Sunday, August 12, 2007

Comfort or Curse?

There are many assumptions as to what a journalist succumbs to. Are journalists players of the marketing, entertaining business's or are they just workers for the higher players: their employers and the pressures they put on them. Or are journalists players of their own game, individuals who do what they feel best to do in regards to public intrest?

According to Tapsall & Varley (2006:35) , a journalist may be the composities of "a fearless seeker of truth and justice or a powerless purveyor of products"?

Underwood (1993:144) cited in Tapsall and Varley (2006:31) found that in regards to marketing and the journalist, "commodification fundamentally changes the role of the journalists, so that they are less likely to delve into and behind stories, and more likely to follow routines and proformas."

In regards to entertainment, most journalists concentrate on public intrest, but the question is, wheteher or not public intrest is valued as entertainment or the truth. As cited in Tapsall and Varley, (2006: 28) "give the people what they want, they will support you and you will be profitable and better able to give them more of what they want."

Or in contrast to this:

".....public intrest is better served by telling people things they would rather not know; for example, things that make them feel uncomfortable or guilty."(Tapsall and Varley 2006:29)

In my opinion, both of these views are valued and not always in confrontation. A journalists job is both to provide entertainment, thus leading to the audience reading and buying the paper for example, thus creating profit for the paper in order to survice and exist in the competitive mass media marketed world we all live in. The journalists job though, is also to tell the truth and potray the story in its best intrest, even if that does mean allowing the audience to read gory or uncomfortable articles. A journalists job, in my view, is not to market a criminal or murderer in the best possible way so the audience feels comfortable about living in todays society. That on its own accord would be lying to the public and dis-respecting public intrest.

But as Derryn Hinch stated to a cadet journalist in the 1970's," You want to know if a papers's first priorty is to inform, educate or entertain? Its none of these. Its first priority is to continue to exist." (Tapsall and Varley 2006:23)

And in saying that I can only imagine what his perspective would be on today's competitive media world.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Just what is a Journalist??

Trying to figure out what the "typical" journalist is in todays society is a daunting task. Long gone are the days a journalist was describe as someone who wrote for either print or broadcast and if you wanted to find out the news you just picked up a newspaper or turned on the radio. These days a journalist could be described as something a little more complex. According to the new code of ethics,

"Journalists describe society to itself. They convey information, ideas and opinions. They search, disclose, record, question, entertain, comment and remember. They inform citizens and animate democracy. They give a practical form to freedom of expression. They scrutinise power, but also exercise it, and should be responisble and accountable. (MEAA 1999)

So in taking what this says, a journalist is really a multi-tasking messanger to society. With technology invading our ever changing work places a journalists job becomes a multi-branching effort to move from broadcast throught to digital to the recent phenomenon of Internet Journalists or the preffered name of "citizen journalist".

Internet Journalism is an interesting concept but is this really the new wave in media forms? Do most people source out there news through traditional mediums or the newer ones. All in all, and apart from this a Journalists task is to deliver news, enetertainment and so forth. But do they really potray what society should know or wants to hear? I found this quote whilst looking over different people perceptions of a journalist and found it quite humourous and somewhat truthful.

``Good journalists pursue truth; great journalists communicate it with grace. Legends do it every week.''

I s it a journalists job to make sure society knows the truth or knows part of the truth? Richardson (Tapsal & Varley: 10) suggests that "good journalists also have a hungerto get information, a hunger to find out the always get more."

In my opinion a journalist is the key to the information we know. If you think about it, most world known media cases are only potrayed to us through journalists eyes. The Iraq War, for example, is only perceived to us through the media, and most of us know no other than what we have been told.

What do u percieve a journalist to be?