James Creelman Advocacy Journalist?

James Creelman was a journalist who practiced in an advocate style. Considering himself as a ‘yellow journalist’, he saw the yellow press as an optimistic and civilized force, helping to form public events.
He expressed opinion and emotion and took risks, and was considered one of the most courageous of war correspondents. He travelled extensively to find stories and was unafraid to take on great personal risk in his pursuits. In 1896 he once trekked 20,000 miles to every state analysing and predicting the votes for the elections and producing over 600 columns for The World magazine. (Moritz, 2006). Creelman avoided becoming involved within his stories by making no deception towards balanced, unbiased and objective reporting, composing his reports as emotional and critical and sometimes inclusive of his own actions.
In most cases, advocacy journalism reflects views or individual publishers and journalists, usually allied with specific political and government interests, as long as government and politicians continue to wield substantial power on press economies, with news organizations acting as transportation that promotes political interest. (Karin Wahl-Jorgense, 2009)
There are a few issues with advocacy journalism; one of the questions is whether it is an advancement of truth or merely the flipside of the propaganda coin? It is a respected method of journalism yet it is questionable, because if it isn’t practiced ethically and efficiently, it can exploit untruthfulness, especially as propaganda is extremely easy to believe and fall for. It might not paint the idyllic pictures of liberalism that we want, but it gives us the stimulation for debate, which some say is one of the positives of the media today, the concept of free speech and the right to express opinion, after all, it is journalism with a purpose.
In comparison, objectivism is a liberal theory that attempts to respond to a cynicism, with the hope that an unregulated press could educate the citizens responsibly on the matters of public interest, with this expectation identified in the late 1800s and early nineteenth century, especially by war correspondents. The response to this was to develop, adopt and adapt the ideal of an objective news press as long as they include relevant codes and ethics. The liberal idea of a social contract (Darwell, 1998) was used to dispute that society allowed professional journalists to report freely in return for responsible coverage of essential public issues (Bill Kovach, 2001), the objectivity model being the dominant one of most countries, but not as popular in Europe.


About beckiesheldon

Journalism Student, 20 years of age. Living and studying in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.
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