Журналистика

Hard Life of Journalists

What sort of people are journalists?  What qualities and qualifications do they possess?

Journalism is a Hard Life

If you accept the picture so often given on the movie or television screen, newspapermen are hard-bitten, rude, hat-wearing, shouting people who unravel crime mysteries, call their editor «Chief, and seem to have unlimited expenses. Beware of that picture.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary describes a journalist as «one whose business is to edit or write for a public journal». That’s all.

Journalism is a hard life. It can be exciting, but it can be sometimes boring. It can be frustrating, too. It can be demanding and so make it difficult or impossible for you to do a lot of things that other people do in their spare time (1). It can separate you from your family for a great amount of your time; some journalists see their school-going children only at weekends. It can cut you off from a good deal of social life with your friends, and it can make it almost impossible for you to know when you will be free and what time you will have to call your own.

Despite this, those who are journalists can imagine few ways of life that are more rewarding, despite the drawbacks and frustrations of their profession. Most sub-editors, particularly night sub-editors, lead a hard life, shut off from personal contact with the outside world; but many of them have been reporters and have known the thrill of meeting important people and of writing a good story — the excitement of being a journalist.

To be a good journalist you must have a great deal of curiosity. You must like people and be interested in what they do, you must be able to get on easy and friendly terms with men and women of all sorts, however much they may differ from each other or from you. Journalism is no place for the shy person who finds it difficult to talk to strangers. He must be able to write, not necessarily at the standard of great writers, but in a simple and lucid fashion and, above all, quickly, and in short sentences which convey concisely what is meant.

A reporter is responsible to his chief of staff. He is told to refer matters which involve decisions to the chief of staff.

But the chief of staff is not with him when he is reporting the proceedings of Parliament or some meeting; not with him when he is interviewing an important person; not with him when he is reporting an event involving loss of life, a bushfire or a flood. There the reporter is on his own, with nobody to turn to for advice. There he has to make his own decisions and shoulder responsibility.! A good journalist is not easily rebuffed. He must have a good deal of self-reliance and push and energy and initiative. ^ If you think you can measure up to these standards try to take up journalism as a career.


ESSENTIAL VOCABULARY

to bore надоедать, наскучить
he bores me stiff он мне до смерти надоел
I hope you are not getting bored listening to me я надеюсь, что вам не наскучило слушать меня
boring надоедливый, скучный
to excite возбуждать, волновать
don’t excite yourself сохраняйте спокойствие
to excite passions разжигать страсти
to excite the imagination волновать воображение
ideas that excited our generation идеи, которые волновали наше поколение
exciting возбуждающий, волнующий, захватывающий, увлекательный
to demand требовать, предъявлять требования
demanding требующий большого внимания и заботы; предъявляющий требования
to frustrate расстраивать, срывать, нарушать
to frustrate smb’s efforts сорвать чьи-л. попытки
to frustrate smb’s plans нарушить чьи-л. планы
to have one’s hopes frustrated обмануться в своих ожиданиях
to frustrate one’s opponents разбить своих противников
frustrating приносящий разочарование
to reward вознаграждать, воздавать должное
rewarding вознаграждающий

EXERCISES

1.    Read the text and translate it into Russian.

2.    Answer the following questions about the text:

  1. How are journalists sometimes shown on the movie or television screen? Have you seen any films about journalists? Comment on them.
  2. How does the Concise Oxford Dictionary define the word «journalist»?
  3. Why does the author think that journalism is a hard life?
  4. How does the author describe the way journalists should be able to write?
  5. Who is the reporter responsible to?
  6. Why is it so important for a reporter to be able to make his own decisions?

3.    List the drawbacks, frustrations and rewards of journalism as described by the author.

4.    Comment on the qualities of a journalist mentioned by the author.

What, in your opinion, is thrilling about being a journalist? What is it about the job of a journalist which makes it exciting? boring? demanding? rewarding? frustrating?

5.    Make a list of the qualities of a journalist in the order of their importance as you see them making use of the Chapter What makes a good journalist?

6.    Translate the following text into Russian in writing. Then make a list of adjectives used to characterize a journalist.

What Does It Take to Be a Journalist?

Ask anyone in the business what it takes to make a newspaperman and you are likely to get the whole catalogue of human virtues in answer.

You will be told, for example, that you have to be unusually curious, that you have to like people and understand them, have feeling and compassion for your fellow-man, and be able to make him talk to you. Naturally, you have to have a compulsive urge to write, be able to express yourself clearly, enjoy reading, and be ready to study beyond office hours. You should of course be willing to work hard. You should have not only an ordinary education but an extraordinary broad one. On top of this you should have a pleasant personality, be sincere, enthusiastic, have a sense of humour, be dependable, sensitive, idealistic, dedicated, open-minded and responsible.

…I shouldn’t worry too much whether you have this or that quality, let alone a couple of them. The chief question is whether the idea of being a reporter attracts you.

