Five Ways That Journalism Benefits Society

Why Journalism Remains an Indispensable Part of Society

  • An invisible fourth branch of government
  • Produces original content
  • Code of ethics
  • Provide content to shape opinions
  • Makes our lives better

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Despite the hyperbole that exists in our society today about what is or what may not be fake news, journalism plays a strong part in forming our national identity in the United States. With the advent of the internet, journalism jobs have changed in type and scope over the last two decades Now more than ever, journalism benefits every member of society by the millions of words written every day.

1. An Invisible Fourth Branch of Government

As noted by the Odyssey, journalists are not simply writers, editors, and news anchors. Journalists are essentially the watchdogs of society and are the most visible proponents of the First Amendment right of free speech. The U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of the press, meaning that journalists are not subject to censorship by the government. This also means that prior restraint, which is an attempt to keep a story from being published or broadcast, is also prohibited. Thus, by their very jobs, journalists are preserving the right to free speech in the United States.

2. Producing Original Content

We live in an age where people retweet and repost everything from social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and more. While some may repost actual articles, others repost rumors. When articles are posts, it’s original content. Who creates original content? Journalists do. Journalists look for sources to tell the truths published in their stories. In other words, journalists perform research. It’s the research that is important here. Without doing the research, without performing verification, the news that is found on the internet is nothing more than a meme or a series of rumors that one may have difficulty proving.

3. Code of Ethics

Any individual who defines themselves as a journalist works by a code of ethics. The Society of Professional Journalists lists four tenets by which all journalists must abide. These are:

  • Seek the truth and report it
  • Minimize harm
  • Act independently
  • Be accountable and transparent

Ethical journalism requires that journalists act with integrity. These principles ensure that integrity occurs while also promoting the free exchange of information.

4. Providing Content to Shape Opinions

Journalists do research and provide reliable content that reports various aspects of subjects. The writing that they do helps us understand complex issues. Journalists fame issues and present the corresponding side to those issues. In this manner, journalists help provide the public at large with the information needed for intelligent public discourse.

5. Makes Our Lives Better

Journalists are expected to provide a fair opinion because they are committed to finding the truth and presenting it to the public. The “news” is a function in peoples’ lives. As such, it provides people with the best possible available information so they can make informed decisions about all aspects of their lives.

The world of journalism has exploded in the 21st century. Students interested in the profession can expect to find a wide variety of journalism jobs that can help make people make better and more informed decisions.