Two great examples of broadcast journalism at its best

Two great examples of broadcast journalism appeared on radio and on April 1st and 2nd.

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If  you missed last Friday’s (April 1) edition of NBC Nightly News or Scott Simon’s Weekend Edition Saturday program this morning,  you missed two great examples of broadcast journalism

Explaining the job numbers

Saturday’s New York Times carries a lead story with the headline –“U.S. Posts a Gain of 216,000 Jobs, a Life for Obama”

Michael Powell buried an explanation of the latest report from the Labor Department on job growth in the sixth paragraph and really didn’t go into what it really meant until the seventh graf.

Instead, Powell saw the political implications and the link between the numbers and discussions about budget cuts as more important than explaining HOW should we American make sense of the 12th consecutive month of private sector job growth.

ENTER John Yang of NBC News.

The Peabody Award-winning correspondent, who used to be at ABC News took a deeper look at the numbers from Friday’s Labor Department report and explained not only how those numbers are developed, but what information they DON’T show.

As Yang explains, you can see the jobs picture by looking at several measures– unemployment rate, labor participation rate, job change, etc.

CLICK HERE to see Yang’s Story.

Understanding the Obama Rhetoric

Is President Obama maturing as a president or growing in his ability to articulate the direction he’s taking with foreign policy?

NPR White House Correspondent (and occasional fill-in anchor on Morning Edition) Ari Shapiro tackled that question in a story that aired on Scott Simon’s Weekend Edition today.

This story wasn’t the hits and misses or the “did you like or did you not” story about the President’s address on Libya.

Rather, Shapiro took a step back and identified a trend in the words the president uses.    Shapiro calls it the “False choices framework”

“People sometimes struggle to figure out  exactly what President Obama stands for,” Shapiro explained in the story.

He drew a contrast between Obama’s rhetoric with the certainty of the George W. Bush’s rhetoric that Shapiro explains later appeared more like “stubborness”

Why Should We Care?

I thought it was important to note these examples as they reflect how electronic media can do a masterful job of explaining the complex and going deeper than the routine or run-of-the-mill story.

Both Yang and Shapiro have won awards for their journalistic work.   These examples how us why.

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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