Mom! I Want to be a Professional “Tweeter”!
by isabelleallain on February 5, 2017 - 10:09pm
Close your eyes and try to imagine the world without computers, smartphones, Wi-Fi. Try to imagine how the news of nine eleven would have spread without computers and instant broadcasting videos. Who is responsible for all this news spread, you may ask? Well today, pretty much any one who owns a mobile. However, that has been happening only for the past decade. Not so long ago, the only ones who were responsible for everyone’s knowledge of tidings were what we call, journalists.
David Marsch explains through his article “Digital Age Rewrites the Role of Journalism” appearing in The Guardian and published on October 16th, 2012 the distinction between the old-fashioned paper-writing journalist of then and the digitalized journalist of now.
The very basic and explicit definition of a journalist would be someone who lives on building up editorial material and publishes it on any format they want. Their content could either be listened to, watched or viewed. Done.
Now things get tricky at the inception of digital age. Today, what distinguishes your aunt who tweets about Trump’s latest political comments than a paid man with a bachelor in journalism who publishes about the exact same thing in The Gazette? If someone keeps a daily blog about political beliefs, does it make him a journalist? If someone posts on Facebook his opinion about the Syrian war, does it make him a journalist?
These confusions raised concerns in the National Union of Journalists and they felt like they needed to spell out some truths about their craft and talk about their professional future. For this sake, The Guardian organized a meeting called What is Journalism?
At the convention, several opinions emerged.
"Tweeting is journalism. So is podcasting and Facebooking. Journalism is about investigating stories and knowing how to tell them."
"Very few people make a living self-publishing, and none at all doing investigative journalism. Serious journalism is not commercial, and citizen journalism cannot sustain it."
The heated debates and bursts of opinion did not lead to any precise definition of what journalism is in the 20th century. Nonetheless, they concluded that without the journalists, there would be no content. The content and pictures first comes out of their own work and researches.
Journalists are paid to deliver the news to us because they are good at what they do. They know how to get to the core of a subject and know how to explain it with great accuracy. However, because journalism is now known to be a risky field in its future and revenue, great journalists are backing out of their jobs out of fear. The journalism industry requires better funding for it to continue. The search for greater accountability and business plan for the sake of journalism is currently active and unceasing. Think about it, journalist’s access to truthful information is the key to an informed population.