Journalism has many struggles that it is dealing with.The biggest being the Internet and civilian
journalism and what that means for newspapers and TV reporters.Some may think that the journalism business
is dying and that the Internet and people will be the primary source for news,
but I do not think that will be the case.I think there are still many possibilities and opportunities to have a
career in journalism.
I do think that journalists and news organizations need to
find a way to adapt to the changing culture faster.They need to be able to embrace new
technologies instead of fight against them like they seem to do when the
Internet first started to come into play as a viable option.Most of the news organizations have done this
and I think it has given even more opportunities for journalists.Primarily because the Internet allows you to
increase your coverage and serve more niche markets.I think journalists now have the ability to
reach audiences that they never have been able to before, and cover more news
than what they could have before.
I also think that the outlook for journalism is positive
because at the end of the day someone will have to cover the news.News won’t stop.Although civilians are now coming into the
picture most them do not have the resources or time to produce quality and
timely reporting.Journalists will
always be the go to sources for news because they have a history and they take
the time to find the stories.While many
daily newspapers have gone away they have been replaced by otherforms of reporting whether it be Internet
newspaper sites, radio, or TV (even short news stories on YouTube).
I also feels like it comes down to having a passion for
reporting the news.For those that are
willing to sacrifice and work hard there will always be a place for them in
reporting and to be successful.While it
may not be for everybody, and it isn’t the easiest of jobs, again someone will
need to do it, and if you have the drive you can be successful.
As social media, television news, and TV in general become more popular it becomes easier to identify and no those who are reporting the news. Celebrity journalist like Chris Matthews or Anderson Cooper are becoming more and more popular in mainstream media. In fact in many cases you will actually see many journalists who are promoting themselves through their own website, Twitter, or Facebook pages. There can be both advantages and disadvantages to self-promotion within journalism.
One of the main disadvantages that can happen through self-promotion is failing to serve your base honestly and faithfully. As journalists try to promote themselves they may tend to forget their responsibility to reporting the news. For example, they may want to go after stories that are more nationally known so they can get recognition on a national stage versus serving their own community with the stories that are more relevant. Another disadvantage to promoting yourself to become a celebrity journalist might do with their sources. As journalist become more well known it might be harder for them to up team stories where people have to go on record or if they show up to a seen the police were firemen may do their best to keep that journalist out or to cover up part of the story.
I personally think probably the biggest disadvantage it serves them is whether or not they can be perceived as being genuine in their work. As journalist try to promote themselves they can come off as self-serving rather than public serving entities. Journalist trying to promote themselves often seem like they're trying to get theirs instead of actually trying to genuinely covering a story. This can lead them to being alienated from their readers.
I do think that there can't be some advantages to self-promotion in journalism. One being that the more popular they can become the more clout they can hold while covering a story. As I mentioned before sometimes this can be a disadvantage of being well-known however in some cases in my game then access to sources or leads that others might not have. For example, they might be able to get calls from businesses or politicians who are trying to get a story out in the public and would like to have somebody who is more well-known publish their story. Like any business the more you promote yourself the more connections you make more connections you make the more successful you are going to be.
I also think that it can be an advantage for journalists to be well-known because they can become more trusted in their work. Journalists were well-known usually can be more trusted because they're held to a higher standard. They have more people watching them. I think an example of this was Walter Cronkite who was the most trusted man in America. I believe as he became more famous and people listen to him more he was held to a higher standard and people trusted him more because he knew that he had eight people to serve and to make sure he got things right.
Again I think there can be both advantages and disadvantages of self-promotion within journalism. It is a fine line that they must walk in order to not alienate those they serve or to be thrill seekers within journalism. They must maintain their integrity and be able to report the news and honest and fair way. If they do that I think they would become just like a flash in a pan and not be up to sustain their celebrity like status.
The biggest problem facing journalist today is the Internet. The Internet is an ever-changing landscape that has been hard to figure out even for the most involved on the web. Things like blogs, message boards, and Twitter journalists are being drowned out by regular citizens and other sources. As regular people have more opportunities to express their opinions and to break news journalist need to find more creative ways to reach out to the people that they serve. They need to adapt to changing times by aggressively thinking of ways that they can stand out. I think one way they can do this is by marking themselves through social media platforms. Journalists have opportunities now to give their readers more insight as to how they develop stories and where they're coming from when writing stories. This can help build more of a whale fan base and allow readers to get to know the journalist more personally. It seems that early on journalist tried to fight the new media that has been being developed for several years now, but what they need to do is to engage it and figure out how to use it to their advantage.
The Internet has also proved to create an additional problem of connecting with younger readers. It seems like more and more younger people have stopped reading newspapers or stopped following important news to them and are more attracted to celebrity or reality television. I think one of the main issues is that journalist's writing can often times be stuffy and hard to understand. If they would like to retract younger readers they need to figure out how to write for them. For example, using easy-to-understand language, or using metaphors that younger people can relate to. I think to often newspapers sound elitist and they become hard to follow and not engaging enough of their audience.
