The Issues Facing North American Journalism Essay example

The Issues Facing North American Journalism Essay example

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The importance of journalism has always been defined by the inherent value of information. To possess information is to possess power, and without it a society can effectively be rendered mute. The essential functions of a journalist, to be both the watchdogs of the elite and the providers of factual and unbiased reporting to the public, have begun to decline in recent decades. Although the news is integral to the fabric of democracy, the current market imperatives of sustaining a profitable business model, the rise of a corporate ethos within journalistic institutions, and the slowly deteriorating standards of what makes a good story have all contributed to the devaluation of fact-based, unbiased, and investigative journalism. When looking at these issues facing North American journalism today, one may question whether the news can simultaneously provide impartial and profitable news.
The perseverance of journalists to uncover the truth in the face of adversity, presenting factual, unbiased, and notable information to the public is what forms the cornerstone of our democratic society. Without educated and informed citizens, these fundamental freedoms become nothing more than a smokescreen for corporate and government bodies to hide behind. As stated by Mary Welch, in an article by the National Post, “news is the lifeblood of our democracy.” Freedom of speech, expression and information, the right to vote, and the right to demonstrate are all integral parts of a democratic country, yet without the information supplied by journalists, these rights cannot be realized to their full potential as citizens can only make informed decisions when they have the whole story. When looking at the implications of the current market imperative i...


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...te monopoly, nor can further government subsidization of the media alleviate the conflict between profit and ethics. Although independent, internet based citizen journalism has risen in popularity due to its relative freedom from commercialized media, it too has its drawbacks and shortcomings – most notably in the lack of regulation and reputability of citizen reporters. The struggle to maintain impartial and fact-based journalism within a profitable business model will continue, as the rise of independent and privately funded newspapers become a ray of hope in a bleak media landscape. Whether citizens could or would fund a public newspaper, serving the interest of the public, has yet to be seen. For now, those who seek to learn the truth will continue in their dogged quest, as the great power of information has not been forgotten - especially by those who posses it.

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