What is journalism?
Here’s putting it all into perspective:
What the hell is the point of having this means of communication if we are not going to write about what people need to know? We can write about dating when we have our freedom back.
From Nepalese blogger Dinesh Wagle (in AsiaMedia, April 17, 2006).
Elsewhere, Bill Doskoch wrote:
Journalism isn’t just information-gathering; it’s taking a bushel-basket full of information, some of it conflicting or unclear, and weaving it into an informative, interesting whole that meets craft standards for fairness and accuracy.
Doskoch went on at some length about a recent Dan Gillmor column, which included this:
Most people don’t care to be journalists, but many of us can and will occasionally commit an act of journalism, and it would be useful for people to understand some of the principles that have served the professionals, and their audiences, so well for so long.
I’m with Gillmor on this one: You might commit an act of journalism without being anointed as a journalist. The public would be better served by a frank discussion of what journalism is than by a lot of bickering about who is a journalist.
Dinesh Wagle said, “Part of a journalist’s job is to identify the things that people need to know. That is our responsibility, and it is a kind of power that we enjoy.”
Let’s separate the joy of power from the act of journalism. It’s surely more important to figure out, really, what people need to know. And then tell them the truth about it.
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