The news from The Guardian addresses the same issues and affects the psychology of the reader. The reader may either feel outraged and form an opinion that a more strict punishment should have been imparted, or he may form the opinion that even though the players were found guilty, they are remorseful for their actions and a long term ban would ruin their career as well as lives. However, after reading both the news stories, one forms the judgment that the players were wrong in their actions and have accepted their mistakes openly, along with receiving their punishment[8]. Thus, due to these reasons, it can be said, that news media plays a public sphere role in the reporting of this issue. 

 

References

Edition.cnn.com, CNN, After A Week Of Bad Headlines, Is It Time For A Reckoning Of Australian Cricket? (2018) CNN https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/30/sport/australian-cricket-reckoning-intl/index.html

Foreman, Gene. The Ethical Journalist: Making Responsible Decisions in the Digital Age. John Wiley & Sons, (2015).

Iggers, Jeremy. Good news, bad news: Journalism ethics and the public interest. Routledge, (2018).

Kovach, Bill, and Tom Rosenstiel. The elements of journalism: What newspeople should know and the public should expect. Three Rivers Press (CA), (2014).

Moore, Roy L., et al. Media Law and Ethics. Routledge, (2017).

Peters, Chris, and Marcel Jeroen Broersma, eds. Rethinking journalism: Trust and participation in a transformed news landscape. Routledge, (2013).

Theguardian.com, ACA Labels Ball Tampering Bans 'Disproportionate' And Calls For Reduction (2018) the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/apr/03/aca-labels-ball-tampering-bans-disproportionate-and-calls-for-reduction

Ward, Stephen JA. The invention of journalism ethics: The path to objectivity and beyond. Vol. 38. McGill-Queen's Press-MQUP, (2015).

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