Conference papers

Journalism enhanced by argumentation, informal logic, and critical thinking

Presented to the Media Ethics Division at the 2012 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Chicago. Abstract:

This paper introduces some ideas from the fields of argumentation, informal logic, and critical thinking, and argues that those ideas can stimulate the practice and study of journalism. It first offers a general case for why the four fields can agreeably mingle. It then shows how argumentation, informal logic, and critical thinking are relevant to discussions about journalistic objectivity, about how journalists can build trust with their audiences online by building relationships, and other topics.

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Argument quality in Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting

Presented to the Newspaper and Online News Division at the 2012 AEJMC conference, Chicago. Abstract:

Journalists strive to inform citizens about the way the world is, was, and will be. A test of whether journalists inform citizens is whether journalists’ reasons and evidence support their conclusions. This paper applies tools from argumentation, informal logic, and critical thinking to conduct such a test on Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting. It finds that the stories often presented insufficient evidence for their conclusions, while struggling to justify important assumptions and appeals to authority.

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