In modern free societies, we view the production and distribution of informational reports on current events as crucial to the public good. Journalism performs this role, keeping the public informed and active in the world around them. Knowing what's happening in the world around us and how it affects us lets us make informed decisions in all aspects of our lives. It is particularly important for voting, whereby a single decision to vote in a certain way can have a cascade of effects for years to come. In the journalism articles in the category, you'll learn about how journalism works, the most recent events in the field, and what it's like to actually be a journalist.
Articles and Information on Journalism History
As a standardized profession, journalism only started in the 17th century or so. But the practice seems to have started on a lower level much earlier. As early as about 200 BC, the Han dynasty in China and some other early societies had news bulletins. However, these bulletins and other publications from centuries ago didn't have the same scope of use as modern publications. They were limited both in the information available as well as to whom they were available.
Technology really kicked off journalism as we know it today. And not just recent technology like the computer and internet; changes in production of newspapers was the first big change. The printing press led to more literate citizens as well as to the ability for mass newspaper printing on a weekly and eventually daily basis. By the time the 18th and 19th centuries came around, newspapers were fairly popular and influential in public uprising and social change. They even played a significant role in the American Revolution with different sides having their own publications.
In the 1900s, even more technologies transformed the journalism landscape. In addition to printed text, journalism could spread by way of radio, then television, and eventually the internet. All of these methods of distribution still exist today, each with its own place in mainstream media. Although, digital methods are overtaking older print and radio methods of consumption. There are also some rising journalistic methods, such as citizen journalism, affecting more traditional professional journalism. In citizen journalism, regular people record and share news and events using everyday technology like smartphones and social media. The journalism articles in this category further explore this topic as it has such a great impact on current society.
Journalistic Forms and Media
The forms of journalism -print, photography, radio, television, and internet- aren't always distinct from each other, and can easily all overlap. In fact, most journalism organizations try to cover as many bases as possible by utilizing them all. They can then link each of them to each other, referencing their own stories on different platforms. The rise of the internet and other widely accessible technologies has had huge impacts on journalism as a whole. But, whether those impacts are good or not is still up for debate as the current state of technological affairs is still relatively new in the whole scheme of things.
It does seem to have lead to an increase in “fake news” due to the rapid spread of easily accessible stories. And this includes some fake news and myths regarding the press itself. You can read journalism articles here discussing these myths and keeping the facts straight. But people wishing to intentionally spread misinformation take advantage of the ease of access on the internet by planting information without sources and proof. It is yet to be seen how society as a whole deals with this emerging problem. But, some media sources and even governments seem to be aware and attempting to change things.
Importance of Journalism
Because the forms and audiences of journalism are so diverse, it is said to be a sort of watchdog. It keeps an eye on the inner-workings of the government and other high-level entities. Although, this is only true if it is in fact diverse. In some countries, journalism and those practicing it are severely limited. The government controls and restricts what allowed publications to tailor them to its own agenda.
This continues being the case today in many countries. Too many governments control the material and availability of news in order to keep their people ignorant against their will. An ignorant populace is good for governments that want to maintain control, because, as we all know, knowledge is power. As soon as the people see that governments are taking advantage of them, they will rise up against them. But what they can't see, they can't act against. In this category, you can find more journalism articles outlining the importance of the profession.
Careers in Journalism and Related Articles
Working in this field generally requires a bachelor's degree in journalism or some form of communications. One can specialize in a certain dispersal method, such as digital media or print. There are countless schools to choose from across the globe, but some stand out from the other. Checking out the journalism articles in this category can help you get a sense of which school is right for you. Experience is probably even more important, so grab an internship or an entry-level job as soon as you can. After obtaining some education and getting experience under your belt, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median salary of reporters, correspondents, and broadcasts analysts in journalism is about 43,000 dollars per year.
But broadcast news analysts have the better end of the stick, with a median annual wage of over 66,000 dollars. Like any job, the pay still depends on your specialty, company, experience, and a number of other factors. The field also appears to be shrinking due to the changes in consumption and broadcast methods discussed above: between 2016 and 2026 it is predicted that there will be about 4,500 jobs lost in the field. But don't let this stop you. All professions undergo changes over time, and sometimes being part of that change can put you ahead on the other side of it.
Some journalism is lighthearted and meant to make our lives more fun and enjoyable. But much of journalism is vitally important to the foundations of democracy and freedom, hence why the right to a free press is included in the constitution itself. It keeps people informed and ready to participate in political action, and also keep governments and corporations from taking advantage of them. Read more in the journalism books here about the role of journalism in modern society.
Spreading the Word
Every minute of every day, events happen all around the world. As individuals, we can't possibly keep up with every single thing that's happening. But we can pay attention to the most important things, as well as help spread information to others. Journalism allows people to do this at a professional level, fulfilling the duty of informing the public when others can't.
Thus, journalism books in this category put an emphasis on effective communication and information transfer. Books such as The Simple Math of Writing Well: Writing for the 21st Century give readers the most fundamental tools for enhancing communication between journalist and their audience. It also takes modern factors into account so that you can be prepared for the digital stage of journalism today.
Having strong writing and communication skills is so important because journalists sometimes need to communicate information despite other forces working directly against them. Governments can push back, wanting to keep control of their citizens through keeping them ignorant.
In this way, journalism acts as a watchdog keeping an eye on governments and other large entities. Through investigation, they can discover and bring to light the wrongdoings by these entities. This draws attention to them by the general public. The idea is that the public or other officials address these problems, preventing the entity trying to gain control from taking advantage of their position or power.
Journalism Books on Media and Methods
The main forms of journalism to get to know are news and opinion. News tells the facts of what's happening and gives insights into information. Opinion give personal thoughts of writers. This includes trivial things like food or movie reviews, but it can also be important for serious news and events. Having expert opinions on the news can help you make sense of what's happening and connect it to other events. After all, the experts probably know more than you, so their opinion can consider things you might not have thought of.
News and investigative journalism have higher standards than opinion, needing facts to back them up. That's where journalism books like The Data Journalism Handboook provide readers with important skill sets needed for powerful reporting. The book highlights the importance of data for backing up claims, as well as how to make it captivating for audiences.
In addition to these types of journalism, there are also a number of medias used in the field to spread information. Print journalism was the original, spreading news through newspapers and magazines. Television and radio are also classics, and all three still have a prominent role today. As the internet has grown, it has become a huge player in reporting. Online, you can find blogs, discussion boards, social media, and more. You can explore the unique aspects and similarities of each of these in the journalism books here.
Moving Up the Ladder
After learning the basics about how to gather and report information, a professional journalist also needs to gain connections and experience. Having connections in the field helps you get the latest news as fast as possible. This is good for staying competitive in the field of journalism and providing the most up-to-date information to the public. Delayed information can delay important responses. But, that said, the integrity of the information is of utmost importance, and should be the primary consideration in quality journalism. The journalism books here will give you the foundations to put your skills to the test in a professional environment.