Journalist

Last updated

Journalist
Reporter from CN8 at the Petco gas explosion 20050304.jpg
A television reporter from CN8 speaking into a microphone in front of a camera, 2005
Occupation
NamesJournalist
Occupation type
Journalism, mass media
Activity sectors
Mass Media, public relations, politics, sports, business
Description
Competencies Writing skills, interpersonal skills
Education required
Typically a bachelor’s degree
Fields of
employment
Mass media
Related jobs
Correspondent, Reporter, Columnist, Spokesperson, Politician

A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worthy form and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainly done by the journalist is called journalism.

Contents

Roles

Journalism can be in form of Broadcast, print, advertisers and public relations personnel, and, depending with the form of journalism the term journalist may include various categories of individuals as per the roles they play in the process. This includes, Reporters, Correspondents, Citizen Journalist, editors, editorial-writers, columnists, and visual journalists, such as photojournalists (journalists who use the medium of photography).

A reporter is a type of journalist who researches, writes and reports on information in order to present using sources. This may entail conducting interviews, information-gathering and/or writing articles. Reporters may split their time between working in a newsroom, or from home, and going out to witness events or interviewing people. Reporters may be assigned a specific beat or area of coverage.

Matthew C. Nisbet, who has written on science communication, [1] has defined a "knowledge journalist" as a public intellectual who, like Walter Lippmann, David Brooks, Fareed Zakaria, Naomi Klein, Michael Pollan, Thomas Friedman, and Andrew Revkin, sees their role as researching complicated issues of fact or science which most laymen would not have the time or access to information to research themselves, then communicating an accurate and understandable version to the public as a teacher and policy advisor.

In his best-known books, Public Opinion (1922) and The Phantom Public (1925), Lippmann argued that most individuals lacked the capacity, time, and motivation to follow and analyze news of the many complex policy questions that troubled society. Nor did they often directly experience most social problems, or have direct access to expert insights. These limitations were made worse by a news media that tended to over-simplify issues and to reinforce stereotypes, partisan viewpoints, and prejudices. As a consequence, Lippmann believed that the public needed journalists like himself who could serve as expert analysts, guiding “citizens to a deeper understanding of what was really important”. [2]

In 2018, the United States Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook reported that employment for the category, "reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts," will decline 9 percent between 2016 and 2026. [3]

Journalists today

A worldwide sample of 27,500 journalists in 67 countries in 2012-2016 produced the following profile: [4]

57 percent male;
mean age of 38
mean years of experience, 13
college degree, 56 percent; graduate degree, 29 percent
61 percent specialized in journalism/communications at college
62 percent identified as generalists and 23 percent as hard-news beat journalists
47 percent were members of a professional association
80 percent worked full-time
50 percent worked in print, 23 percent in television, 17 percent in radio, and 16 percent online.

Journalistic freedom

Journalists sometimes expose themselves to danger, particularly when reporting in areas of armed conflict or in states that do not respect the freedom of the press. Organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders publish reports on press freedom and advocate for journalistic freedom. As of November 2011, the Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 887 journalists have been killed worldwide since 1992 by murder (71%), crossfire or combat (17%), or on dangerous assignment (11%). The "ten deadliest countries" for journalists since 1992 have been Iraq (230 deaths), Philippines (109), Russia (77), Colombia (76), Mexico (69), Algeria (61), Pakistan (59), India (49), Somalia (45), Brazil (31) and Sri Lanka (30). [5]

The Committee to Protect Journalists also reports that as of 1 December 2010, 145 journalists were jailed worldwide for journalistic activities. Current numbers are even higher. The ten countries with the largest number of currently-imprisoned journalists are Turkey (95), [6] China (34), Iran (34), Eritrea (17), Burma (13), Uzbekistan (6), Vietnam (5), Cuba (4), Ethiopia (4), and Sudan (3). [7]

Apart from physical harm, journalists are harmed psychologically. This applies especially to war reporters, but their editorial offices at home often do not know how to deal appropriately with the reporters they expose to danger. Hence, a systematic and sustainable way of psychological support for traumatized journalists is strongly needed. However, only little and fragmented support programs exist so far. [8]

Journalist and source relationship

The relationship between a professional journalist and a source can be rather complex, and a source can sometimes have an effect on an article written by the journalist. The article 'A Compromised Fourth Estate' uses Herbert Gans' metaphor to capture their relationship. He uses a dance metaphor, "The Tango," to illustrate the co-operative nature of their interactions inasmuch as "It takes two to tango". Herbert suggests that the source often leads, but journalists commonly object to this notion for two reasons:

  1. It signals source supremacy in news making.
  2. It offends journalists’ professional culture, which emphasizes independence and editorial autonomy.

