Why We Need Journalism
by Gabrielle Paul on March 24, 2017 - 2:37pm
In the current political climate, people are right to ask themselves if our democracy is still legitimate. With Donald Trump’s threats against the press and the growing popularity of alt-right movements and conservative populism, we need journalism more than ever before. To really report the truth in a political system filled with hypocrisy, journalists must understand their role in democracy, must know how to contribute to it with efficiency and must be able to react properly against outrageous influences from the political sphere.
First of all, what is a journalist? The journalist is a person who treats and broadcasts information through a media (newspaper, radio, television or the internet). The work of the journalist is also known as the ‘’fourth power’’, the first three powers being the executive, the legislative and the judicial. This means that society needs journalism in order to be democratic. So, what is the role of the journalist in a democracy? For a democracy to be healthy, it is essential that there be a healthy press. In such a way, journalists have to report the truth, so people can make their own decisions. In every situation he has to report, the journalist has the obligation to cover both sides of the story. He can not hide parts of the truth, because it would not be fair for the population, who would be in the incapacity of making a wise choice. The journalist must say everything even when the truth is hard to hear.
In the System
Next, how can the journalist contribute to democracy by spotting the truth? The journalist simply has to remember to ‘’stay awake’’. The greatest quality of the journalist is his curiosity. He has to question absolutely everything he sees and everything he hears. When he reports news, the journalist must stay critical. He is not a robot who just repeats what people have told him. In his quest for the truth, the journalist will not satisfy himself with the minimum.
Also, how should the journalist react while facing the constant flow of influences that is the world of politics? It is not at all an easy task, but the journalist should always know better. Higher powers will want to corrupt him sometimes to their advantage. He has to be aware of that and must not fall for that kind of trickery. He can make the choice to report these situations if he judges that it would help people in their decision making.
In conclusion, as the ‘’fourth power’’, journalists have a huge role in the present democracy. By being curious, questioning everything and reporting scandalous situations, journalists are armed to fight injustice and make the world a better place.