This book looks at the news media's portrayal of reality and seeks answers as to why this portrayal often falls short of reality itself. Jim Willis examines the factors that contribute to the journalist's often faulty perception of reality, factors that are beyond the immediate control of the reporter: errant sources, competitive influences, the embedding process of storytelling, marketing's influence on the news, and the structure of news stories. The book stresses that the reporting process is more difficult than most critics and reporters realize, and points out that the best reporters are those who will take time to recognize challenges and work to overcome them. Ideal as a supplementary text for advanced courses in reporting, The Shadow World focuses on the complexities of good reporting. It studies the challenges that face today's journalist and provides practical guidance for the novice reporter. Studying actual reporting cases, Willis discusses the difference between seeking accuracy and seeking truth in journalism.
He examines state-of-the-art methods of good reporting and stresses the need for specializing, remembering the larger truth, treating rumors as rumors, and following appropriate role models. A useful guide discussing the full range of philosophical, theoretical, and practical considerations influencing the reporter, The Shadow World will be a valuable resource for the student of journalism.
JIM WILLIS is an Associate Professor at Ball State University, where he coordinates the News-Editorial Program in the Department of Journalism. He is the author of Surviving in the Newspaper Business and Journalism: State of the Art (Praeger, 1987 and 1989, respectively).
The Tough Task of Reporting Setting the Stage for the Shadow World Objectivity from the Yellow Kid to John Tower From Hitler to Gorbachev: Questions of Alertness Asleep on NASA, HUD, and the EPA Competition's Legacy: Billygate and a Reagan-Ford Ticket Is There a Specialist in the House? The Cult of Secrecy, the Breadth of Lies Public Reaction to the Shadow World From Shadows to Substance Selected Bibliography Index