The definition of journalism seems erroneously linked to solely to newspapers or magazines. While newspapers and magazines have been the traditional channels for accessing the fruits of journalism, they aren’t what defines journalism. Journalism is the gathering of news and dispensing that information to the people. It is the direct presentation of facts. It’s communication that appeals to the public interest. It definitely isn’t DYING.
Newspapers are transforming, but not dying. There may come a day when they aren’t printed on paper or no longer are delivered to a doorstep, but daily and weekly news gatherers are shifting to be hourly investigators. The new info updated to online sources by the minute.
The need for news and investigation is certainly not dying. We really have the opposite–an insatiable 24/7/365 appetite for information. What’s critically important is the need to train up and coming journalists in critical thinking, deft writing, ethics and neutrality. We need Public Relations pros trained as journalists, to keep the integrity of news balanced with information about businesses, governments or non-profits.
My trip to Kyrgyzstan reminded me how true that challenge remains across the globe. Nearly 50 papers are flourishing in the capital of Bishkek. The challenge is ownership and ethics. Nearly all papers are owned by businessmen or politicians using the newspapers as propaganda rags to highlight their own agendas. Yet the Kyrgyz people are able to glean the truth as they know the biases of each publication. Journalists created a Non Government Organization which seeks funding to assure the ethical and non-biased reporting and accuracy by new journalists in the flourish of news. I was struck by the similarities here-divided media showing bias on both sides of the political spectrum. But traditional non biased news gathering still exists in the dailies and the weeklies in local news. And in some of the national publications. Some bloggers are doing excellent investigative journalism and some are just hacks not checking facts. We just need to know the difference as consumers, as business owners, as public relations professionals and as journalists.