7.    Give English equivalents for the following words and phrases:

  1. обычный, средний
  2. ответственный, несущий ответственность за что-л.
  3. широкий
  4. надежный, заслуживающий доверия
  5. искренний, неподдельный
  6. преданный, посвятивший свою жизнь делу
  7. чувствительный, нежный
  8. восторженный, полный энтузиазма
  9. склонный создавать себе идеалы
  10. зависимый, зависящий любознательный

8.    Match the meaning with the correct word:

dependable devoted to some purpose
ordinary to be relied upon
sincere faithful to obligations, trustworthy
broad normal, usual, average
enthusiastic motivated by standards of perfection and excellence
curious wide, large across
dependent showing delicate feelings or judgement
idealistic genuine, not pretended
dedicated full of enthusiasm
responsible eager to learn, to know
sensitive relying on another for what is necessary or desirable
one who depends on another for support or aid

9.    Practise adjectives which are used to describe a person.

a)    What do we mean when we say the following?

  1. Mr. Smith is a dependable person.
  2. Michael is a sincere friend.
  3. That writer has a broad mind.
  4. This teacher is an enthusiastic one.
  5. That journalist is a curious person.
  6. This specialist is very dependent.
  7. John is an idealistic fellow.
  8. My friend is a dedicated scientist.

b)    What person do we consider to be responsible? sensitive?

c)    Make a list of adjectives you would use to describe a person pleasant to deal with.


Journalism as a Career

10. a) Read the following text without a dictionary after you’ve studied the following words and phrases:

to fascinate очаровывать, приводить в восхищение, пленять
fascination обаяние, очарование
advantage преимущество, превосходство
editor редактор
sub-editor редактор отдела, заместитель редактора
сору 1. рукопись, материал для печатания, фотография; 2. экземпляр
copy-boy мальчик, который носит рукописи, материалы из отдела в отдел
desk division or department of an organization or office
desk-work редакторская работа, работа в редакции (в отличие от репортерской)
newsroom a room in a newspaper office, a television studio, or the like, dealing exclusively with the collection, analysis, and presentation of news
assignment журналистское задание;
to cover assignments выполнять задания
teletype machine телетайп
composing room наборный цех
editorial conference совещание сотрудников редакции
outsider посторонний человек
page-proof пробный оттиск страницы
рress печатны й станок
edition выпуск газеты

Journalism as a Career

When young men and women enter journalism they enter an exciting field. Other professions and jobs have their excitement, their fascination, their frustrations; but I cannot imagine any more rewarding way of life than journalism. I must admit I am in no position to speak of the advantages and disadvantages of other professions, since I have never worked outside journalism; but after 34 years in journalism I am still fascinated by the birth of the daily newspaper. Every day is a new day. Yesterday’s news is history. Reporters, sub-editors, copy-boys, even editors, again begin the complex process of producing a newspaper. Within the next 24 hours reporters will cover assignments, big and small, news from all over the world will come into the office in a never-ending stream through teletype machines, sub-editors will assess the value of stories and send copy to the composing room, many editorial conferences will be held. To an outsider it is confusion — often it is like that to those on the inside — but page-proofs begin to appear, soon the presses are rolling, and another paper is on the streets. Soon reporters, sub-editors, copy-boys and editors start work again, and yet another edition of a newspaper is being produced.

b)    Answer the following questions about the text:

  1. How many years has the author worked in journalism?
  2. Why doesn’t he write about the advantages and disadvantages of other professions?
  3. What’s his opinion of the job of a journalist?
  4. What does he consider the most fascinating aspect of a journalist’s job?

c)    Reassemble the phrases given below in the correct order (consult the part of the text where the author describes how the newspaper is being produced):

  1. page-proofs begin to appear
  2. another paper is on the streets
  3. sub-editors assess the value of stories
  4. news comes into the office through teletype machines
  5. the presses are rolling
  6. copies are sent to the composing room
  7. reporters cover assignments

11. Read the text without a dictionary.

Sum it up in two sentences. Learn the meaning of the words given below:

subject matter содержание
column постоянный отдел (раздел, рубрика, колонка)

The review of books for the Press, and for the newer media of the radio and television, has a number of functions to perform. The relative importance of these functions will always remain a matter of debate on which there can, perhaps, be no final judgement.

We suggest that the main function of the reviewer is to keep the reading public informed about new books; he provides, in other words, an information service. He tells his readers something about the subject matter of those books which he thinks important enough to find a place in his column.

b)    Translate the text with a dictionary. Express the main idea of the text in one sentence:

The news photographer has one of the most difficult jobs in journalism. The reporter may observe an incident or a situation over a period of time, even if it is only seconds: he then thinks over what he has seen, and writes his report. The photographer must anticipate the key moment, have his camera poised to catch it, and then press the button at precisely the right second. You cannot turn back time to recapture a missed moment.

c)    Read the text consulting the notes given below. Make up a dialogue based on the text working in pairs:

The general assignment reporter(1) is the backbone of any newspaper’s staff. I think the requirements for a general assignment reporter are higher today than ever were before. He almost has to be a college graduate and have a wide knowledge of the world and affairs if he is to amount to anything as a reporter. The breed(2) that is disappearing now is the leg man(3), the guy who races to the scene of the crime and phones in notes to a rewrite man.(4) These days most papers insist on reporters who can write their own stories, even if a rewrite man has to fix them up(5) later.

