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Home > Publications > Quill > SDX Awards: Journalism Research


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Tuesday, July 3, 2007
SDX Awards: Journalism Research

Winners: David H. Weaver, G. Cleveland Wilhoit and colleagues, Indiana University School of Journalism

by Jim Poyser

IU’s School of Journalism began this series of studies of American journalists in 1982 to update the first large-scale study of U.S. journalists done in 1971, and they’ve continued to do it every 10 years. “This study is all about journalists — who they are, how they are trained, what they believe, what their jobs are like,” said Randal Beam, one of the authors.

“We think it’s important to take the pulse of U.S. journalism at least every 10 years, much as the U.S. Census takes the pulse of the nation every 10 years,” said another author, David Weaver.

Many of the findings from this 2002 study give us hope that even in this age of very large, multinational corporations, the public service and investigative values of U.S. journalism are still alive and well. But other findings give us pause for concern, especially the declines in perceived autonomy of many journalists in this country and the cuts in newsroom resources at some organizations.

We hope that the journalism of this 21st century and this new millennium will be “a journalism of sense making based on synthesis, verification and fierce independence,” in the words of Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, and that it will not “be subsumed inside the world of commercialized speech.” We also hope that the journalist of this new century will live up to the description of the journalist written in the early 20th century by Frank Crane:

I am the journalist …

I do not judge. I record. I do not praise or blame. I tell …

The ethics of my profession may be told in one word — truth …

No man can buy my light. No man can buy my silence …

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