WHAT IS JOURNALISM?
What is journalism? Journalism is information. It is communication. It is the events of the day distilled into a few words, sounds or pictures, processed by the mechanics of communication to satisfy the human curiosity of the world that is always eager to know what’s new. Journalism is basically news. The word derives from ‘journal’. Its best contents are “du jour”, meaning ‘of the day itself’. But journalism may also be entertainment and reassurance, to satisfy the human frailty of a world that is always eager to be comforted with the knowledge that out there are millions of human beings just like us. Journalism can communicate with as few people as a classroom news-sheet or a parish magazine, or as with many people as there are in the world. The cave-man drawing a buffalo on the wall of his home did so to give other hunters the news that buffaloes were nearby. The town-crier reciting the news in the market-place provided a convenient way in which a number of people could simultaneously learn facts affecting all their lives. Today the news media are swamped by the very availability of news. There is simply more of it than ever before – unimaginably more, available to many more people. This is a transformation that has been achieved in a little over 100 years. When admiral Lord Nelson died aboard the Victory after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, it took two weeks for the news to reach the Admiralty in London. It was some hours before important people in London heard the news, some days before it reached the other cities of Britain. There must have been outlying villages that the news took even longer to reach. When President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, in November 1963, the news of his death was known around the whole world in a matter of seconds. The political leaders of Russia and China, the financial manipulators in Geneva, the obscure tribesmen of Borneo all heard the news...
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