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On Journalism Essay

1053 words - 4 pages

On Journalism

'News is service, service by the members of the Fourth Estate to the
greater social weal.'

Journalism is all about providing citizens with complete and accurate
information regarding the political and social events that will affect
their lives. It is about a sacred, selfless mission to THE PEOPLE.
Even if we are to make allowances for the fact that commercialism has
slightly crept into and slightly eroded the above institutional goal
of the press, substantiated by the rising number of tabloid and
plainly gossip publications, to call it a mere 'branch of the
entertainment industry' would be, to put it simply, a wrong and
ignorant statement.

The press plays such a pivotal role in the society that its influence
and estimate far exceeds mere entertainment value. A perusal through
the functions and impacts of this great institution will clearly
illustrate this.

The press is one of the pillars of democracy, promoting and
safeguarding its values. By faithfully reporting the proceedings of
the legislative and political organs of the democracy, journalists not
only provide essential information to the public but also act as a
check to the ruling power. In other words, a free press prevents the
government from going about doing as it pleases. The link between
press freedom and democracy was in evidence in Venezuela in mid April
(2002) and before that in Peru. In both nations it was demonstrated
that democratic legitimacy may be measured by the respect for press
freedom and the guarantees provided to ensure its existence.

Journalism goes beyond preserving democracy, it actually promotes and
enhances it. It has rightly been called the 'eyes and ears' of a
democracy since it moulds public opinion with respect to various
government policies. By objectively presenting the causes, goals and
implications of, say a particular government action, it lets the
public decide whether or not it is appropriate and adequate. Therefore
journalists serve as watchdogs of officialdom, providing a communal
voice to the electorate.

The main purpose of the very existence of the press is to cater to the
peoples right to know - a basic human right and a key constitutional
principle. Living in today's complex, intricate and interwoven
society, the people need to know the TRUTH and its effects. Lets take
for instance, the scenario of a war. The truth may challenge the
assertions made by the government but it is the duty of the journalist
to investigate, research and provide to the pubic news (not
compromising on national security and ethics, of course), that is
accurate, courageous, citizen focused, independent minded and fair
balanced. There...

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