Book Title: A simplified guide to Precision Journalism and Writing
Author:Sam O. Omeje
Category/Subject Area: Journalism
Imprint:Enugu Kris ento Production (2010) Suite 25, Pinnacle Plaza, H44 Presidential Road.
In addition to a distinct introduction and conclusion, this chapter one, the introduction critically examine, precision journalism ranging from journalism and scientific tradition, where craft meets. Theory, beyond objectivity, journalism and science, what to do with data and reality testing.
Journalism and scientific tradition here the author is saying that for one to become a journalist. That things like dedication to truth, platy of energy and some talent for writing are needed but there are not just enough because of the nature of the world that has become so complicated and the handy world to be a distinguisher, a transmitter, organizer, interpreter and also a person who can gather facts and deliver it and who knows how to get information into print and air.
He further noted that some popular journals of media criticism are based on repeated complaints about modern journalism which misses important stores, two department on press release and can be manipulated by politicians and does not communicate the happenings in a desired result. This happens not because of any other thing but because of failures in application of information science and the rest and for this reason the journalist have to make do with elements such as
(a)How to find information
(b)How to evaluate and analysis it
(c)How to communicate it in a way that pierce babble of information overload and get those who need and want it.
That the application of social and behaviourial science research method in precision journalism found ready market. That the acceptance of this concept in academic was a part to its contribution to the cure of problem between the green eyeshade and chi-square factions. This demonstrated the applicability of social science research method to the real problem of news gathering in the society, and produces work that both the researched and the craft people can appreciate and tools such as sampling, computer analysis and statistical inference increases the traditional power of the reporter without charging the nature the journalist mission. He made it clear that precision journalism threatened the twin tradition of journalistic passivity and journalistic innocence that the former tradition is of the view that media should report news not make news while the media is the opinion that report should be someone who has a first hand observation of everything.
In 1980’s media polls proliferated because editor no longer trusth the polls that politicians given them and always are ready for self defence. He further stated that precision journalist do not hire pollsters to creat news even but the journalist rather becomes a pollster beyond objectivity here the maintained that discipline is one virtue of journalist as passive innocent. That it consistent, with tradition of objectivity which is a tradition that keeps journalist from imposing personal viewpoints on readers. The author in this subpoint mentioned that frustration because of the unment deal of objectivity led to new journalist in 1960’s. Jimmy Breshn and Tom Wolfe were among the practitioners of new journalism and collection of datas become difficult. Therefore some of the new journalism practitioners decided to make up their facts so to keep up with the deadline pressures, while combined facts from different cases that has portrayals of reality and this is a problem. He as well said that a better solution is to push journalism to science including data gathering and analysis tools of science and a searce for verifiable truth.
The author went further in saying that it was argued by Lawrence Crambery in 1989 that journalism, itself is a science and a properly qualified, responsible journalist is a practicing scientist. According to Cranberg if journalist that responsibility it would clear the way for better training investigative method, facting finding ability is another power or benefit of scientific approach to journalist.
That in new precision journalism, knowing what to do with data is important but it has two problems namely. Imput phase and the output phase he throw more light on how to use data as follows.
Collection of data, storing it, retrieving it, analysis it reducing it and finally communicating it under reality testing author made us to know (page continued at the front page).
That reality testing is one thing that journalist are, interested on as well. Journalist do not test reality directly with their own observations, deductions and experiments they rather do it by consulting different authorities with different new points and interests. This method has flow because the journalist may not have any good basis for evaluation but he or she that adopt the scientific method can be in a position to make useful evaluations with powerful objectivity of science.
He further stated that journalist most often share the characteristics of scientist such as (a) Skepticism (b) openness (c) An instinct for operationalisation (d) A sense of the measurement (c) Parsimory.