Is talk show a good way to make social journalism ?

I would to say a talk show could be a good way to make social journalism, but just if it’s well done. I mean in general, I do not consider talk shows we see on television as journalism. Why ? First because talk shows don’t really have the same objectives than quality newspapers making social journalism. Most of the time, talk shows are no more than just shows on television, as their name indicate, with dramatic feelings, people crying, etc.

That’s true talk shows deliver a part of information as they talk about social problems, but in a different way than journalists do. Yet, talk shows could be a really good way to make social journalism, or at least talk seriously about social problems and inform about topics that people are not always well or enough informed like diseases, drugs, teenagers’ problems, or also contraception…

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Now, if we look at Oprah Winfrey’s shows, for instance, we notice she uses journalistic techniques. I watched when she interviewed the cyclist Lance Armstrong, among others. There is no doubts Oprah Winfrey is a journalist : more than her program, she’s also at the head of important magazines. Maybe with people like her who really consider guests of her talk show, we could make a good social journalism.

In France too, in talk shows like the program called Toute une Histoire (“a whole history”), they use journalistic techniques as reports, interviews and interventions of experts, some investigations, sometimes also questions to people in the street about a topic to catch their opinion…

So at the end, even if we know journalism doesn’t necessary mean serious, the question is how to define journalism ? What is it, finally, if we don’t have all the same opinion about talk shows compared with social journalism ?

Your opinion interest me : do you think a talk show can be a good way to make social journalism ?

War pictures : publish or not publish ?

I wondered if I would publish these pictures, if I was journalist ? :

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I think if we consider journalists like witnesses and reporters of what happens on this planet, we have to agree the publication of these pictures. The war is always shocking, so the pictures are also in the same way. Why don’t publish it ? This is what it happens in the world, that’s why this is also information. If we imagine their publication instead of their censorship, it might can create a shock and permit to make the people aware, elicit some reaction from the population, an organization or even the government. Why do we show the war ? To try to not reproduce the same situations and disasters.

This is true than these two particular pictures are certainly most impacting because what we see are children : one representing a child in danger with other kids wearing such big guns – the symbol of war – and the second one with a died child in soldier’s arms. People are generally most affected by children pictures and all what is related with them, because they are most vulnerable, unconscious and have to be protected. Childhood is like sacred and shouldn’t be the place of violence and crimes.

But because they are not innocent pictures, I would maybe not put it on the front-page or on the television without any indication. These precautions are necessary to protect children from our own country, who can be shocked, more than adults. On the television for instance, the presenter of the news must say a preventive message before broadcasting this kind of pictures.

Your opinion interest me : use the comment space to express yourself.