A journalist is someone who works in the news gathering business, such as a
photographer, editor or reporter. Journalism is all around us. It dominates television and
surrounds us in the vast publishing industry of popularization. Journalism influence our
perspectives on issues concerning us. In other words, its undeniable that journalism has
a deep impact on our lives.
There are two sides to journalism – good journalism and bad journalism.
According to K. Minogue, the journalist has the power to mould the information they receive into “propaganda” or they could just report the news with additions of both side of the story. Journalism could even cause a political uproar like uncovering the Watergate scandal that forced President Nixon of the USA from office in 1974. Hence, it is very important that a journalist follow a code of ethics to maintain peace and harmony among the people.
I agree that even though journalists are said to have a freedom of expression or speech, they still have to have public responsibilities. In Singapore, we journalist have to watch what we say in delicate matters like September 11 attacks and the current Japanese – China issue. The September 11 attacks may cause our society to be more weary of the Muslims in our society. As journalists, we must we careful not to generalize that all Muslims are extremists. What we can do is to ask our Muslim community on their
opinion on the terrorists’ acts and publish it in the news. Since Singapore is a
cosmopolitan city, racial and religious matters must be treated diplomatically and
fairly. The other races would then be able to understand the Muslims better.
Understanding each other would really help nation building as there is social cohesion
and thus Singapore would be a peaceful and harmonious home for all.
Honesty is another aspect which is very significant. Journalists should observe the
common standards of decency and stand accountable to the public for the honesty and
accuracy of their news reports. A journalist should not modify or influence any
information that goes into their hands. They could do so by using suggestive words and
withholding necessary information. Many a time journalists try to create a hype or to
make their paper sell like hotcakes by compromising honesty. In Singapore, it is
written in the Singapore Journalists' Code of Professional Conduct that we are to report
and interpret the news with scrupulous honesty. A dishonest journalist would face
charges by the court.
Being independent would mean that there is no government influence in the media.
The Singapore Press Holding (SPH), the leading newspaper publisher in
Singapore, is a private holding company. However, the Singapore government has a
system of controlling every media outlet through annual licensing requirements. Several
foreign news organizations have been fined in Singapore like The...