Journalism is the process of gathering news and facts and reporting on them in a way that uses truth and objectivity. The journalists who use this method of writing often do so for mass media outlets, including magazines, newspapers, and television broadcasts.
The key factor in journalism is that it is supposed to tell the full story so that readers can have all of the information they need on the subject. Journalists are reporters, simply relaying information. However, it is very easy for journalists to skew a story to coincide with their own values by simply not covering key information. While this is considered unethical in the industry, it is, unfortunately, common practice and leaves readers wondering what to believe.
Types of Journalism
In addition to the traditional straight news story type of journalism, there are many variables of this writing type that allow authors to express personality and opinions:
- Editorial – This is where a journalist is encouraged to write about one side of a story and make sure his opinion on the matter is evident. However, the writer must still use facts and statistics to backup any claims.
- Broadcasting – Think news reporter, news anchor, etc. Broadcast journalists have charisma and are very effective at speaking their stories.
- Investigative – When a journalist works hard to uncover something, often a breaking story.
- Photojournalism – When a photographer uses his pictures to tell a newsworthy story.
- Sensationalism – Purposely over-the-top reporting used to exaggerate rumors.
- Gonzo – Coined by Hunter S. Thompson in the 1970s, it is perhaps the most entertaining style of journalism to read because it combines facts with sarcasm and humor.
Troubles in a Digital World
At the inception of modern journalism, in the 1920s, the craft was all about the written word. People relied on journalists to take what was happening with the government and policy makers and relay the information onto them in an easy-to-comprehend way. Today, journalism is quite different. With the technologies available to the public, news companies have several challenges to face.
Less people are purchasing newspapers because they are accessing their information via their smartphones and tablets. Additionally, most people today won’t spend too much time reading news stories, whether online or in print, so journalists need to ensure they are writing in a way that is engaging and succinct.
But it’s not all bad. With the help of the Internet, today’s journalists also have easier access to information. They can effortlessly find the statistics and facts they need to backup a story, and they can also gather ideas with a quick online search.