Monday, September 12, 2011

Are talk shows journalism?

Last year in first-year journalism class Steve Vogelsang, our instructor, showed us a clip of Oprah interviewing Naomi Campbell. Steve showed us how Oprah got the questions that everyone was thinking answered. After the clip, I asked if Oprah was considered a journalist. She did start her career as a journalist, but was she considered a journalist on her talk show.

Journalists are expected to be unbiased and report the news. However, Oprah and many other talk show hosts inject their opinion when interviewing people. I believe Lisa Ling's show, Our America,falls into this category as well. Ling tells important stories happening in America, but her reactions from her experiences are included in the show.

I think that talk shows, which tell people's stories, and a 6 o'clock news story are both examples of journalism. I think why I questioned if a talk show would be considered journalism is because of the difference in time and interviewers. On a talk show, the interview is usually longer and often perceived as entertainment. On the news, interviews are often used to tell a story, rather than the interview being the news. Also, on the news there are different reporters, and the reporters are often not even featured, or if they are, are shown for short time. In the time of branding and celebrity, I think talk show hosts are made to be personalities, not just a reporter who is completely separate from the story.

To me, I think that talk should and the news are examples of journalism. Both tell stories, the core of what I believe journalism is.

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