Cover image for How do journalists think? : a proposal for the study of cognitive bias in newsmaking
How do journalists think? : a proposal for the study of cognitive bias in newsmaking
Stocking, S. Holly.
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Publication Information:
Bloomington, IN : ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills, Smith Research Center, Indiana University, 1989.
Physical Description:
x, 118 pages ; 23 cm
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PN4749 .S86 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Reviews 1

Choice Review

This monograph proposes a new theory about how journalists decide what is news and how reporters think through news-writing decisions. The authors, a journalism professor and a former psychology professor at Indiana University, argue that a five-step cognitive process undergirds journalistic biases and how news is selected. They find that journalists initially categorize news events, generate a theory about a news angle, and test their theory while reporting a story. A reporter's initial approach affects how sources are selected and how information is integrated into the final product. Each of the proposed five cognitive processes is explained and appropriate examples are drawn from recent scholarly literature as well as from newsroom practices. This book is the first to combine the disciplines of cognitive science and media sociology. Although the theories and concepts discussed are complex for undergraduate students, the authors' literature review about news decision-making processes is superior to most current media sociology textbooks. Since how journalists decide what is news has been a fundamental topic in media sociology for 30 years, this well-written, succinct discussion of news selection is a special contribution to current literature and should be welcomed by journalism students and faculty at all levels. The book is well organized, with complete citations and good suggestions for further research. The importance of the topic and the excellence of the literature review recommend the volume's inclusion in journalism and mass communication library collections. -R. A. Logan, University of Missouri--Columbia