Is Journalism a Profession? Essays

Is Journalism a Profession? Essays

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"Society demands that the men who minister to its health be in the highest sense of the word professional men − professionally trained, professional in their ethics, professionally responsible. Society demands professional training and professional conduct of the men who minister to its needs in legal matters. The fact that society demands less of the men who minister through news to its knowledge and attitudes is one of the great and dangerous inconsistencies that give shape to the twentieth century (Schramm, 1947, p. 90)."

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).
Encapsulated in a democratic homeland since the advent of time, media systems are habitually acclaimed as the “fourth power,” with its journalists often hailed as the “watch-dogs” of such a society. Lending itself to act as ‘gatekeeper’ for the wider society and performing the traditional role of journalism, the media (overall) exist as powerful “instruments of knowledge” that perform the function of providing information to the masses in a public sphere, where issues may be discussed, justified and contested (Scannell, 1995, p. 17). Evidently, media workers play a pivotal role in our society; however, their status in the realm of professions is not definite. Although the above emphasize the predicament at the heart of ...

... middle of paper ...

...1995). The NWICO debate, Unit 20 of the MA MA in Mass
Communications (By Distance Learning). Centre for Mass Communications
Research, University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

Nygren. G; Witschge T. (2009). Journalism: a profession under pressure? Journal of Media Business Studies, 6, 37-59
Scannell, P. (1995). Social aspects of media history, Unit 9 of the MA in Mass
Communications (By Distance Learning). Centre for Mass Communications
Research, University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

Schramm, W. (1947). Education for journalism: vocation, general or professional?
The Journal of Education, 2, 90-98

Wilson, G.R. (1995). Is journalism a bona fide profession? What the literature revealed.
Paper presented at AEJMC Southeast Colloquium, Newspaper Division. Retrieved from

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