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Creative Paths to Television Journalism

Jacek Dabala

The book is a scholarly and creative consideration of audiovisual broadcasting and what makes a TV performance professional. It combines an academic approach to TV News with a practical understanding of production and the new pressures bearing down on the industry. Combining a real-world understanding with a scholarly approach, it offers valuable new insights for aspiring journalists, students, researchers and lecturers into what is still the most powerful medium for news and information in the world.

«This book is an exciting and challenging look at how we can understand the way we regard people and how we create and make public our views of them in and through television. The author provides a critically engaging and detailed analysis of the practical aspects of television journalism and the ethical values replete within it as well as how it is complicit in the construction of the manifold mediated identities of those caught up in the increasingly two-way relationship between broadcaster and audience. This is a wide ranging and well researched account of the dynamics of the significance and impact of television journalism in all its richness and ambiguity.»
(Prof. Jackie Harrison, Chair, Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM), Joint Head of Department and Director of Research Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield, UK)
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II. Affirmation of the Art of Presentation

Extract

II. Affirmation of the Art of Presentation

1. The value of TV presenters

A discussion about the value of TV presenters is almost inevitably bound to take place in the margins of media debate, to be incomplete and less than satisfactory. Yet the issue itself is at the forefront of modern media culture and simply cannot be avoided. It appears at the level of research, of offers of employment, of reviews and critical writing, but the main thing they share tends to be ambivalence, controversy and extreme judgment. In the words of one critic writing in a sarcastic vein about the assessment of applicants: “(…) and we owe it all to the selection panel which sifts the wheat from the chaff, potential presenters from those who should say goodbye to a career on the screen once and for all and look for some other employment, more suitable to their skills and appearance.”161 The irony here highlights the gap between the ideal and the reality, and the authors go on to demonstrate how sensitive the subject can be both on the social and individual level. Clearly, it involves the requirements of the journalists’ code of practice, which should determine the practical aspects of the profession and be beyond government control and that of government-imposed bodies; this also involves the question of values as interpreted by the International Federation of Journalists.162

Dictionary definitions of the word “value” give many possible meanings, and we can talk of...

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