The dance metaphor goes on to state:

A relationship with sources that is too cozy is potentially compromising of journalists’ integrity and risks becoming collusive. Journalists have typically favored a more robust, conflict model, based on a crucial assumption that if the media are to function as watchdogs of powerful economic and political interests, journalists must establish their independence of sources or risk the fourth estate being driven by the fifth estate of public relations. [9]

The worst year on record for journalists

Jamal Khashoggi, killed inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018 Jamal Khashoggi in March 2018 (cropped).jpg
Jamal Khashoggi, killed inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018

According to Reporters Without Borders' annual report, 2018 was the worst year on record for deadly violence and abuse toward journalists; there was a 15 per cent increase in such killings since 2017, with 80 killed, 348 imprisoned and 60 held hostage. [10] [11]

Yaser Murtaja was shot by an Israeli army sniper. Rubén Pat was gunned down outside a beach bar in Mexico. Mexico was described by Reporters Without Borders as "one of world's deadliest countries for the media"; 90% of attacks on journalists the country reportedly go unsolved. [12] Bulgarian Viktoria Marinova was beaten, raped and strangled. Saudi Arabian dissident Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

Journalism is the production and distribution of reports on current events based on facts and supported with proof or evidence. The word journalism applies to the occupation, as well as collaborative media who gather and publish information based on facts and supported with proof or evidence. Journalistic media include print, television, radio, Internet, and in the past, newsreels.

Freedom of the press Freedom of communication and expression through mediums including various electronic media and published materials

Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely. Such freedom implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state; its preservation may be sought through constitution or other legal protection and security.

Walter Lippmann American journalist

Walter Lippmann was an American writer, reporter and political commentator. With a career spanning 60 years he is famous for being among the first to introduce the concept of Cold War, coining the term "stereotype" in the modern psychological meaning, as well as critiquing media and democracy in his newspaper column and several books, most notably his 1922 book Public Opinion.

Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, such as serious crimes, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Practitioners sometimes use the terms "watchdog reporting" or "accountability reporting."

Citizen journalism Journalism genre

Citizen journalism, also known as collaborative media, participatory journalism, democratic journalism, guerrilla journalism or street journalism, is based upon public citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information." Similarly, Courtney C. Radsch defines citizen journalism "as an alternative and activist form of news gathering and reporting that functions outside mainstream media institutions, often as a response to shortcomings in the professional journalistic field, that uses similar journalistic practices but is driven by different objectives and ideals and relies on alternative sources of legitimacy than traditional or mainstream journalism". Jay Rosen offers a simpler definition: "When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another." The underlying principle of citizen journalism is that ordinary people, not professional journalists, can be the main creators and distributors or news. Citizen journalism should not be confused with: community journalism or civic journalism, both of which are practiced by professional journalists; collaborative journalism, which is the practice of professional and non-professional journalists working together; and social journalism, which denotes a digital publication with a hybrid of professional and non-professional journalism.

Reporters Without Borders French organization for freedom of the press

Reporters Without Borders is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization with the stated aim of safeguarding the right to freedom of information. It describes its advocacy as founded on the belief that everyone requires access to the news and information, in line with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that recognizes the right to receive and share information regardless of frontiers, along with other international rights charters. RSF has consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the International Organisation of the Francophonie.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is an American independent non-profit, non-governmental organization, based in New York City, New York, with correspondents around the world. CPJ promotes press freedom and defends the rights of journalists. The American Journalism Review has called the organization "Journalism's Red Cross".

In journalism, a source is a person, publication, or knowledge other record or document that gives timely information. Outside journalism, sources are sometimes known as "news sources". Examples of sources include but are not limited to official records, publications or broadcasts, officials in government or business, organizations or corporations, witnesses of crime, accidents or other events, and people involved with or affected by a news event or issue.

Journalistic ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics and good practice applicable to journalists. This subset of media ethics is known as journalism's professional "code of ethics" and the "canons of journalism". The basic codes and canons commonly appear in statements by professional journalism associations and individual print, broadcast, and online news organizations.

Watchdog journalism is a form of investigative journalism where journalists, authors or publishers of a news publication fact-check and interview political and public figures to increase accountability. Watchdog journalism usually takes on a form of beat reporting about specific aspects and issues

Science journalism Journalism genre

Science journalism conveys reporting about science to the public. The field typically involves interactions between scientists, journalists, and the public.

Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility

The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) is a private, non-stock, non-profit foundation in the Philippines that has focused its endeavor on press freedom protection along with the establishment of a framework of responsibility for its practice. Its programs represent efforts to protect the press as well as to promote professional and ethical values in journalistic practice.

