Herbert Gans’ journalistic values are divided into eight reoccurring principles in journalism that differentiates the variances between what is good, bad, and normal in our society. In a copy of San Francisco Chronicle that I found dated back on February10, 2012, the front page of the article featured five headlined stories that discussed various topics: Mortgage servicing for homeowners, preparation for America’s Cup, discoveries from the ocean, new federal rules, and a television commercial during the Super Bowl.
All five stories listed on the front page of this article serve as multiple representations of Gans’ journalistic values. The most eye-catching story, written in big, bolded headline reads, “Troubled mortgages- relief is on the way,” underlines Gans’ social order value. With roughly half a million Californians suffering from foreclosure, fingers were pointed towards banking institutions for their “allegedly reckless lending practices.”
A settlement was made with our nation’s five largest banks to reduce loan balance and offer short sales for those who are unable to climb out of debt or have lost their home. It was noted that this represents a very important step toward restoring confidence in mortgage servicing and stability in the housing market. Gans’ social order value is presented here as restoration of order is a fundamental basis to this story.
With upraise of Californians in distress from mortgage balances, this article focuses on the actions of state attorneys to restore order for the affected population. The second story, “If fundraising fails, city may lose millions,” covers the government’s preparation for America’s Cup, this article clearly reflect Gans’ altruistic democracy value. This renowned sailing race is set to take place at San Francisco’s Pier 27 and massive construction projects are needed for hosting this event.
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However, the target for funding this competition is at risk for being met. In return, this would expose San Francisco taxpayers up to $21.7 million to cover for the needed costs. Gans’ altruistic democracy value is demonstrated here as this article seems to criticize politicians’ decisions for an expected $1 billion revenue in exchange for the welfare of the public.
This article explains that despite the glorious and financial advantages of hosting America’s Cup, shortcomings of fundraising should not affect the common good of the population. The third story, “Embracing a rare catch” is a simple story that focuses on a crab fisherman’s finding of three rare Pacific octopuses. Gans’ value of ethnocentrism can be associated with here.
Although the story does not compare America’s value with other country’s values, a sense of superiority is present as the article uses descriptive wording like “gorgeous,” “enigmatic,” and “emperors of the sea” to describe the rarity of the discovery. In the reading, much emphasis was made that the octopuses are located at the S.F. aquarium.
A sense of pride for this discovery being made available for display within the city, in an ethnocentrism sense, is a praiseworthy event. The forth story, “EPA bars dumping ship waste off coast,” concentrates on EPA’s approval to ban ships from flushing their sewage within three miles from California’s coast.
Gans’s leadership value is can be seen here. Although the state has been trying to enforce this law for years, approval from EPA was still needed. EPA, in this case, would be the leaders who are finally able to authorize this law, despite the fact that state governors have been trying to solve this pollution problem for so long. The last story, “Eastwood ‘halftime’ ad start a debate,’” exemplifies Gans’ moderatism value.