Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Time For Some Change

Alexandria Keller

With today's constant technological improvement, everyone is becoming a journalist. According to Pew Research writers Monica Anderson and Andrea Caumont’s in an online article How Social Media Is Reshaping News, “half of social network site users have shared news stories, images or videos, and nearly as many (46%) have discussed a news issue or event”. This new ability to snap pictures of college protests, catch videos of police being aggressive, or even tweet about a school shootings, have allowed people to become part of the media and add to their portfolio as a journalist. 

Due to this new activism of the public in news, it is necessary for not just the legitimate writers, but also the readers to know what is ethical and what is not. In order for journalist and their readers to sift through the garbage and the gold they need guideline or, in this instance, a code. According to Kelly McBride and Tom Rosenstiel in The Future of Journalism Ethics, the three core values of journalism needed in the 21st century are: Truth, Transparency, and Community.

While these values have stayed relatively consistent over time, technology has forced them to change, with Truth as its only exception. Getting information that is as accurate as possible will always be the number one goal of any journalist; no technology will ever be able to change that (hopefully).

However, transparency is a core value that has molded over time from independence due to the increase in technology and the ways to get news. Before these changes though, news outlet consisted of monopolies that encouraged their writers to stay out of the biased hands of businesses and other secret deals for information. Few newsrooms worried, though, for fewer readers argued about the information that was handed to them and few ways of finding out for themselves.

Today, with search engines, social media, thousands of news outlets, etc, to double check facts from it has allowed this generation to become more critical of reader ready to demand for as much correct information with proof that it is correct.

 I believe the shift from independence to transparency, has cleared up the sea of news for it has pushed aside the articles, blogs, social media postings, etc, that are full of simple rumors gossip and made room for the facts and their credibility. This allows journalism to go from a childish game of telephone to a sophisticated web of facts and news.
The silhouette of a person whispering into another persons ear. Image provided by Start Up Daily.

Finally, the core value that I believe has made the largest yet very necessary change is Community. Before, community was replaced with minimize harm, which meant simply treat those whom are being publicized like actual human being with compassion and sympathy as needed. This is still a prevalent issue today especially with the recent shootings in Virginia that resulted in the death of a reporter and a cameraman. How some news outlets chose to cover this incident left many viewers upset that it did not respect those whose lives were lost. Many responded on all forms of social media with their sorrows and disgust of how the deaths were publicized.

I believe it was important that people have the ability to share their opinions publicly with the writer and their news outlets. This allows readers to actually see how people feel about what is being given to them and what else they want and don’t want to know.

All in all, it has taken a great deal of consideration to come up with the three new core values of journalism especially with the amazing technological developments journalists has had to adapt to so far. It will be interesting to see how the journalism world continues to move forward in the future.

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