In Journal: Weekend papers, reporting on surveillance and assessing journalism

Recent articles of interest published in scholarly journals:

Evaluating Journalism: Towards an assessment framework for the practice of journalism,” by Ivor Shapiro, Journalism Practice 4 (2), April 2010.

Abstract: 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).

The Globe on Saturday, The World on Sunday: Toronto weekend editions and the influence of the American Sunday paper, 1886-1895“, by Sandra Gabriele and Paul Moore, Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol 34, No 3 (2009)

Abstract: Between 1886 and 1895, the Sunday newspaper in U.S. cities became a cauldron for an emerging mass, popular culture—one with reach into Canada. The concurrent development of weekend newspapers in Toronto, Canada, distinguished local innovations against the unspecified, general influence of the “American Sunday paper.” The Sunday World and the Saturday Globe followed and refuted, respectively, the ideal set by the American Sunday paper, but together defined Canadian weekend leisure reading. The reference in Canadian newspapers to an idealized American Sunday model offers an example of an emergent continental mass popular culture where cultural forms circulated, and were transformed, producing interesting local specificities.

CCTV surveillance and the poverty of media discourse: A content analysis of Canadian newspaper coverage“, by Josh Greenberg and Sean Hier, Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol 34, No 3 (2009)

Abstract: This article examines newspaper coverage about closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance in Canada and considers its implications for public opinion and policymaking. The study addresses several issues, including the rise and fall of media attention to the themes that structure the news coverage and patterns of source access and the implications of these themes for how citizens understand the role of surveillance in their lives. As more Canadian cities explore using CCTV surveillance as a policing tool for monitoring public space, news coverage should strive to enhance the public conversation about surveillance. The data reported in this study show that the coverage has been a very poor resource for helping citizens and policymakers to understand the complex issues involved in the surveillance of public areas in Canada.