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Being a journalist is not like working in a baked bean factory : journalists have a more social role that goes beyond the p - Essay Example

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Being a journalist is not like working in a baked bean factory : journalists have a more social role that goes beyond the p

But journalists have a responsibility to accurately and objectively present events that enrich society and makes it more aware so that humans can build a better future. This is especially more so in the present age of internet and citizen journalism, when anyone can go online and post news and opinions. This increases professional journalists responsibility to check the facts and present only the complete and objective truth. This essay shall argue that news is not a commodity and that journalists have a social responsibility and when they do not follow this basic mandate of journalism, both the society and the journalist suffer. The essay shall also look at the counter arguments and justify the reasons why those arguments are not valid. Objective and well-researched journalism not only keeps us informed but also helps strengthen the democracy. According to Kovach (2005), "journalism enables us as citizens to have our voices heard in the chambers of power". In the twenty first century, when blogs and other social media can quickly reach the politicians, it may be argued that citizens no longer need journalists to give them a voice. However, journalists do more than let the citizen's voice be heard. They also keep the citizens informed and an informed society is the very first condition for a thriving and strong democracy. Hence, journalists cannot be complacent about their job because the strength of the democracy depends on their ability to present factual information objectively. If journalists fail to present well researched factual information, the citizens do not have the necessary facts to make informed decisions. Journalists also need to be objective and refrain from including their personal opinions and prejudices to the news they report. When presenting viewpoints, they must ensure to present the varied points of view on a topic so that their audience can get a complete picture. In the twentieth century, editors and reporters decoded what events became news and were presented to the consuming masses. The social media has ensured that the citizens can decide for themselves what they consider news. Yet, it remains the job of the journalist to present this news in an unbiased and objective manner, something that untrained citizen journalists are not equipped to do. A well informed citizenry is the first and most important component of democracy and journalism have the responsibility to keep the citizens informed. When journalists fail to present the facts, they not only hurt the society but also their own credibility and hence it is in their own interest to well research the news that they report. In the past, newspapers took pains and spent a lot of time to check and crosscheck the news they presented so that there were no factual mistakes in the news reported. But the globalization of news media and the internet has increased the competition and journalist no longer have the luxury to carefully research every news item. Also, in the recent decades, newspapers and TV news channels are increasingly owned by media conglomerates that lay a heavy emphasis on profitability above everything else. As a result, even well respected newspapers are increasingly reporting news that were earlier relegated to tabloids and political, international and other human interest news are being sacrificed at the expense of ...Show more


The Social Role of Journalism A journalist's job is to look for new information that would be of interest to his audience and present it in an objective way. A journalist must be able to choose from millions of things that happen every day and pick those particular incidents that may be of maximum interest to his audience…
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Being a journalist is not like working in a baked bean factory : journalists have a more social role that goes beyond the p essay example
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