The question of what journalists should be doing to better connect to their audiences couldn’t come at more appropriate time. I’m currently writing my lit review for another class on the limitations of journalistim when covering environmental issues. Many of the articles I’ve read state that because of the tendency of journalists to personalize, dramatize, and balance stories, the public doesn’t understand complex issues such as the environment.
I think for journalists to do a better job at explaining issues, complex or not, they should try to think outside of the institutionalized norms that restrict a story to simply being human-interest. Sure, it’s important to personalize certain stories so that audiences can better relate to the story; however, what is the point of journalism if it’s not used to inform the public?
To inform audiences we need to think of ways to break down complex issues in understandable ways. Because many people, including myself, obtain their news through mobile updates (via news apps) and twitter, maybe there is a way for journalists to create a series of stories that define terminology used in complex issues such as global warming or the legislation that presidential candidates are proposing. This would allow for us to take a step back from dramatization and would explain the issue at hand before covering the human-interest point of view. This breakdown would help audiences better understand and retain the issue so they can relate to it in future reports.