Journalism and Freedom of Speech

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 94
  • Published : December 12, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Journalism and freedom of speech
Introduction, Overview and history.
What do we mean by journalism?
Journalism- Journalism is the investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience about topics ranging from government and business organizations to cultural aspects of society such as arts and entertainment. The field includes editing, photojournalism, and documentary. In modern society, news media have become the chief purveyor of information and opinion about public affairs; but the role and status of journalism, along with other forms of mass media, are undergoing changes resulting from the Internet. This has resulted in a shift toward reading on e-readers, smartphones, and other electronic devices rather than print media and has faced news organizations with the ongoing problem of monetizing on digital news. It remains to be seen which news organizations can make the best of the advent of digital media and whether or not print media can survive. History

Johann Carolus's Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historian, published in 1605 in Strasburg, is often recognized as the first newspaper. The first successful English daily, the Daily Courant, was published from 1702 to 1735. The reform of the Dario Carioca newspaper in the 1950s is usually referred to as the birth of modern journalism in Brazil. Role

In the 1920s, as modern journalism was just taking form, writer Walter Lippmann and American philosopher John Dewey debated over the role of journalism in a democracy. Their differing philosophies still characterize a debate about the role of journalism in society and the nation-state. Lippmann understood that journalism's role at the time was to act as a mediator or translator between the public and policy making elites. The journalist became the middleman. When elites spoke, journalists listened and recorded the information, distilled it, and passed it on to the public for their consumption. His reasoning behind this was that the public was not in a position to deconstruct the growing and complex flurry of information present in modern society, and so an intermediary was needed to filter news for the masses. Lippmann put it this way: The public is not smart enough to understand complicated, political issues. Furthermore, the public was too consumed with their daily lives to care about complex public policy. Therefore the public needed someone to interpret the decisions or concerns of the elite to make the information plain and simple. Lippmann believed that the public would affect the decision-making of the elite with their vote. In the meantime, the elite (i.e. politicians, policy makers, bureaucrats, scientists, etc.) would keep the business of power running. In Lippmann’s world, the journalist's role was to inform the public of what the elites were doing. It was also to act as a watchdog over the elites, as the public had the final say with their votes. Effectively that kept the public at the bottom of the power chain, catching the flow of information that is handed down from experts/elites. Lippmann's elitism has had consequences that he came to deplore. An apostle of historicism and scientism, Lippmann did not merely hold that democratic government was a problematic exercise, but regarded all political communities, of whatever stripe, as needing guidance from a transcendent partisanship for accurate information and dispassionate judgment. In "Liberty and the News" (1919) and "Public Opinion" (1921) Lippmann expressed the hope that liberty could be redefined to take account of the scientific and historical perspective and that public opinion could be managed by a system of intelligence in and out of government. Thus the liberty of the journalist was to be dedicated to gathering verifiable facts while commentators like him would place the news in the broader perspective. Lippmann...
tracking img