A journalist is an individual that collects/gathers information in form of text, audio, or pictures, processes them into a news-worthy form, and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainly done by the journalist is called journalism.
|Journalism, mass media|
|Mass Media, public relations, politics, sports, business|
|Competencies||Writing skills, interpersonal skills|
|Typically a bachelor’s degree|
|Correspondent, Reporter, Columnist, Spokesperson, Politician|
Journalists can be broadcast, print, advertising, and public relations personnel, and, depending on the form of journalism, the term journalist may also include various categories of individuals as per the roles they play in the process. This includes reporters, correspondents, citizen journalists, 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, 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".
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.
A worldwide sample of 27,500 journalists in 67 countries in 2012-2016 produced the following profile:
- 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 ethics and conductEdit
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in 1954 adopted a code of ethics for journalists, called the Code of Bordeaux (revised 1986). Their members are under obligation to uphold this code.
The three main principles are:
- Seeking and publishing the truth Journalism is in the first place concerned with facts, and preferably controllable facts. Truth also implies providing enough background and context for the readers/hearers/viewers to understand the messages. In this principle, uncovering untruths and hidden or covert situations is implied. Journalists cannot cut quotes at will but have to uphold the meaning intended by the speaker. As soon as a new version of thew truth is discovered, this needs to be published. Also, according to some, journalists are also under obligation to publish the truth as soon as they have discovered it at the first chance of publication.
- FairnessThe journalist must in the first always reveal him/herself at the first contact as being a journalists. This may be followed by the assertion that anything the other party says, does not say or does or not do, may be used by the journalist for his/her story or publication. The journalist cannot use unfair means such as pressure or threats and has to take account of dire consequences for the other party, if he or she publishes some fact or facts. This may mean leaving out the name of the other party. When only anonymous sources can be used, this should be at least two, and independent of each other. To safeguard the independence of a journalist, he or she should not be party in any aspect of his of her report. The Financial Times for instance completely forbids any journalistic employee to own shares in companies. Fairness also includes a delicate handling of personal information to avoid unnecessary publication of personal information that may be detrimental for the person concerned. The right to rectification or correction is also implied by fairness. In some countries the right to redress is very specific and offers victims of journalistic faults the same space and same place in their publication for redress.
- Fair hearingEvery party concerned, especially those accused of something, have a right to fair hearing and to react to an alleged fact before publication. In this case, fairness includes enough time and opportunity, within reason, for the party concerned to react. This does not mean a right to have an advanced reading, hearing or viewing of the whole intended publication exists. Journalists can agree beforehand to giving such an insight, as long as this doe snot impair their possibilities for publication of the whole intended story.
Ethics and good conduct can be underlined, strengthened or guarded by the existence of an editorial statute that specifies the need to abide by the Code of Bordeaux, adopted by the IFJ. Also, journalists' unions or associations can specify the need for their members to abide by and uphold such a code of conduct. All the national journalists' unions that are members of the IFJ, are under obligation to stress this kind of conduct as the IFJ has adopted this. Also, partaking in organs such as an independent Council of Journalism, that can act as a court for conflict between interested parties and journalists or their media.
Publications that will not adhere to any journalistic ethics or conduct rules, while their employees are also not members of a journalists' organization, may be qualified as non-journalistic, regardless of the format they present themselves in..
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).
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), China (34), Iran (34), Eritrea (17), Burma (13), Uzbekistan (6), Vietnam (5), Cuba (4), Ethiopia (4), and Sudan (3).
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.
Journalist and source relationshipEdit
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:
- It signals source supremacy in news making.
- 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.
The worst year on record for journalistsEdit
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 percent increase in such killings since 2017, with 80 killed, 348 imprisoned and 60 held hostage.
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 in the country reportedly go unsolved. Bulgarian Viktoria Marinova was beaten, raped and strangled. Saudi Arabian dissident Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.
- 24-hour news cycle
- Broadcast journalism
- Electronic field production (EFP)
- Electronic news-gathering (ENG)
- Glossary of journalism
- List of ITV journalists and newsreaders
- List of journalists
- Local news
- News broadcasting
- News presenter
- News program
- Outside broadcasting
- Student newspaper
- War correspondent
- 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.
- 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.
- Talton, Jon (31 January 2018). "Occupational outlook: Where the big bucks are – and aren't". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- Thomas Hanitzsch, et al. eds. Worlds of Journalism: Journalistic Cultures around the Globe (2019) pp. 73–74. see excerpt
- "1337 Journalists Killed". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Number of Jailed Journalists Nearly Doubles in Turkey". Los Angeles Times. 5 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "Iran, China drive prison tally to 14-year high". Committee to Protect Journalists. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
- 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.
- Lewis, Justin; Williams, Andrew; Franklin, Bob (6 February 2008). "A Compromised Fourth Estate". Journalism Studies. 9: 1–20. doi:10.1080/14616700701767974. S2CID 142529875.
- Langford, Eleanor (17 December 2018). "2018 was worst year for violence and abuse against journalists, report says". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
- "WORLDWIDE ROUND-UP of journalists killed, detained, held hostage, or missing in 2018" (PDF). Reporters Without Borders. 1 December 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
- "Miroslava Breach murder: Mexico jails man who ordered journalist's death". BBC News. 23 August 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Hjelmgaard, Kim (18 December 2018). "'Unscrupulous politicians' blamed for worst year on record for journalist killings". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
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- Stone, Melville Elijah. Fifty Years a Journalist. New York: Doubleday, Page and Company (1921). OCLC 1520155
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