Journalism in America has changed in multiple ways. Due to the fact, there are vast sources of media and a variety of perspectives for the average citizen to consider. This requires the American citizen to do their diligence and utilize critical thinking skills in order to navigate multiple media outlets which leads to a more inform decision. At the core of this decision-making process is the five values which are the foundation of ethical accuracy; independence; impartiality; humanity; and accountability. Journalism without these values are indefensible and does not benefit the public.
Journalism is the act of producing and disseminating viable information. Journalism is important to our society, because it helps open our eyes to what’s going on around the world and in our daily lives. Journalism stems back to ancient Rome in 59 B. C., when news was chronicled on circular’s that were stone or metal and displayed for everyone to read throughout the city.
This was handy for those who knew how to read. It detailed daily events. As time moved on journalism began to advance. In the 1930’s Broadcast journalism came into play and lasted throughout WWII. During this span of time more people were able to read. People were able to understand and keep up with current events, radio was a popular way of getting the news until the 1950’s where television became popular.
“To many, the 1950s recall an idyllic era when everyone conformed and everyone lived simply and happily. Beneath this conformity, people were stirring and new ideas were simmering; many would begin to question the status quo, some would not explode until the 1960s”. (Holt 1977) During the 1960’s we were consumed by the media and their nightly broadcast and reporting’s of the Vietnam War. This exposure to the horrors of the Vietnam war sparked protest among students who were not able to vote until the age of eighteen yet where able to be drafted into the military if they were not a full-time student. The horrific images of the conflict had a direct impact and citizens began to question why America was fighting a war that didn’t directly concern them. The media made sure to keep the Americans informed. Some call the Vietnam War the first television war. During the 1960’s the media also focused on the assignation of President Kennedy, Civil Rights Protest and Martin Luther King to name a few. All these events helped shape America to be what it is today. The media has a huge impact on our society and their decisions, from choosing a president to purchasing a new home. We depend on the media to keep up informed with true and reliable information that we can use.
Television became a powerful medium. This is where American’s got most of their information from. Society has grown to depend on television for news, sports, weather, culture to name a few. The Committee to Protect Journalist is an organization that promote press freedom to defend the rights of journalist to report the news safely without fear of reprisal. Under this protection, it allows the journalist to give society the information they need to make decisions based on what they hear and see. We depend on journalist to report factual and accurate information; even if it goes against the status quo, our democratic government, or big corporations. Americans expect updates on current events and full disclosure including missing information. This new or missing information could mean a no as opposed to a yes or a left instead of a right. It is important that the information being disseminated is coming from an honest and reliable source.
Today we rely not only on television to receive current events, but we also rely on radio and newspapers and the internet to be informed as to what’s going on in America as well as other countries. all the information being reported from multiple countries can bombard citizens with agendas of the powerful. For example, Under the Trump Administration there’s never a dull moment. Every day the media has something to report. In 2018 President Donald Trump shut down the United States federal government for over a month. Every day the media broadcast the status of the shutdown. This was the longest closure of the federal government involving furloughs. This happened because he couldn’t get the funding needed to help build a wall that borders Mexico. The big question is, can we have an equitable and just society without journalist? WikiLeaks is an organization that publishes news leaks. “ On 22 June 2018, Wikileaks published documents containing the personal details of many U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees with the declared aim of ‘understanding ICE programs and increasing accountability, especially in light of the extreme actions taken by ICE lately, such the separation of children and parents at the US border”. (WikiLeaks 2018) This information not only sparked outrage, but a congressional hearing. Without journalist exposing the truth of what goes on behind closed doors the American citizen would not know the facts to make an informed decision. Journalist are the watchmen of American society; they make sure the rules are followed and no one is above the law. They are valuable to American society for it is their job to expose their truth so all Americans can make informed decisions and empowers its citizens to act when change is needed.
Journalism has advanced throughout the years. We receive information Through multiple media sources, which allows use to consume what we have learned and make a well thought out decision. Journalism is well and alive and it’s here to say.
- A Brief History of Journalism: How We Arrived to Where We Are. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://universalclass.com/articals/writing/journalsim-a-brief-history.htm
- Dancis, B. (2014). Resister: A Story of Protest and Prison during the Vietnam War.
- Kovach, B., & Rosenstiel, T. (2007). The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect.
- General Bruce Palmer, J. (Ed.). (2014). The 25-Year War: America’s Military Role in Vietnam.