Source protection, sometimes also referred to as source confidentiality or in the U.S. as the reporter's privilege, is a right accorded to journalists under the laws of many countries, as well as under international law. It prohibits authorities, including the courts, from compelling a journalist to reveal the identity of an anonymous source for a story. The right is based on a recognition that without a strong guarantee of anonymity, many would be deterred from coming forward and sharing information of public interests with journalists.

Mass media in the Philippines Mass media in the Philippines

In 2004, the Philippines had 225 television stations, 369 AM radio broadcast stations, 583 FM radio broadcast stations, 10 internet radio stations, 5 shortwave stations and 7 million newspapers in circulation.

The mass media in Syria consists primarily of television, radio, Internet, film and print. The national language of Syria is Arabic but some publications and broadcasts are also available in English and French. While television is the most popular medium in Syria, the Internet has become a widely utilized vehicle to disseminate content. Transcending all available media, the government seeks to control what Syrians see by restricting coverage from outside sources. Publications and broadcasts are monitored by members of the government. Syria is ranked as one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. There were 28 journalists killed in combat in 2012.

Churnalism is a pejorative term for a form of journalism in which press releases, stories provided by news agencies, and other forms of pre-packaged material, instead of reported news, are used to create articles in newspapers and other news media. It is a portmanteau of "churn" and "journalism". Its purpose is to reduce cost by reducing original news-gathering and checking sources, to counter revenue lost with the rise of Internet news and decline in advertising; there was a particularly steep fall from late 2015. The origin of the word has been credited to BBC journalist Waseem Zakir.

Media development involves capacity building for institutions or individuals related to freedom of expression, pluralism and diversity of media, as well as transparency of media ownership. Media development plays a role in democracy and effective democratic discourse through supporting free and independent media.

Media coverage of the Syrian civil war

Since the start of the Syrian Civil War, all sides have used social media to try to discredit their opponents by using negative terms such as 'Syrian regime' for the government, 'armed gangs/terrorists' for the rebels, 'Syrian government/US State Department propaganda', 'biased', 'US/Western/foreign involvement'. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, given the complexity of the Syrian conflict, media bias in reporting remains a key challenge, plaguing the collection of useful data and misinforming researchers and policymakers regarding the actual events taking place.

Journalistic interventionism "reflects the extent to which journalists pursue a particular mission and promote certain values". Journalists with a high interventionist attitude do not report neutrally and objectively but are engaged in the subjects they are reporting about. An interventionist reporting style aims at influencing public opinion. Moreover, "journalism cultures that follow an interventionist approach may act on behalf of the socially disadvantaged or as mouthpiece of a political party and other groups whose interest are at stake".

Safety of journalists

Safety of journalists is the ability for journalists and media professionals to receive, produce and share information without facing physical or moral threats.

References

  1. Nisbet, Matthew C. (March–April 2009). "Communicating Climate Change: Why Frames Matter for Public Engagement". Environment Magazine . Heldref Publications. Taylor & Francis Group. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. Nisbet, Matthew C. (March 2013). "Nature's Prophet: Bill McKibben as Journalist, Public Intellectual and Activist" (PDF). Discussion Paper Series #D-78. Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, School of Communication and the Center for Social Media American University. p. 7. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  3. Talton, Jon (31 January 2018). "Occupational outlook: Where the big bucks are — and aren't". The Seattle Times . Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  4. Thomas Hanitzsch, et al. eds. Worlds of Journalism: Journalistic Cultures around the Globe (2019) pp. 73–74. see excerpt
  5. "1337 Journalists Killed". Committee to Protect Journalists . Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  6. "Number of Jailed Journalists Nearly Doubles in Turkey". Los Angeles Times . 5 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  7. "Iran, China drive prison tally to 14-year high". Committee to Protect Journalists . 8 December 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  8. Tabeling, Petra (24 December 2014). "Petra Tabeling: In crisis areas, journalists are at risk in physical and psychological terms". D + C. p. 15. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  9. Lewis, Justin; Williams, Andrew; Franklin, Bob (6 February 2008). "A Compromised Fourth Estate". Journalism Studies. 9: 1–20. doi:10.1080/14616700701767974. S2CID   142529875.
  10. Langford, Eleanor (17 December 2018). "2018 was worst year for violence and abuse against journalists, report says". telegraph.co.uk . Telegraph Media Group Limited . Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  11. "WORLDWIDE ROUND-UP of journalists killed, detained, held hostage, or missing in 2018" (PDF). Reporters Without Borders . 1 December 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  12. "Miroslava Breach murder: Mexico jails man who ordered journalist's death". BBC News. 23 August 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  13. Hjelmgaard, Kim (18 December 2018). "'Unscrupulous politicians' blamed for worst year on record for journalist killings". USA Today . Gannett . Retrieved 7 January 2019.

Bibliography