Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
- The First Amendment
In the world of journalism The First Amendment seems to be the glue that holds the media industry together. The freedom of speech and of the press is tangible power in the hands of a journalist. According to Kovach and Rosenstiel (2007, p.145-149), "Investigative journalism seeks to expose unethical, immoral and illegal behaviour by government officials, politicians as well as private citizens." This statement should not take credit away from the everyday journalist but more so bring focus to the specialise role of being able to uncover and report on hidden information with the aid of digital advancements. As time has passed the roles, goals and purpose of the media business has gone from hands-on reporting to digital reporting, which commonly named, amongst journalist in the field, as "New Media". Due to the transform in new media, this essay will examine (1) the stride journalist take during the investigative practices, (2) what factors influence how information is collected such as corporate finance and/or political agenda, and (3) with the new media penetration, can investigative journalism stay live.
The History and Practice of Investigative Journalism
The journey a journalist traveled has a long and bumpy history. Newspapers have been around since the 1500's (McNair, 2007, p. 27). The advent of the first daily newspaper in 1702 called the Daily Courant would be one of many news tools (Horrie, 2008, p.148)...
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... and most importantly it provides an accurate illustration of news. Because the world will continue to exist, it's fair to assume so will investigative journalism as long as there is corruption and the public interest. Therefore, a journalist should strive to hold their profession to the highest standards no matter the digital era, one mainly being integrity in my opinion. Just like humans are not perfect neither is journalism but the added tool of the digital era has enhanced this industry's power to make a difference in regards to policy making and society's self-awareness to issues.
At the end of the day if adherence to moral and ethical principals is not part of how people receive a journalist's information, then where does that leave us? Most importantly if there is no truth in media, then the digital generation may lose its value in investigative reporting.
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When discussing the media, we must search back to its primal state the News Paper. For it was the News paper and its writers that forged ahead and allowed freedoms for today’s journalism on all fronts, from the Twitter accounts to the daily gazettes all must mark a single event in the evolution of media in respects to politics and all things shaping. Moving on in media history, we began to see a rapid expansion around 1990. With more than 50% of all American homes having cable TV access, newspapers in every city and town with major newspaper centers reaching far more than ever before. Then the introduction of the Internet; nothing would ever be the same.
It is not uncommon to hear people complaining about what they hear on the news. Everyone knows it and the media themselves knows it as well. Some of the most renowned journalists have even covered the the media’s issues in detail. Biased news outlets have flooded everyday news. We find that journalism’s greatest problems lie in the media’s inability for unbiased reporting, the tendency to use the ignorance of their audience to create a story, and their struggles to maintain relevance.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.
“Journalists are given the privilege of shared access to the first draft of history, and some responsibility to make sense of it.”(NFP) The light that Chris masters sheds on the ethics and responsibility of investigative journalism in relation to the public and on whom the report on is explored in Not for publication. Masters’ expository discourse develops the common ‘essential objective is profit rather that saving the world.” Masters first hand experience and unearthing of the true facets that are todays investigative media, is more sinister than one would expect. Through direct expressions of Masters’ concern we see how the public is stimulated and deluded by masses of entertainment and propaganda, the cry for bad news is so inert in our society, that the concept of Masters exposition stories would not mediate to the mass media.
Winch, S.P. (2000). Ethical challenges for investigative journalism. In M. Greenwald & J. Bernt (Eds.), The big chill: Investigative reporting in the current media environment (pp. 121-136). Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press.
The telegraph “increased the speed with which news could be delivered and made foreign news more widely available than ever before.” (184) Telegraphers, through the use of keys and sounders, were able to have direct communications over the wires with distant colleagues. This was the first time people were speaking “online.” However, soon “ speed was everything; newspapers came to value timeliness at the expense of depth.”(184) When speed is more important than depth it shapes human culture because the public, who depend on the newspapers for accurate information, are not getting the full story they should be. In the modern media environment of today this is a huge problem. Newspapers always want to be the first to report on any happening across the world but now that they have moved to online were events are instantly reported on the competition has gotten has gotten stronger. They chose to report fast rather than fully accurate. Social media has made it so reporters don’t have to flock to the scene instead they can message people that are already there and gather their accounts. The problem that can come from this is verifying the information that they are receiving is truthful or
In the documentary film, Page One: Inside The New York Times, the inner world of journalism is revealed through journalists David Carr and Brian Stelter as the newspaper company The New York Times, struggles to keep alive within a new wave of news journalism. The film is dedicated to reveal the true inner mechanics of what modern day new journalists face on a daily basis and leaves the audience almost in a state of shock. It broadcasts news journalism as yes, an old school method of news generation, but it also highlights an important component that reveals the importance behind this “old school” methodology. We often think that progression always correlates with positive products, but the documentary insists that within the case of modern journalism, the new wave method is actually a detriment that can reap negative consequences.
