Journalism facts

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Journalists at a press conference

Journalism refers to the production and distribution of reports on recent events. The word journalism applies to the occupation, using methods of gathering information and using literary techniques. Various forms of journalistic mediums include: print, television, radio, Internet and in the past: newsreels.

Concepts of the appropriate role for journalism vary between countries. In some nations, the news media is controlled by government intervention, and is not a fully independent body. In others, the news media is independent of the government but instead operates as private industry motivated by profit.

The advent of the Internet and smartphones has brought significant changes to the media landscape in recent years. This has created a shift in the consumption of print media channels, as people increasingly consume news through e-readers, smartphones, and other personal electronic devices, as opposed to the more traditional formats of newspapers, magazines, or television news channels. Newspapers have seen print revenues sink at a faster pace than the rate of growth for digital revenues.

Production

Videojournalist
Video journalist

When writing stories, objectivity and bias are issues of concern to journalists. Some stories are intended to represent the author's own opinion; others are more neutral or feature balanced points-of-view. In a print newspaper, information is organized into sections and the distinction between opinionated and neutral stories is often clear. Online, many of these distinctions break down. Readers should pay careful attention to headings and other design elements to ensure that they understand the journalist's intent.

Journalists are "supposed" to be "objective" and "neutral" and that they be guided by professional codes of ethics and do their best to represent all legitimate points of view.

Forms

There are several forms of journalism with different types of audiences. A single publication (such as a newspaper) contains many forms of journalism, each of which may be presented in different formats. Each section of a newspaper, magazine, or website may cater to a different audience.

Some forms include:

Citizen journalism (3003245742)
Citizen journalism
  • Access journalism – journalists who self-censor and voluntarily cease speaking about issues that might embarrass their hosts, guests, or powerful politicians or businesspersons.
  • Citizen journalism – participatory journalism.
  • Advocacy journalism – writing to advocate particular viewpoints or influence the opinions of the audience.
  • Broadcast journalism – written or spoken journalism for radio or television.
  • Data journalism – the practice of finding stories in numbers, and using numbers to tell stories. Data journalists may use data to support their reporting. They may also report about uses and misuses of data.
  • Drone journalism – use of drones to capture journalistic footage.
  • Interactive journalism – a type of online journalism that is presented on the web.
  • Investigative journalism – in-depth reporting that uncovers social problems. Often leads to major social problems being resolved.
  • Photojournalism – the practice of telling true stories through images.
  • Tabloid journalism – writing that is light-hearted and entertaining. Considered less legitimate than mainstream journalism.
  • Yellow journalism (or sensationalism) – writing which emphasizes exaggerated claims or rumors.

Social Media

Fake News (41132195430)
Fake News

The rise of social media has drastically changed the nature of journalistic reporting, giving rise to so-called citizen journalists. In a 2014 study of journalists in the United States participants claimed they rely on social media as a source, depending on microblogs to collect facts. From this, the conclusion can be drawn that breaking news nowadays often stems from user-generated content, including videos and pictures posted online in social media.

Because of these changes, the credibility ratings of news outlets has reached an all-time low. A 2014 study revealed that only 22% of Americans reported a "great deal" or "quite a lot of confidence" in either television news or newspapers.

Fake News

"Fake news" is deliberately untruthful information which can often spread quickly on social media or by means of fake news websites. It is often published to intentionally mislead readers to ultimately benefit a cause, organization or an individual. A glaring example was the proliferation of fake news in social media during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and lies have been circulated under the guise of news reports to benefit specific candidates. One example is a fabricated report of Hillary Clinton's email which was published by a non-existent newspaper called The Denver Guardian. Many critics blamed Facebook for the spread of these materials. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has acknowledged the company's role in this problem in a testimony before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing on April 20, 2018.

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