Journalism: Chapter One
Chapter one of Telling the Story was a basic overview of what Journalism is and the role that a journalist plays in the current society that we live in. As a writer and journalist I am told that I have to be objective. This is a fallacy.
It is almost impossible for a human being to be objective in any circumstance. Even the book lists objectivity as an “unattainable ideal.” It essentially requires a journalist to lose all emotions and feelings and write solely based on facts.
This is, of course, what every journalist should be trying to do, but he/she is more likely to win the power ball than truly be objective. It would require the loss of passion and soul and that’s what makes good writers.
Another topic chapter one touched on was accuracy. At all times any writer especially a journalist should try as hard as they can to be accurate. This means spell checking (especially when names are involved), fact checking and source checking. All of these are important to a writer and journalist.
Fairness goes along side-by-side with accuracy. A journalist should treat every story with care. They should not show favoritism to any one side or character in a story. This is hard to do because of the objectivity issue. Nothing should be left out.
Personally I believe that everyone who is writing anything is going to have a bias about the topic they are writing about. There is no way to avoid it, only limit it. The best way to do this is for the writer to try to emotionally remove them self from the story.
As stated in the objectivity paragraph, this is nearly impossible and, in my opinion, not a good writing tool. It is emotions that fuels passionate and strong writing.
Over the years journalism has changed dramatically, this is highlighted in this chapter. It has shifted from the primary form of news to more of an aid to all kinds of news. Almost all media uses journalism at this point in time. Our society is saturated in it.
In all journalism has grown and changed over the years. It is now the job of the journalist to be diverse and flexible. They must be prepared to work on many different levels.