The ethical concepts in journalism are the preparation of the journalists towards encouragement of the neutral language. It has an effect on biases based on their ideologies to adopt the ethics of journalistic work. Also, the assumptions that are made in the context to the reporter’s language are based on the structural biases and strongly urge a use of ethical journalistic practices. Moreover, the concept is simple as the mainstream media acts towards that news that has a political purpose for their news outlets. This way they get more ratings, and they get biased towards reporting in a specific way that can improve upon the reputation of their channel (Dellavigna and Kaplan, 2007, pp.1187-1234).
In trying to attract new audiences, news media have begun to transition from reporting to becoming a form of entertainment. With the meteoric rise of social media’s role as a news source, the fight for an increase of diversity in the media, and the ever-growing desire of immediate content, the future of responsible journalism is more important than ever. Ask yourself, why do I think the way I do? Where do my political views originate? How do I prove them? Most likely, it is due to the biased portrayal of issues in the media and the politicization that accompanies what we consume. Now, compare your views to your preferred news reporting entity. More than likely, they are the same.
In extreme situations, journalists choose the angle they can find, tick the boxes to the news worthiness, but never having a stand. According to Kempf, journalists fulfill certain criteria of newsworthiness and fake empirical evidence, which implements propaganda and in the journalists’ defense “that it did not matter the pictures were faked since they only showed what people already ‘knew’ and since they served the goal of opening the eyes of the public” (Kempf 2002, p. 60). Various examples from the War on Terror, where journalists and reporters would fake evidence just to gain more audiences but examples like this could elevate the issues, and it is as if this responsibility of Journalism of Attachment only adds fuel to the fire and this is done in the name of peace (Kempf 2002).
No matter what networked journalism is, conventional media organization should transform the way of operating workflows as well as gathering, distributing information. Basically, the more audiences participate in generating contents, the more transparency and the more equality of information will be given to grass roots. The boundaries of journalism will be expended from only to professional journalists or journalism scholars to ordinary audiences. However, one thing what I worry about is, in terms of occupation of journalism, it will be the edge of extinction. If not, there must be the tremendous innovation in professional journalism in order to survive. I argue that they should not be satisfied with gathering information. Instead, professional journalists have to pioneer a way of finding new source of information by adapting brand new technologies or academic methods in the networked journalism
The introduction of the internet to modern society has brought about a new age of information relation. Since there is no longer a need to wait until the next print day, news from all over the world is available at a person’s fingertips within hours or even minutes of the event. With this advent of such easily accessible information, new problems for the news media have also arisen. Aside from potentially losing good economic standing because newspapers are no longer being purchased in the quantities they used to be, the credibility of the information itself is also put into question. No one would argue that credibility of news sources is unimportant, but there is a discrepancy in what takes precedence; economy and speed or getting the information out correctly at the first publishing by taking the time to make sure all facts are checked. The importance of having a system of checks on all information submitted is paramount. People trust what they read and believe it to be so without always questioning. If all information were to not be checked thoroughly, there would be instances where people read an article only for information included to be wrong and they go on believing such information. This can be very dangerous as misinformed people make misinformed decisions. With an increase in errors being made by citizen bloggers and even major publications, many are worried that journalistic ethics and credibility in the news media are being sacrificed in order to maintain swiftness in the news circuit and to retain personal profits. Though getting information to the masses quickly is a major part of the media’s importance, this should not mean that the credibility of that information being presented should be sacrificed for it...
McLoed and Hawley (as cited in Wilson, 1995) elucidated appropriately, "a recurrent journalistic controversy has involved the question whether journalism is a true profession or merely a craft." Sparked primarily by Lippmann and Dewey, extending into the age of the penny press (mid 1980s) and later, the attempt to commercialise the news (late 1980s) to our present era, there has existed a contentious debate on journalism being distinguished as a profession (Wilson, 1995).