1. Watch “The Fourth Estate: The First 100 Days” (the first episode only) on Cou


1. Watch “The Fourth Estate: The First 100 Days” (the first episode only) on Course Reserves; 1 hr 23 mins.
This documentary series focuses on news reporting of the new Trump presidency early in 2017 by reporters and editors at The New York Times. You may or may not be familiar with the details of the news that is discussed. Focus your attention more on the journalism process on display — what is the work these reporters are doing, how do they actually perform that work, how do they discuss and define their tasks and overall mission to each other?
2. Engage in conversation on this thread, one in which you discuss at least the following:
Comment on those practices of news gathering and reporting that you witness. What’s new to you? What do you learn about the work and business of journalism? What’s unclear to you?
Mainly, though: There is a lot of discourse in this episode about “the story.” The video opens with the executive editor exclaiming, “What a story!” Journalists ask sources and fellow reporters “what they think the story is.” Someone else says, “We’re facing a giant story here.” What does this concept of “the story” mean to you? More than an individual, published news report on a page, “the story” constitutes a broader social, temporal, and professional concept about the function and mission of American journalism. What does that mean, and how is it on display here?
Consider your responses based on one or more of these inquiries:
What is “the story” journalists are after here? Are there several? Are these connected in some way? What changes over time?
How do the reporters and editors define “the story”? What specifically do they say or do that leads you to think this?
Who is ultimately deciding what “the story” is — reporters, editors, sources, politicians, the public?
How does “the story” function as a professional ideal? Is this a good or bad mission for journalists? What other ways of thinking about the work might you suggest?


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