Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Trust and Transparency in the 21st Century

Sydney Van Ness

The fact that journalism has changed significantly from the 20th century to the 21st shouldn't come as news to anyone with access to a computer or a television, especially in the last decade or so.

Although, what people might not know is that, along with the gradual switch from the former front runner print journalism, to the ever-so-rapidly-growing digital journalism, also comes some significant modifications to journalistic ethics, and the way journalists present and publish their stories.

20th vs 21st Century Ethics

The principles that were published by Poynter in the 1990s have become somewhat outdated, but, instead of completely disappearing, they followed the evolution of journalism  and have, themselves, evolved into a more relevant modern code of principles.

So, What Changed? 

The main difference between the Poynter original draft of principles and new version is the switch from independent journalism, to transparent journalism. Whats the difference? Well, along with all of the emerging social media platforms, blogs, websites, etc., also emerges more opportunities to create and publish journalism independently, and with that emerges more opportunities for information to be skewed and become inaccurate, without readers knowing.

This is where the switch from independent to transparent journalism comes in.

Simply put, the more "behind the scenes of writing an article" action a journalist can show, the better. Get rid of anonymous sources and give evidence and details to back up each and every claim you make. If you do make a mistake, admit to it and find a way to get the correct information to those who read the inaccurate information.

Being transparent builds trust between the journalist and his or her readers, which, in the long run, benefits your personal brand.

What Does the Future Hold?

Sharing on digital media platforms is something that will not be going out of style any time soon. Journalists will continue to do everything they can to hold onto their #1 core principle of giving audiences the accurate truth the best that they can do. From there on out, it is the job of the media consumer to read up and question journalists so that they can then decide for themselves what is and is not a trustworthy source.

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