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.


christina said...

Derryn Hinch is one of the talkback jocks who has always considered himself a journalist as opposed to an entertainer. He also wears his heart on his sleeve and often crosses the legal line too. He is a rare one because he is old school too.


christina said...


You need to get up to date on this. I have no idea what you think on what you've read..