The following review appeared in the Catholic Media Council
Information Bulletin, published in Aachen, Germany, in
Cultural diversity of societies can – and must – influence journalism. Communication students in developing countries often face the problem that the examples and advice given in quite good books on the subject – but from Western authors – do not fit into their cultural reality.
Throughout the Western world, teachers of journalism as well as books lay this definition in the cradle of the job-starter who wants to know what news is: “Dog bites man” is not news; “Man bites dog” is news.
Now the authors Henshall and Ingram appear on the stage and recognize that this cannot be a universal definition: “If dogs are eaten in your society (at feasts, for instance) then it will no longer be news when a man bites a dog – so long as it has been cooked.”
The same applies for example that it could be more appropriate to use a boat or a bicycle to reach an assignment than arriving in a car, or instead of phoning an actual event through to the office, to send a messenger.
How to explain the word computer in a society where computers are unknown to the majority of the population?
Born out of a felt need and having no appropriate textbooks when teaching journalism at the University of Papua New Guinea, the authors took action and wrote this excellent helper which is meant to be used at the side of journalism trainees in developing countries.
But Henshall and Ingram know that it is only an aid – nothing can replace the universal slogan “learning by doing”.
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