Concept Week 5: Documentary

By Jack-John Junker.

Concept: Documentary

Definition: A long-form recorded examination of a social problem or historical subject. (Critical Thinking in Communication, 202)

Jack’s simplified definition: A story of one’s past or a certain event that happened. Usually historically accurate to what it is related to. Can range from a television show, movie, book, pamphlet, etc…

Example: I remember back on the 11th of September in 2001, I was sitting in my second grade class waiting for the rest of the class to finish their math test when the teacher from the next room rushed into the room saying “Turn on the TV!”. My teacher did so and everyone in that class stared at the television screen as we saw the smoking towers after Flight 11 had impacted the first one at 8:46 a.m. Now why do I bring up 9/11? Simple because this is a prime example of a situation that is made into a documentary. I recommend watching the video on the link. It might just get to you just as it has gotten to me.

TDPUK. “102 Minutes That Changed America – 9/11 September 11th – [ Full Documentary ].” YouTube. YouTube, 23 Sept. 2011. Web. 04 Oct. 2012. <;.

Concept Week 5: Documentary

By Austin M.

Documentaries focus upon realities that exist in the world. They dissect the topic, whether it is informational, historical or social and make it public to the masses. Documentaries can be fun to watch and are supposed to represent the truth and not just a fiction story. We may know documentaries today as 60 Seconds or the movies we watch in class about various subjects. Documentaries may include interviews, stories, specific facts or interesting information that the producer wants the viewer to know. Documentaries have been known to make awareness for different situations. For example, there is a thirty-minute documentary, Kony 2012, which talks about a warlord named Kony. It goes on to describe what Kony is doing in his country, and, also, the producer’s opinion throughout the documentary. Documentaries are useful tactics to raise awareness for a situation in society or just relay information. Documentaries were first introduced to television through a man named Edward R. Murrow. Murrow was a bold man, standing up for what he believes in, and attacking problems head on through documentaries. He is a well-known name in a communications study of documentaries. In the 1950’s, Murrow attacked a Senator accusing people of being communist agents. He made a documentary that attacked the Senator head on. In the 1950’s America entered the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and the “Red Scare” had entered the minds of many Americans. People would accuse others of being Communists, and jail them for it. No evidence was truly needed. It was a hostile time in American history. But not all documentaries have to be about something sad, they can be exciting. There is not a strict guideline to documentaries. You need only to raise awareness through facts. A light-mood documentary could be about how Mount Rushmore got its figure. Even though I used examples for more serious topics, documentaries are not limited to just that cause. They can be exciting, fun, informational or serious.

My example is about a man who is a Texas death row inmate. The 22 minute excerpt gives a short briefing shows a documentary behind the death row. It shows the housing of inmates, the death chamber, and contains interviews with multiple people. I use this example to demonstrate what a documentary can obtain and how it is used. In this case it is used to describe a crime of one man, and the process behind what other inmates go through while on death row.

Concept Week 5: How broadcast news changed journalism

Definition: Broadcast news greatly impacted how stories were reported.  At first, news was reported mostly in newspapers.  Broadcast radio was the first advancement made for broadcast journalism.  It allowed people to not only discuss news freely, but at a much quicker pace.  Newspapers had to be printed, radio reports could be done live as soon as something occurred. Our textbook actually mentioned a case where a newspaper printed the wrong winner of an election.  Radio did not have to face this problem as they did not have to print a newspaper, they could report on the radio as soon as the winner was chosen.  Broadcast Television also changed journalism greatly.  People now could have visuals of an event, and journalists could report on scene as live events were happening.  Overall it is important to realize that radio and television broadcasts allowed for everyone to receive news fast, and with actual visuals.


Example Explanation: My example take from an article published on WITN news on May 24th, 2012 shows that a New Orleans newspaper will only print 3 times a week.  This really shows that newspapers are becoming less and less common.  Radio and television broadcasts are seemingly more popular.  This shows that news and journalism is continually advancing as now more and more information is available on the internet.

Unit 2 Concept 1

By: Marina Eggen

Why the Hindenburg news story in 1937 was a milestone in journalism history?

This story was such a milestone in journalism because it was the very first time a catastrophic news event was caught on film at the time it was happening.  An eyewitness news account of an event this big reaching a mass audience as it was going on had never happened before.  This newscast could honestly show the full emotion of the situation.  There was no planning for the reporter, he just had to report what he saw as he was seeing it. (Critical Thinking in Communication 199).


This article is about how the Syrian rebels have gained control over all four border checkpoints between Iraq and Syria.  A reporter was not there filming the action but he did get news as it was happening and then sent that to America.  When the news reporters in America received the message, they put it into a story and published it.  This is not exactly the same as the Hindenburg but in our current society this is basically the live news coverage we get for the war.  With the time zones the news stories come out very soon after they actually happen.  Live news has evolved greatly since 1937, and we can get live news more frequently now.

Concepts Week 5

By Jimmy Lavorato

In the youtube video above, you see Edward Murrow, a journalist that changed America., “..a journalistic career that has had no equal.” (ThisReporterPBS) Not to mention “Murrow’s pioneering television documentaries have more than once been credited with changing history…”(THisReporterCBS) It’s clear that Murrow had quite an effect on the people of that time. With the radio show “Hear it Now”, and after his popularity grew, his television show “See it Now”, he was constantly speaking out on current events.

In the youtube video, Murrow says: “His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind between the internal and external threats of communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.” He is speaking out about  his rival Senator Joseph McCarthey about the topic of the Red Scare. Murrow and McCarthey’s rivalry grew to a full on battle and Murrow emerged victorious.