Journalism is gathering, processing, and dissemination of news and information related to the news to an audience. The word applies to both the method of inquiring for news and the literary style which is used to disseminate it.
The media through which journalism is conducted vary diversely to include content published via newspapers and magazines (print), television and radio (broadcast), and their digital versions published through digital media — news websites and applications.
In modern society, the news media is the chief purveyor of information and opinion about public affairs. Journalism, however, is not always confined to the news media or to news itself, as journalistic communication may find its way into broader forms of expression, including literature and cinema. In some nations, the news media is still controlled by government intervention, and is not fully an independent body.
Journalism is one of the careers that make the world a better place, especially for those whose voice is suppressed by the wealthy and powerful.
Journalism exposes major discoveries and innovations. As a matter of fact, news is the first draft of history.
Journalists are, therefore, crucial in the cogs of life and global development. Journalists question things that are unclear and seek answers. We answer what many people question. We also expose the ills of society and provide the fibre to mend the broken pieces through opinion and analysis.
Journalists are an indispensable part of any society. Even in history, there were scribes who kept records of the happenings.
The future can only emphasize their presence, perhaps due to advancement in the technology of news gathering. The State knows very well the importance of journalists.
The media are referred to as the Fourth Estate, the first three being the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive.
It is the media that can provide objective checks and balances on the other three.
They set the agenda for society and have great influence. This makes the media to be like an arm of governance. No state or country can be governed democratically without the media — free media, that is.
It is, therefore, quite correct to say that both the media and the government serve the people.
The media are the voice of the people and the intermediary between the people and the government. They are the conscience of the people and help them to think.
How? It is practically impossible for that elderly person in the rural areas to engage in a meaningful discussion from a point of ignorance. Their knowledge in most cases is from the media.
Joseph Pulitzer in 1904 argued that the media have a disproportionately visible and influential role in fostering an environment where good governance can flourish. As a watchdog, agenda-setter of public discourse, and interpreter of public issues and events, the media have a special role in governance.
The main responsibility of the media, as is widely acknowledged, is to provide comprehensive, analytical, and factual news and opinions to the people on issues of concern.
Indeed, this is the critical link between the functioning of the media and good governance.
The media have the capacity to monitor the activities of the government and provide a forum for the public to express their concerns.
In fact, the nature and character of the media impact the governance process, for it is only when the media report, monitor, investigate, and criticize the administration’s policies and actions as well as inform and educate the citizens can good governance be enthroned.
In the recently concluded election here in Prince George’s County Question H, dwelt with a request that the county be required to have at least one newspaper of record. Instead of the previous rule of having at least three papers of record, the county would also use county-maintained electronic media for such items.
While that question seemed minor, it’s actually was big deal. Legal information needs to be easily accessible by the community and, unfortunately, as we pointed out, computers are not yet readily available to all residents. We specifically felt the media was targeted by Rushern Baker III regime and the administration continues to be ill-informed and its timing is all wrong.
Question H sought to choke the media and their noble duties and responsibilities and must be amended in the future to include more newspapers of record.
Lord Northcliffe in 1914 posited that “news is what someone, somewhere wants to suppress, everything else is just advertising.”
And the media refuse to merely advertise at the expense of the very public they owe a debt to provide factual information to.
Pictured above are some of the journalists who have been murdered recently courtesy The Committee to Protect Journalists