Here he argues that journalists should rethink how they frame their work to focus more on the needs of a 21st-century democracy. As journalists try to figure out how to overcome the economic problems wrought by the digital revolution, they should also be rethinking what they are and should be reporting — what they are telling and not telling the country about itself.
By Pew Research Center: In the past few decades this responsibility of the journalist in a free society has been made more vital and more difficult by the revolution in communications technology and the economic organization of journalism it has spawned.
The technology has filled the world with a flood of undifferentiated information that is changing the audience for news and information from passive receivers to pro-active consumers who decide what they want, when they want it and how they want it.
As a result the world of cyberspace is filled with many views of reality-many of them designed to distract us or to control and dictate our public behavior rather than inform our independent public judgment.
This new competition requires a new journalism to assure that the view of the world in which the people live is one constructed with the integrity and reliability self-government requires.
There are two aspects of this new age that journalists must think more deeply and more creatively that I would like to talk about today. The first deals with the impact on the producer end of the information stream; the second is the impact on the consumer.
Those of you who are just beginning your career in journalism are assuming an obligation as public witness. A public witness who clearly and without distortion describes the actions and behavior of those who shape and direct public life.
To enter into the life of a journalist is to accept personal responsibility for the credibility of your work and to serve the interests of the consumer of the information.
You can do that only if you fully understand how the system works. Here is how James D. The inability to be represented. The inability to convey to the people in authority what it is they think.
The inability to have a searchlight put on the conditions of inequality. Freedom of the press is not a luxury. It is not an extra. It is absolutely at the core of equitable development.
The economic challenge affects even the largest and most powerful news organizations. As these organizations compete in a worldwide market the pressure to maximize profit and minimize costs has led to short-term decisions that threaten to undermine their ability to do quality work.
At the same time new producers in the form of individual bloggers—the pamphleteers of our time—many of whom are tempted to use their perceived stature as independent journalists to sell the content of their journalism as we have just witnessed in recent weeks in the U.
Neither of these erosions in the quality and integrity is readily recognizable to consumers. One result of these changes in the U. Challenges which, left unaddressed, will destroy the vital link between the people and its press on which democracy depends. Each of those failures of journalism was the result of a thinning out of the professional staff in the newsrooms, and a failure of the top leadership to develop a newsroom culture that encourages openness, that rewards critical thinking and an acceptance by each journalist of personal responsibility for the credibility of their work.
The second aspect of the new world of producers is a new sophistication in information control by people and institutions of power.
Sometime early in the 20th century those with their hands on the levers of economic and political power in democratic societies realized they are, at bottom, in the business of communications. The realization that the success of their economic plan or their political program depends on their ability to get the majority of the people to see the world in their terms.
As a result they have been involved in carefully focused and well-financed efforts to develop ever more subtle and effective ways to manipulate public behavior and understanding of the issues in which they have a vested interest.
In the meanwhile we in the newsrooms of the world have done little if anything to sharpen our understanding of how words are being used to manipulate our reports; how we react to events that are staged to determine what we deem important to cover. One of the reasons journalists in the United States now support the Committee of Concerned Journalists is the frustration they feel that news organizations in our country traditionally invest less money in the on-going training and education of their workers than almost any other industry.
As people and institutions we cover work diligently to learn new and better ways to control or avoid our scrutiny we seem content to plod along in the reporting and editing ruts we formed in the 19th century.
It is this problem on news production that bleeds over into the problem of consumers that journalism in the public interest faces. For many of our newsrooms too often work by rote, letting others decide what is important to cover and how it should be covered-letting judgments produced by vested interests be given, at best, equal display with documented, verified information produced by their own dis-interested staff—or, at worse, become the only judgment presented.
Journalists can meet this new challenge only by applying our own enduring values as aggressively to expose these artificial worlds for what they are-self-serving propaganda.
The public whose well being as citizens depends on how well we do our work are becoming disillusioned. The public—all of us—are ignorant of many things. They can see, sooner or later, that we failed to ask the right question at the right time; to hold a public official responsible or expose private corruption that threatened their welfare.
In this new world of unlimited producers why should they stick with us?THE ROLE OF QUALITY JOURNALISM IN OUR DEMOCRACY. Kevin O’Sullivan, Editor, The Irish Times The perfect storm ‑ a sharp economic downturn in many countries combined with a dramatic shift in consumption patterns and diminishing traditional brand loyalty ‑ means much of the rich and diverse blend of media in Europe is under grave .
journalism plays a critical role in convincing the reader that “‘the account can be trusted because it is unadorned. ’“ 8 This involves using a rhetorical style that clearly, concisely, and accurately retells events, facts, and details.
Role Of Journalism In A Democracy. Introduction Democracy means ‘A system of government in which all the people of a country can vote to elect their representatives’. Media came into existence in with the introduction of a newspaper namely ‘The Bengal Gazette’ and since then it has matured leaps and bounds.
Journalism for democracy “Journalists have to consider how American politics has changed since modern journalism first formulated the conventions and norms for covering politics.” By . A New Journalism for Democracy in a New Age. For how journalism progresses and how democracy progresses will depend upon how well we discharge this responsibility.
So let me end by reminding us all of the role of journalists, do in a free society. We are publishing the open letter below to amplify its message and emphasize our support for the role that journalists and journalism.
We call on the White House and President Donald J. Trump to protect and defend the role of the free press in our democracy and countries around the world.