Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What Makes a Journalist in Today's Society?

Robbie DiPaola

Journalists today have more on their plate than ever before as they have to meet deadlines while still trying their best to produce up-to-the-minute content that will both entertain readers as well as inform them of any news that they might want to catch up on.

Humans are curious individuals by nature and typically everybody in some form or another wants to hear about the latest and most current news. Whether citizens want to the read news about the upcoming election or find out the latest on their favorite athlete or celebrity,  everyone consumes news, sometimes without even knowing they are.

When the beginning of the chapter talked about the test a university did when it did not allow students to check any forms of news or communication outlets, it was amazing to see how disconnected from the world those individuals seemed to be.

This goes to show how important this news and information that we can sometimes take for granted is vital to our everyday lives and without it, we are essentially lost because we are out of touch with the rest of society.  Journalism is vital to how our society operates.

In today's world and the rapid growth of technology, it is easier than ever before to consider yourself a journalist. Citizen journalism, as it is being called, is becoming more popular every year.  You can easily crate a blog or website and report whatever you feel is important all from the comfort of your own house.  Citizens can research a topic, write about that topic while going off of what others have said and at the end of the day call that work your own.


With more and more people posting content today and calling it journalistic work, it is becoming less clear what the duties of a true journalist are and what it takes to become one. There really is no clear-cut set of guidelines or specific curriculum to follow, which has lead to confusion as to what the true purpose of a journalist is nowadays.

So with there being a wealth of information available in an instant, it is easier to lose credibility since there are mass amounts of content out there, it sometimes may be difficult to decipher what is true and what is false journalism.

Especially with the rise of social media outlets serving as the hub for breaking news, it is easy for anyone with an active Twitter handle or Facebook account to report "news" that turns out to be inaccurate and false.

The result of this is more and more distrust in media members today. You spend years building your reputation and credibility up as a reporter and a journalist and it only takes one slip up to cost you everything and for people to lose faith in you as a professional communicator.

There still are a lot of good journalists producing many good stories on a regular basis.  The problem is that these good stories tend to get mixed in with the bad content and cannot be found because of the amount of content produced.

Citizens, however, sometimes can be helpful allies to journalists in times of crisis and when a journalist needs to spread important news throughout a city or community quickly. While citizens sometimes cause more harm then help to a media member, they do need each other to thrive in this profession called journalism.

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