Finally, I think another reason why journalism is struggling is because everything has become sensationalized. There seems to be an operative in the media to overblow or to quantify everything immediately instead of letting it simmer and action seeing the true impact. Because journalists tend to overblow everything they are sometimes not only get it wrong, but seem to have bias, or seem to miss the mark and it becomes hard to trust or enjoy listening to the news. I believe if the media took more of a step back instead of trying to find instant reaction it would become easier to rely on the media for the reports and easier to trust them. Much of this comes from the fact that there is high competition within reporting. However, I think as journalist do a better job of covering the news instead of trying to be the fastest to cover the news people will be more willing to follow that particular reporter or news outlet rather than getting sensationalized news even though it's fast.
At its root journalism is a way to spread democracy throughout a community. Journalists create opportunities for public discussion by supplying people with facts and news and letting them make their own opinion or their own choices in different matters around their community.
Most citizens do not have the time or resources to be able to understand every little thing going on around them. Whether it is an upcoming election, a new building being built that may cause issues, or even as small as the local high school football team recap, journalism helps provide the information to us in order to make informed and educated decisions. Without journalism we wouldn't know which candidate we think best represents our ideals or if the new building might effect me, and if so what actions I can take to hopefully prevent it from happening. It allows us to take an active role in the communities we live in.
Journalism also provides for public discussion to happen. It encourages people to talk about the issues confronting them in bars and at dinner. With most newspapers it also affords regular citizens to express their views and opinions on different matters. Without public discussion then we would never know the impact of the different issues. While one side may say that a new building in the community might be good for business and be a beautiful monument to the city the other side may talk about the environmental impact and overall well being of having a monstrous building casting a shadow over the home. Without journalism there would be no vessel to facilitate these discussions. We wouldn't have a chance to learn more about things and to challenge ideas that may arise.
I don't think in most cases there is a right or wrong answer, but I do think it is important that everyone has a voice. Journalists first responsibility is to the citizens and to be a "voice to the voiceless". If they are representing them then it should provide a place where our opinions can be represented and told, which is exactly what democracy is. Not being told what to do or what to think. It is having the power to be informed and to think for one's self.
In, The mind of a Journalist, the author, Jim Willis, goes into great detail about the role that faith plays within journalism and journalists personal lives. He points out there is and overall idea that journalists are devoid of beliefs because they should be detached in order to effectively cover stories and avoid any biases. However Willis does go to great lengths to show that there is a place for religious beliefs and still remain to be a great journalist.
I agree with Willis' assessment that you can hold deep religious convictions and still remain objective in covering different stories. As journalists we live by the motto of verification and not assertion. Journalists are there to describe events and report an accurate of portrayal of the news. Journalists for the most part should not be inserting opinions into their writing. Also as your responsibility to the reader you should be able to cover all of the facts and let them decide what might be right or wrong, or what side they stand on. I do not feel that there is a place for journalists to share their beliefs int he stories they cover.
If they do come across stories that involve religion then they need to check those at the door and again stick to the main stories and the facts that are there. I think Willis points another good example that we should allow the subjects of the story to explain their views their own way rather than trying to tell the readers about it through our own most likely distorted goggles. As long as journalists remember that they are not their to extol their faith and to supply their readers with facts then I do think it is very possible to still believe in a higher power, or not, and be a great journalist.
As a journalists in many cases it is important to stay neutral in your covering of the different issues that may arise in the community. However, I think it is humanly impossible for any journalists to totally separate themselves from the stories they cover. Mainly because I think it is also vital to be engaged in the community and events that you are involved in to give your readers a better understanding and perception, and being able to understand your readers. What journalists need to recognize is how to separate their feelings and ideals from being able to cover a story. Journalists need to have the foresight to recoginize if their personal feeling are comprimising their ability to fairly cover a story.
As we learned about in previous chapters journalists need to not just report the facts, but the truth about the facts. I think this can go a long way to helping journalists not letting their biases enter their reporting. It is easy to put facts down on a paper that support your argument or your story, but it can be hard if the context of those facts doesn't support your argument. For example I could say that BYU was a better team than Utah because they had a better record. The fact about the record is true, but that doesn't account for the quality of opponents that each of them played which may be a better barometer to measure which team was better.
If journalists feel strongly about different subject then they should refrain from reporting on them. They should ask for different beats or stories to cover. Journalists should understand that their first loyalty should be to the people they serve and then to the truth, and not various causes that they support. There will be some cases that it is obvious to take sides like murder or child molestation. Some things are bad and are universally known to be bad. When it comes to covering social issues though is when the journalists needs to refrain from letting their biases or opinions affect the way they cover the news.