A veteran, Emmy Award-winning TV news anchor provides a unique insider glimpse into the newsroom revealing how murder cases are selected for TV coverage.
Television news anchor Robert Jordan Jr. draws from forty-seven years of news experiences to provide an eye-opening look at how news programs decide which murders to cover and which ones to ignore. Jordan takes readers behind the scenes into the big city newsrooms of Chicago. Here split-second decisions are made on where to send limited resources when dozens of shootings and several murders are occurring on a daily basis.
Using interviews from decision makerssuch as assignment editors and producerswho work daily in the trenches of working newsrooms, the reader learns how they decide where to send reporters; when to dispatch live trucks; and how the stories will be treated as they are placed in the news programming. Why will one story get "breaking news" banners and be placed at the top of the broadcast while others may not make the air at all or may be given casual mention in later segments?
Additionally, Jordan reveals the results of a ground-breaking questionnaire sent to producers and assignment editors at Chicago television stations to assess their rationales for covering murder stories the way they do.
Finally, he examines how the explosion of social media platforms has changed the dynamic of reporting the news and why murders are the perfect stories for television, as news organizations struggle to survive.
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About the Author
Robert H. Jordan Jr. is an Emmy Award-winning weekend anchor for WGN-TV's News at Five & Nine in Chicago. He also produces, writes, and reports stories for the weekday and weekend news as a reporter. In addition, his stories have aired on CNN and many Tribune stations across the country. During a journalism career spanning over forty years, Jordan has seen and reported on all types of murder casesdomestic squabbles to mass murderersserial killers to gangland hits, revenge killings to street-gang turf wars. Besides his long career with WGN-TV, Jordan has covered stories for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and also written articles for the Chicago Tribune, including an award-winning article on surviving prostate cancer. He is the founder and owner of a video production company, Video Family Biographies. He holds a PhD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Loyola University in Chicago.
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Excerpted from "Murder in the News"
Copyright © 2017 Robert H. Jordan.
Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Second-Rate Murders… Really? 25
Chapter 2 Murder Coverage as a Reflection of Society 53
Chapter 3 The History of the Changing Broadcast Format 79
Chapter 4 Survey-Deciding Which Murder Stories to Cover 107
Chapter 5 Good Guys vs. Bad Guys 127
Chapter 6 Bad Guys vs. Bad Guys 141
Chapter 7 The Phantom Audience in Us All 157
Chapter 8 Perspective and Truth 175
Chapter 9 Realigning the Process for Covering Murders 189