Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New Funding Idea for Journalism.

The student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at Arizona State University is holding a fundraiser. They are selling copies of a calendar featuring male students from the journalism department there.

Is this a good idea?

16 comments:

JustinWagner said...

Journalism is supposed to be objective.

It's isn't suppose to be society of young journalists flaunting their looks just to make money.

This is clearly breaking two rules when it comes down to ethics.

Accepting cash, and putting your ego on a calendar.

Tisk Tisk

They should put a massive work together, diving into a story no school has never tackled before. Then make that a book and sell it.

Don't go the complete opposite way of the spectrum and try and sell your image.

So no this is not a good idea, it's mad awkward. And I bet they put more money into making the calendar than they actually receive. Cynical but true.

Moumita Ghosh said...

I do not think that this is a good idea atal!! I think its unethical to sell their own images for a fundraiser. Just like Justin said, I think the student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists should put a massive work together and make a book out of that and then sell that instead of selling their own image on the calender. There are many good fundraisers that a college journalism group can do instead of selling their own images that were on their calender.

Bob Stewart said...

While I can't whole heartedly endorse this, I don't think it is that big of a deal.

For starters, these people are not paid journalists nor are they working for a professional publication. They are undergraduates - college students who could change their major at any point. They are raising the funds for a college SPJ chapter, not the Arizona Republic. Also, going by the material presented, it is hardly risque. I mean, yeah, the guy has a creepy look on his face, but he is fully clothed, even sporting an undershirt.

Further, this scheme actually could help the chapter maintain its independence from the University. I don't know ASU's system, but if they fund student groups, that may be a worse situation as conflicts of interest go. For example, how could a student journalist criticize the school for giving funds to a student group related to the Zombie Apocalypse if he is a member of a group accepting those funds?

I agree with the sentiment of my two classmates who posted before me, an alternative fundraiser would be best. But it is not that easy. I can't see a book making much money for them. The calendar, while controversial, is at least creative.

Bryana Natale said...

I agree with all of the above, however I side with Bob the most. I do not think its a big deal either. In addition, I don't think it really goes against journalist ethics either. That being said, I do not think this is a good idea. While it is true that they are not currently legit journalists and fundraising can be difficult, this could come back to haunt them in the future when they have real careers.

Emily Huber said...

I agree with Bob--really not a big deal, certainly not enough to make a stink out of it. Like he said, these are undergrad students trying to raise money for their organization. What is wrong with that? College organizations do the same thing all the time, so why should their journalism department be picked on?

Yes, it may be a bit weird, and I certainly wouldn't purchase the calendar, but I stand by my view that there is nothing wrong with this.

Megan Hufnagel said...

I agree with Emily and Bob... Although selling pictures of yourself in the form of a calendar is not ethical, it is a way to try to raise money for a good cause. Fraternities and Sororities do it all the time and do not get questioned. Why can't journalist do it? They are not really hurting anyone and are just trying to raise money for something they believe in.

Catherine Palmer said...

I honestly do not believe it to be a big deal. Like bob said, its not like they are being paid. I don't really see a bad side to it. Yes, maybe it is not ethical in a sense but its for a good cause and I dont see why not. its a way of getting their point across.

Alexa Bricker said...

I agree with Bob in that, although I do not think that this is a particularly great idea, I do not see it as unethical. These are students, not paid professionals writing for newspapers, magazines, or appearing on television. If they decided to make a calendar of male Journalism professors that would be a different story. However, if the school is going to these lengths maybe someone should help them out, their clearly extremely desperate..

Erin Edinger-Turoff said...

Since this is a student organized fundraiser for a school paper, I don't see this as any more offensive than having another kind of fundraiser (like a bake sale or raffle, or other more commonplace ideas). There's no graphic content, and it's clearly supposed to be funny and light hearted. If they need the money and they're willing to put their efforts into making it, I think that shows their dedication to being able to practice their intended craft. The worst case scenario could be that this is noticed by future employers and they are considered to be less serious because of it, but as I said before there's nothing offensive about the content of the calendar. Maybe it's not very professional, but if the idea works, they can fuel their journalistic efforts and work toward a professional approach to that. When it comes down to it, they're just being creative and not taking themselves too seriously in order to be serious about what matters to them.

chayonz said...

I think the biggest issue here is of morality. As a journalist, whose first obligation is to the truth and to make the SIGNIFICANT relevant and interesting, is it right to be selling this sort of idea? To be enforcing ideas of importance of looks and appearances in an already fragile and easily susceptible society? As a journalist, you should be trying to raise the standards of your society, enhance their knowledge and provide thought provoking ideas. Not just reiterate what all tabloid newspapers are already saying!
Yes, it's not illegal, and I do get that its an easy way to make cash. But it's a disgraceful way to go about doing it.

Melissa L said...

i understand that they need to make money and chose to put pictures of male students on it to attract attention, however, i agree with Chayonz and believe that what they put out there should reflect their future choices as journalists in this society. They could have come up with other things besides this. Something informative and engaging to their student body. Actions reflect alot of people, and yes this is being hard on the students of the organization but i think they should be more professional. Especially since that seems to be their goal hence the name "Professional Journalists at Arizona State University"

Melissa Ly said...

i understand that they need to make money and chose to put pictures of male students on it to attract attention, however, i agree with Chayonz and believe that what they put out there should reflect their future choices as journalists in this society. They could have come up with other things besides this. Something informative and engaging to their student body. Actions reflect alot of people, and yes this is being hard on the students of the organization but i think they should be more professional. Especially since that seems to be their goal hence the name "Professional Journalists at Arizona State University"

Amber White said...

I say go for it. It's just a calendar and they're not accepting any money personally, it's a fundraiser! Besides, who doesn't want to have a calendar of 20-something year old hot journalism students? Seriously though- not a big deal. I don't think it's a big ethics question, it's a calendar. That's it.

Zoƫ Dean said...

I don't really see the big deal over this. It's just a fundraiser, if it had been any other student group/organization would it matter? I'm sure the calendar is not their only focus/project. I don't necessarily think it's the most inspired idea for anyone to sell their image but it is certainly a common one. I can understand why it could give the journalism program a bad name, though. In a way, it is turning these student journalists into "personalities" which is not what journalism should be about. It is an example of how today "celebrity" doesn't really have the connotation it could. It would be nice to celebrate people for their achievements, instead we celebrate mediocrity - every one and their puppy can have their 5 minutes (or 5 seconds) of fame. This calendar could be perceived as trying to capitalize on that fact, and inadvertently serve a detrimental purpose by giving these particular future journalists "celebrity" - taking away their anonymity, and perhaps, their objectivity.

Tsega Tesfaye said...

I don't think it should be a big deal either. They just thought of an idea that would attract and help them to get more money for their fundraiser. If the men in the calendar don't have a problem with portraying themselves then it shouldn't really be an issue.

Kyle Solimeo said...

I agree that this is not something that needs to be covered nationally, or that is a very big deal. I however do not think that it is a very good idea because I don't think that it is a very professional way of raising money. In a field like journalism that professionalism and credibility are vital, this seems like something that could come back to haunt the participants. There are other and better ways to raise money but as long as there is nothing breaking rules and codes then there is no need for any authorities to step in and stop the fund raiser.