“Being a Journalist Is Not Like Working on a Baked Bean Factory – Journalists Have a More Social Role That Goes Beyond the Production of Commodities to Sell in the Market Place.” (Harcup) How True Is This?

Topics: Newspaper, Mass media, Journalism Pages: 3 (1137 words) Published: March 13, 2013
“Being a journalist is not like working on a baked bean factory – journalists have a more social role that goes beyond the production of commodities to sell in the market place.” (Harcup) How true is this? According to an article appeared in The Guardian in December 2010, almost 15 million nation and regional daily newspapers are sold in the UK every day. Many more people also regularly use Internet sites, radio and television programmes to access information. Despites a highly discussed question of objectivity of transmission of information, through their texts and scripts journalists communicate with their readers and listeners on every step of sending information one to another. That is why Harcup (2004) insists that journalists have a more social role than just making of products to be sold. They not only inform people of recent and forthcoming event and general state of world society, but also amuse, entertain and inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior though the mass media, which serves as a system for communication messages and symbols to the general populace (Herman and Chomsky in Tumber, 1999:166). In today’s democratic society journalism is mainly important. Through journalism (through a new developing phenomenon of citizen journalism in particular) people are considered by many members of society to have their voice. Kovach (2005) suggests that journalism enables citizens to have their voices heard by representatives of political power and allows members of public to monitor and moderate the sources of power that shape their lives. “Journalism and self-government were born together. Journalism and self-government will rise or fall together,” he said in his speech given in Madrid in February 2005. From the side of journalists, they communicate with public in completely different way – journalists do not suggest thoughts and ideas to people but shape them in pieces they transmit their readers or listeners. The...

References: Harcup, T. 2004. Journalism: Principles and Practice. London: Sage
Herman, E.S. and Chomsky, N. 1999. Manufacturing Consent. In Tumber, H. (ed.) News: A reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 166-179
Kovach, B. February 1, 2005. Speech given in Madrid, Spain
McCombs, M.E. and Show, D.L. 1999. The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media. In Tumber, H. (ed.) News: A reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 320-328
White, D.M. 1997. The “Gate Keeper”: A Case Study in the Selection of News. In Berkowitz, D. (ed.) Social Meanings of News: A Text Reader. London: Sage. 63-71
Greenslade, R. 2010. Look how many newspapers are still sold every day in the UK... http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2010/dec/14/newspapers-abcs (visited on 06.05.2012)
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