Journalism: boon or bane

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“From where the thinking of common people stops, the journalism starts its virtue of thinking

Journalism is to explore the past, present & future. It is about what was happened, what is & what will be happening. Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, & presenting news and information. It is also the product of these activities  i.e. gathering information and the organizing literary styles.

The purpose of journalism is thus to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decision about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments. Sometimes people have misconceptions that journalism is the same thing as that of the literature, but as we all know “journalism is unreadable and literature is not read”. It can be distinguished from other activities and products by certain identifiable characteristics and practices. Did you know when and how the journalism came to India?

The history of journalism or the development of the gathering and transmitting of news were different. Before the printing press was invented, word of mouth was the primary source of news. Returning merchants, sailors and travelers brought news back to the mainland, and was then picked by peddlers and travelling players and spread from town to town. This transmission is highly unreliable, as the configuration of the news sometimes changed. Now days, online journalism has an adverse and great impact as it is a growing field shared between traditional media and the growing blogging community. Although Indian newspapers were using computers for writing and page layout as early as 1987 they were slow to move online editions of their papers. For e.g.: Dainik Jagran has been India’s most read newspaper for 23 consecutive years with a daily readership of over 16 million.

While journalism occupies a much smaller space than the talk, entertainment, opinion, assertion, advertising propaganda that dominate the media universe, it is nevertheless perceived as being as more valuable than most of the “stuff out there”. Its value flows from its purpose, the most important and systematic process- a discipline of verification- that journalists use to find not just the facts, but also the “truth about the facts”. As if your aim is to change the world, then most immediate short term weapon is JOURNALISM.

Now let’s discuss about the most important elements of journalism for that we mentioned above: and How they are important::

The first element is “TRUTH”, journalism is a practical and functional form of truth. It is not the truth in the absolute or philosophical or scientific sense but rather a pursuit of “the truths by which we can operate on a day-to-day basis. The “journalistic truth” is a process that begins with professional discipline of assembling and verifying facts because: “a good journalist is not that writes what people say, but the one that writes what he supposed to write”. Here, journalism means you go back to the actual facts, you look at the documents, you discover what the record is, and you report it that way.

The second element is “TRANSPARENCY”, journalists should be as transparent as possible about sources and methods so audiences can make their own assessment of the information. Even in a world of expanding voices, “getting it right” is the foundation upon which everything else is built- context, interpretation, comment, criticism, analysis and debate. The larger truth, over time, emerges from this forum.

The third element is “LOYALITY”, a journalist should be a loyal because a commitment to citizens is an implied covenant with the audience and a foundation of the journalistic business model-journalism provided “without fear or favor” is perceived to be more valuable content from other information sources.

The fourth element is “discipline”, it is the most important element as it is a consistent method of testing information- a transparent approach to evidence- precisely so that personal and cultural biases would not undermine the accuracy of the work. The method is objective, not the journalist.

The fifth element is “reliability”, “independence is the cornerstone of the reliability”. On one level, it means not becoming seduced by sources, intimidated by power, or compromised by self interest. On a deeper level it speaks to an independence of spirit and open-mindedness and an intellectual curiosity that helps the journalist see beyond his or her own class or economic status, race, ethnicity, religion, gender or ego.

Discipline of verification is the most important constituent of journalism and it rests on the three core concepts- transparency, humility and originality.

Transparency means show your work so readers can decide for themselves why they should believe it. “Transparency signals the journalist’s respect for audience”. Humility means keep an open mind. Journalists need to keep an open mind — not only about what they hear but also about their own ability to understand what it means. Originality means do your own work. Information can be viewed as a hierarchy. At the top is the work you have done yourself, reporting you can directly vouch for.

Now we figure out the fact that journalism is important in what ways:

Smart, fair, and independent journalism is essential for a democracy to function well. By reporting what government, businesses and other powerful institutions do, journalist give citizens information they need to decide everything from which school to attend to whom they should vote for.

So, Journalism’s role at the time was to act as a mediator or translator between the public and policy making elites. The journalist became the middleman. When elites spoke, journalists listened and recorded the information, distilled it, and passed it on to the public for their consumption.
Journalists have many roles to play commonly as; watchdogs, investigators, moderators, entertainers, analysts, informers, editors, commentators, and advertisers. They are community activists, agenda-setters, and voices for the voiceless. They are public servants, keepers of public record, protectors of democracy, and promoters of public dialogue. Thanks to these responsibilities media is playing, it has earned the recognition of fourth estate. People’s participation is the foundation of democracy. Press is the pillar of democracy. Similarly, the main principles of journalism are; Accuracy, Balance and Credibility. One of the important responsibilities of journalist is to maintain their principles in their reporting. The information should be based on truth and facts which provides accurate news. While reporting one should be balance. Without credible information, there would be no trust PRESS and could have no strength. Thus maintaining accuracy and balance provides credible information.

At last, the conclusion is “journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately. While the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air”.

 

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