Telling the Story
Journalism is the process of spreading the truth about news in the least biased way possible. Journalist uncover injustice, help spread information and discuss things of relevance. A journalist must also be fair, accurate, and as objective as possible. This is significant considering that a journalist must be trusted to be listened to. I know this truth for myself. I discredit a journalist if I believe him or her to be inaccurate or biased.
Unfortunately, complete objectivity is not always obtainable. The book mentions that objectivity is an “ideal”. To be objective is to be without bias and to depend on observable fact and present the limitations of one’s knowledge. Journalists are unlikely to discuss their limitations but do attempt to be neutral. Yet, I can say as a human being that neutrality is harder than it seems. It is impossible to rid oneself of all former knowledge and understanding to see a new’s story from a completely objective perspective. This discussion leaks into philosophy but for the purposes of this paper I will move on. Outright bias and spin is not appreciated but utter objectivity is impossible.
However, accuracy and fairness are vital to journalistic success. This is the business of details. Typos, misquoting and misrepresentation can be the death of a journalist’s career. Accuracy will help gain an audience’s trust but fairness will even more so. It is important to discover and deliver facts impartially regardless of personal positions and to make full efforts to understand the story being covered. Once again, trust is gained through these two elements but it must also be remembered that it is human to error. Thus, fairness and accuracy must be taken seriously.
Journalists shape the world. They have great influence if they’re trusted. Yet, the landscape of journalism is changing as technology increases. Smartphones and social media have created different platforms for journalists to utilize. The use of different media to reach broader audiences is called convergence. Journalists must adapt to the changing times and employ different platforms for maximum impact. The general public can now engage through blogs and respond to journalist’s articles. The journalist must embrace these changes. Yet, some things remain the same. Journalism in its very nature has bias ingrained in it. The stories journalists choose to discuss are usually big headlines, conflict and celebrity driven. Yet, not all stories are news being relevant, useful or interesting, thus the bias toward the previously mentioned topics is not surprising.
The chapter was interesting and informing. I agreed with everything I read as I could consider the way I evaluate a journalist as a consumer. Accuracy, fairness and objectivity are key and should be used as much as possible. The journalist has the most important job, informing the public about things that affect their lives.