Kat Huang 🤷🏻‍♀️‍

Perspectives on American journalism

Notes on first lecture of Stanford’s COMM 125 Perspectives on American Journalism

Course topics:

Course title raises question: What is journalism?

Elements of Journalism book provides a description that’s a combination of “is” and “ought” (positive and normative; how the world is working and how they’d like to see the world working)

Let’s examine each of these.

Obligation to tell the truth

First loyalty is to citizens



Forum for public criticism

Interesting and relevant

Exercise personal conscience

Citizen rights and responsibilities

Course is organized around a series of questions (questions bc news markets are changing so much)

Use Democracy’s Detectives book and look at current controversies

Professor James Hamilton’s background

Students: Frustrations with news markets

Students: Puzzling about news markets

Introduce theory about supply incentives: Why do people create info for you?

We’re seeing a re-weighting of these incentives bc FB and Google excel at ad model → others go to subscription or nonprofit

All have bias implicit in them: treating ideas and interests of people differently depending on who they are. For example, how about low income individuals?

Policy component to all of these

Framework to think about these strategically and consistently