ABC 7 News Compliance to Principles of Journalism

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ABC7 News Compliance to Principles of Journalism

Journalismplays a critical role in democratic societies making it anindispensable form of communication. Journalism main purpose in thesociety is more than just the technology or the techniques thatjournalists employ, but the usefulness of the information in the newsas a utility to empower the society. Effective journalism, therefore,should provide the public with valuable information be able to makegood and informed decisions in their lives. Good journalism isfounded on understanding the choices that journalists make whenproducing news and differentiating information that is news from theone that is not. The analysis endeavors to confirm whether local TVnewsrooms conform to the set elements of journalism as asserted byBill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel by analyzing ABC 7 news presentationto establish that the station news fails to conform to all standards.

Journalismmay fail to guarantee the truth in some of the news presented, butgetting the right fact about a situation is a fundamental principleof journalism. In the three news analyzed in ABC 7, it is evidentthat all the stories presented in the news have disparities in theiraccuracy, which makes them seem to be more like rumors than truenews. According to Dean, “Good decision-making depends on peoplehaving reliable, accurate facts put in a meaningful context,” (7).In this regards, the news cannot be confirmed from any other sourceswith the same specifics as reported. This demonstrates a gap intruthfulness by ABC 7 Reporters and that all the relevant facts thatshould have been checked to ensure accuracy were neglected. Thepresenters did not provide any information on the news that was notcorroborated. The news analyzed demonstrated that information beingpresented to the public is may have interfered with either governmentor shareholders. ABC 7 also failed to demonstrate its commitment tothe public as an institution that provides needed information to thepublic in a truthful way without fear or favoring any involved party.In fact, from the news log generated, ABC 7 does not provide asuccinct neutrality in all its news content.

ABC7 has set codes in which their team uses to collects and report thenews. This has however not been followed as per the news analyzed.The news presented was not tested in any way to using evidence. AsDean asserts, “Journalists should be as transparent as possibleabout sources and methods so audiences can make their assessment ofthe information,” (7). ABC 7 in many incidences in the newspresented did not use different witnesses to give their objections ona personal level in the comments they give. This could at least haveprovided important verification for news making ABC 7 journalismapproach more valuable than other forms of communication. ABC 7should run independently, and any sources or organization should notinfluence its news. The news being presented seems to be biasedtowards specific groups hence not presented independently with theopen-minded approach. According to Dean, “Being impartial orneutral is not a core principle of journalism,.., Seeking outmultiple witnesses, disclosing as much as possible about sources, orasking various sides for comment, all signal such standards,”(8).The news seems to have focused on the presenters viewpoint thatmay have been based on the company journalist’s views. This failsto show that the stories being told were but a plain demonstration ofthe truth as it is on the ground. ABC 7 journalists, therefore, havenot demonstrated to be independent, as they have failed to informwith intellectual fairness.

Newsthat analyzes government cooperates and individuals who representpower are reported based on evidence and reports from witnesses. TheABC 7 position is to act as a watchdog and present accurateinformation to the citizens. In the news analyzed, ABC 7 failed todemonstrate that it is not influenced by powerful organizations ofindividuals on its politics news. It is evident that the newspresented was not analyzed and researched in detail to ensureaccurate information is presented to the public. ABC 7 news did notbalance when reporting on the negative and positive news about thegovernment, organizations and the people in power. The news in ABC 7also did not provide any forum for discussion to its listeners. This,therefore, denied the viewers a chance to criticize and analyze thenews. As much as the stories that ABC gives out are open to scrutinyon verifying the sources by the public, the news company did notprovide avenues of communication for viewers to send feedback ontheir views. A different viewpoint of issues and discussions was notfairly presented in different interests within the society consideredand openly acknowledged. Both points where different opinions agreeand when disagreements are not equally represented in all discussionsand news items.

SBC7 has not utilized the required journalism principle of storytellingapproach. The news presented seemed routine and was not presented inthe needed interesting way. The news was not designed to interest theviewers thus, failing to balance between known information, toneeded information and the unanticipated news. As much as the newsanchors seemed well trained, they did not demonstrate high storytelling skill set. In all the sections of the news presentation, thepresenters give information hurriedly. This made it difficult tolisteners to follow through at the relevance of the subject underdiscussion was not maintained.

ABC7 news quality can be measured by the effort that the presenters havemade in engaging with the audience and making the process lively andinformative. In the three news presented, ABC 7 has shuffled the newscategorizing regarding the value and the best form of presentation,but it has not offered an even presentation of the news Journalismprovides a map work for a society. This requires completenessproportionality to provide the needed significance. Journalism keepsnews proportion by ensuring truthfulness. All facets of thecommunity, therefore, should be represented without inclining onattractive demographics. Thus, ABC 7 has failed to balance its newsby ensuring diversity when presenting well-balanced and fair news tothe public.

Journalistsare required to give their personal views when investigating andwriting stories. This involves giving a moral compass and providing apersonal ethical view and responsibility. Dean says, “Because“news” is important, those who provide news have a responsibilityto voice their personal conscience out loud and allow others to do soas well,” (11). Newsanchors in ABC 7 dod not voice their personal conscience in ways toencourage others to do so. However, this requires journalists toscrutinizing their work or that of others to demonstrate fairness andequity. Media companies exploit the freedom that encourages freedomof speech. Through engaging groups in debates and conversations, adiversified picture of the society is given. Newsrooms that encouragea diversified view of issues encourage marginalized groups voices tothe surface to be heard. In ABC 7 Newsrooms failed to providemeasures to ensure journalists have a sense of ethics in their work.The Newsroom has no mechanism for oversight and monitoring of hownews in-sourced and written before finally being released to thepublic.

Thepublic has the right and responsibility in the development of newsand contributing to its spread in the society. Journalism nowadayshas spread to the lowest levels of the members of every societythrough communication platforms such as social media. The new form ofjournalism has moved from just being a representation of the publicand a mechanism for reporting what the powerful bodies are doing orfailing to do. Journalists now have a major role to play as verifiersof the information that the public already has. As ABC 7 presents itsnews, most incidences being reported already are available in theonline social media platform but ABC 7 provides evidence and confirmsthe truth of those stories.

Journalismplays an important role in today’s society as a means of publiccommunication in understanding the direction the society is taking invarious aspects of life. How journalists and media houses processinformation and relay it as news is critical and affects thesociety’s decision-making. It is important for journalists to applyprinciples of journalism in every aspect of news production andpresentation. ABC 7 not put in place effective measures that haveensured that journalist can demonstrate good ethics in their work. Inaddition, ABC has not fulfilled all the standards as confirmed by theskewed presentation of commercials and advertising. In fact, althoughthe channel endeavors to present news in a reliable manner, it failsin presenting the most imperative and nationwide news to the publicthus, does not fulfill all the elements of journalism.


Dean,Walter. Jour100 Local Tv News Project Standards,In BillKovachand Tom Rosenstiel. Elements of Journalism. 2014. Print.

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