NOTES

1 general assignment reporter
a reporter who works in the area of general news, in contrast to one who works in a speciality, such as science (репортер широкого профиля, в отличие от репортера, специализирующегося в какой-либо области)
2 breed type
3 leg man a reporter who collects information and gives it to an other person who will write the story
4 rewrite man a person who receives information or a roughly written story from a reporter and prepares it for publication (сотрудник редакции, обрабатывающий материал репортера)
5 to fix them up доработать, отредактировать
d)    The following extract is an example of advertising. It is devoted to Gay Talese, the author of the book The Kingdom and the Power, a one-time bestseller. Read the text and answer the following questions:

1.    How is the author described?
2.    What facts have been chosen from his life? Why?
3.    On what information did he base his book?

At his high school in Ocean City, New Jersey, Gay Talese was an underachiever. Sixteen colleges turned him down before he finally got into the University of Alabama. After graduation in 1953, when he went looking for a reporting job in New York, six of the city’s daily newspapers rejected him. Finally he got a job with the New York Times — as a copy-boy.

Today the ex-copy-boy is one of the most respected and successful writers in America.

How did it happen? By 1955 Talese had worked his way up to the status of reporter at the Times, where one of his colleagues called him «a reporter who can write* and a writer who can report». He worked in the New York Times newsroom as a staff writer for ten years. In gathering information for The Kingdom and the Power, he interviewed hundreds of Timesmen and former Timesmen, talked with the paper’s executives and owners, and was granted access to personal files, letters and memos of staff members.

underachiever
неудачник
staff writer
штатный сотрудник
memos (официальные) документы

The News Editor

The following text is devoted to the job of the news editor. Look through the vocabulary below before reading the text, translate it into Russian and then summarise it in English.

NOTES

1 news editor редактор отдела информации
2 traffic cop
policeman
3 to be in charge of smth заведовать, ведать, руководить чем-л.
4 news story
любой собственно газетный материал, кроме передовых (editorial) и материалов, относящихся к feature (любой материал неинформационного содержания)
5 to blow the whistle on smb остановить кого-л.
6 city desk
отдел городских новостей
state desk отдел новостей по данному штату
national desk отдел новостей по стране
telegraph desk отдел новостей телеграфных агентств
foreign desk отдел иностранных новостей
7 to give (devote) a certain amount  of (a great amount of, little, etc.) space to news отводить определенную площадь под информацию
8 to get first crack иметь право первым отбирать материалы
get the first opportunity to choose иметь право первым отбирать материалы
9 makeup editor технический редактор
10 to lay out a page сделать макет страницы, разверстать страницу
plan the arrangement of a page where each story and picture is to be located сделать макет страницы, разверстать страницу
11 picture editor художественный редактор
12 to cover a story освещать событие
13 be cut back = be given less space сокращать

The News Editor(1)

The news editor is a traffic cop,(2) in one sense. He is in charge of(3) the intersection through which every news story(4) and picture must flow to reach the paper. He can blow the whistle on one lane(5) and wave another lane through, according to how he sees is. He is responsible for getting a balanced news report in each day’s paper. The city desk, the state desk, the national desk, the telegraph desk, and the foreign desk(6) are all feeding him material for the paper. Of course, our city and state desks have their own pages, which they fill themselves. But the other desks do not, and the news editor must balance one kind of news against another. He tries to plan in advance for the day’s news, but he can never foresee exactly how it’s going to work out. He always knows that when there is a Presidential news conference, for example, he has to give a certain amount of space(7) for that, but he never knows exactly how much is going to be required.

The news editor actually lays out only page one. Page one gets first crack(8) at any stories that go in the paper. The makeup editor(9) works very closely with the news editor, and he lays out the inside pages.(10)

The picture editor(11) must keep in touch with the news editor at all times, so that he will know what pictures he is likely to be getting and can leave space for them.

At the daily news conference the next day’s paper is discussed. The different desks in the news room report what stories they will be covering(12) for the next day’s paper. If there is going to be an unusual demand for overnight space, they should bring this up then. On the basis of these reports, one department may be cut back,(13) or a request for more space may be made to the production people.

12. Answer the following questions based on your knowledge of newspapers.

  1. What is the news editor responsible for?
  2. What desks are feeding him materials for the paper?
  3. What is the job of the city desk?
  4. What is the state desk responsible for?
  5. What news does the foreign desk supply?
  6. What is the job of the national desk?
  7. What page does the news editor lay out?
  8. What news is usually placed on the front page?
  9. What is the picture editor responsible for?
  10. What problems are discussed at the daily news conference?