Counterargument description - Essay Example

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However, there is an outward claim that looks very weak. It is that “Journalists’ attitude towards public institutions influence the content they produce’. In this claim, the authors of the journal claim…
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Counterargument description
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COUNTERARGUMENT of Weak Claim The journal explains two claims relating journalism and public trust. However, there is an outward claim that looks very weak. It is that “Journalists’ attitude towards public institutions influence the content they produce’. In this claim, the authors of the journal claim that there are four factors that would ultimately influence the attitudes of the journalists towards such institutions. These are performance, interpersonal trust, media ownership and journalism culture. Starting with performance, if a certain public institution performed poorly at one time or had a scandal in the market, then there is always bound to be a high level of negative publicity from the media towards this company. They also state that institutional trust is learned earlier on in life and then later projected towards these institutions. Media ownership has always been said to influence what is produced from the company. If a certain media house suffered a deal towards a certain company, it will be supposed to always have that negative attitude towards this institution. Journalism culture is also said to contribute to attitude. In this case, there are some cultures that exhibit negative journalism while others do not.
Specific Counterclaim
Basing a counterclaim on the four factors that lie as a basis for the weak claim, economic performance has always been used as a basis for effective performance. This however is not supposed to be a claim to victimize a company. There are several causes of poor performance apart from the financial aspect. Economists would claim that prevailing market conditions would render a public company unable to perform effectively. Moreover, most media houses are always divided on what defines a good institution. Some may claim effective human resource system while others may claim good salaries. There are also some public institutions that purely depend on financial support from the government. Such institutions cannot be declared poor performers on this basis.
Interpersonal trust is not a purely universal aspect of relationship. One journalist growing up with an attitude about an institution does not make all journalists view the same institution as he is doing. That would give a negative culture in the journalism of that particular society. It becomes unprofessional to make general conclusions based on individual experiences (Hanitzsch & Berganza, 2012).
Evidence from an Outside Source
There are different media reports that support this counterclaim. Julian Assange, the CEO of the whistle blowing WikiLeaks brought up several accusations about very many different societies. These claims directly touched on the four aspects as indicated above. First, he claimed that America has supported and actually took part in assassination of innocent individuals in the Arabic states of the East. Having grown up in America and highly travelled all over the world, Assange had developed a trust between himself and the Americans as a society. Secondly, WikiLeaks was his company which had a different culture of addressing issues as opposed to the actual American society and culture (Zifcak, 2012). Cable after cable, he released very sensitive information about different American institutions. Did this create a journalistic attitude in the American society about its institutions? No. this is because of the prevailing condition prior to the release of this information by Julian. It is therefore not entirely right to claim that the attitude influence the content. This content could practically differ based on the truth that is current about these institutions.
Hanitzsch, T., & Berganza, R. (2012). Explaining Journalists’ Trust in Public Institutions Across 20 Countries: Media Freedom, Corruption, and Ownership Matter Most. Journal of Communication, 62, 794-814.
Zifcak, S. (2012). The Emergence of WikiLeaks: Openness, Secrecy and Democracy. New York: More or Less Democracy in New Media. Read More
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