June 29, 2018 by wimvincken
Before commenting about my thoughts about journalists and the news they generate, let’s see what journalism, journalists and reporters actually do and what they actually mean for society.
News – The value of news in society is always the utility to empower the informed. With other words, to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments.
Purpose – The purpose of journalism is “‘The primary purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing,’ according journalists Tom Rosenstiel and Bill Kovach“.
Functions – “Functions of Journalism are to Inform, Educate, Guide and Entertain. The press performs a very important role as means of mass communication in the modern world. The press tries to inform its reader objectively about what is happening in their community, country and the world at large” (source).
Journalists and reporters – In the news world, we see different people working in journalism. First we have the journalist and then the reporter. The reporter is commonly meant the person on TV who generally reports the news, whereas the journalist is typically used in context of a journalist who writes articles.
What do journalists do? – Let me rephrase this question. What are the journalists suppose to do? Journalists gather information and present it in a written or spoken form in news stories, feature articles or documentaries. Journalists may work on the staff of news organizations, but may also work freelance, writing stories for whoever pays them (source).
What are the principles of journalism?
1. Truth and Accuracy. Journalists cannot always guarantee ‘truth’, but getting the facts right is the cardinal principle of journalism.
3. Fairness and Impartiality.
All the five points above are not true. It’s only some text on paper or on a webpage and they have absolutely no base of truth, it’s faulty, a lie and a swindle. There is no truth and accuracy, no independence, no fairness and impartiality, no humanity and no accountability in journalism.
But let’s continue with the definitions and define the word propaganda.
Propaganda – “In general, a message designed to persuade its intended audience to think and behave in a certain manner. Thus advertising is commercial propaganda. In specific, institutionalized and systematic spreading of information and/or disinformation, usually to promote a narrow political or religious viewpoint.” (source)
Propagandist – a person who promotes or publicizes a particular organization or cause (WikiPedia)
And here we have the proper and more up-to-date definition of a modern day journalist: a person who promotes or publicizes a particular organization or cause. A person, who promotes institutionalized and systematic production of information and/or disinformation, usually to promote a narrow political or religious viewpoint.
And in plain English: The modern day journalist is a propagandist.