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The
journalist plays a vital role in the presenting the news to the audience. It is
the primary mandate of the journalist to ensure the stories they deliver to the
people are accurate and verifiable. Journalists are engaged in all the
processes of gathering the data from the news sources after which they are interpreted
into information that is understandable to the audiences. The data collected
from the field plays a primary role in making the news. Media houses make
available the data used to enhance the transparency to the audience (Lesage and
Robert 41).Over the years, the responsibilities of the journalist have changed
because of the dynamics of the environment and technology. The journalists are
supposed to possess specific attributes that are essential in undertaking their
journalism work. Moreover, there are ethical codes of conduct and regulatory
framework that guides and protects the journalist in their professional tasks.

The
Changes that occurred in the Responsibility of the Journalists Overtime. The advancement in technology is considered as a significant
influence on the changes that have occurred to the roles of journalism over
time. The functions of journalists are perceived differently across the world
because of various environmental forces that influence the notion of journalists
towards their profession (Roses and Pedro 173). The advent of the internet has
led to the cropping up of more informed and literate audiences thereby causing
the changes in the field of journalism. In the past, the journalism mainly
focused on mainstream media houses and the print media. However, the increased
usage of the social media platforms led to the introduction of blogging as a
form of journalism amongst the media firms. The increased social media usage
has also led to the social journalism, which integrates the information on the
public domain together with their analysis. This type of journalism deals with
the social aspect of the environment (Stepanov 294). Some blogging sites have
massive social media following, who rely on their blogs as a verifiable source
of information.

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The
traditional journalism was segregated in a manner in which the different media
houses presented their news. However, the intrinsic nature of the internet that
enables it to access various platforms has made it possible to introduce
content aggregators that submit reports from different sources on one platform
(Lazaroiu 102). The presentation of news on a single platform enables the audience
to read the story from various sources conveniently. The Google News gathers
information from different sources without depending on specific journalist as
their primary source of information. The world report on the internet user’s
growth portrayed a positive steady growth between the year 2000 and 2017(Kaymas
30).Therefore, the journalist are supposed to focus more on the social media
users as their audiences.

Different
social media platforms such Facebook and Twitter provide news to the audience
faster than the official media channels. The journalist acts by a set of
provisions that requires them to verify the sources of their information before
presenting the news to the public. However, the random social media users can
update what they hear without checking their sources. The journalists are
required to gain the experience of using various digital pieces of types of
equipment and applications as compared to the past. Hence, the roles of
journalist are continually threatened by the dynamic technological nature of
the media fraternity (Beam et al. 292). Their role in analyzing different
occurrences in the daily life and maintaining their ethical code of conduct is
becoming a big challenge.

 

Defining
Characteristics of Journalists.
The journalism is one of the demanding professions in the world today. Hence,
to maintain their professionalism and achieve the reporting objectives they
must possess’ in-depth knowledge and skills in journalism. The online media is
continually expanding. Therefore, the journalist must have the skills necessary
to reach the online audience.

The
primary skills that should be present in the entire journalism profession are
the ability to generate excellent news content, abiding by the ethical
standards, complete verifications of the news sources and ability to determine
the components of big news. These attributes are essential in succeeding in the
field of journalism. The journalist should also have broad skill base. The
specialization within a small range of skills is outdated. Hence, it is
essential for the journalist to learn different aspects of the journalism such
as the usage of social media applications, professional video shooting and
using various applications and databases.

The
online journalism is also gaining much fame amongst the internet users.
Therefore, the journalist should have programming skills such as JavaScript and
the HTML. These skills will enable the journalist to depict professionalism in
the presentation of news on the social media platforms. They are also able to
enhance the visualization of their stories using graphs to bring insights that
are clearer to the readers.

The
digital age has created competition from not only the media houses but also the
social media users. The significant number of social media users has phones
with the inbuilt camera that enables them to publish news before the journalist
present the story in their media houses. This has also encouraged the coming up
of incompetent bloggers who spread false news from their media platforms.

 

 

Values
and Ethics That Govern the Journalist Today.
The journalism profession is guided by a set of ethical standards that ensures
they professionally do their work. The journalist must always ensure that they
capture the real occurrences on the issues. They should employ due diligence
and competence in the determination of whether what they capture about a story
is the fact on the ground. The journalists are also supposed to be neutral in
undertaking their professional duties. Conflict of interest is likely to hinder
the journalist ability to report the news as it is without altering in into his
predetermined nature. Therefore, they should not be inclined to any aspect of
the story that might jeopardize their honesty. The government plays a critical
role in ensuring the impartiality on the side of journalists. In China, the
Chinese journalists are divided between presenting the facts to the audience
and highlighting the stance of the state thereby creating a conflict (Yang and
David 37). The journalist should also hold the sanctity of humanity and be
accountable for their actions.

The
introduction of social media platforms has brought about an ethical dilemma in
regards to their personal opinions presented on the social media platforms. The
journalists have extensive social media following, and often their views can be
interpreted as the media houses opinion in regards issues. There is no clear
distinction between the perspective of a journalist and media firm. The
journalists today can also interact with their audience more often than in the
past where communication could only be via print media such as letters and
sometimes calls. The journalist engages the readers regularly to get their
perspective on various issues before publishing the news. Previously the
journalists were more into undertaking a probing and fact-finding mission
without amicable conversing with the audiences.

The
ownership of the media houses also presents a dilemma regarding the neutrality
of the journalist. It is believed that media houses owned by individuals are
likely to highlight the news that is affiliated with the owners (Hájek et al.
53). This can be attributed to the indirect pressure and undue influence from
the owners. The owners can ensure their interests are catered for, by putting
their loyal journalist at the helm of the organization.

CONCLUSION

The journalists are
professionals that operate in a dynamic environment, which requires them to
keep widening their knowledge base and practical skills. The advancement in technology
and the significant number of people subscribing to various social media
platforms requires the journalist to strategize on how to transform the vast
social media users into audiences. The ethical code of conduct guides the
employees and assists them in making professional decisions in circumstances
that might complicate their work and infringe on the stipulated regulations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Beam, Randal A., et al. “Changes
in Professionalism of U.S. Journalists in the Turbulent Twenty-First Century.” Journalism
& Mass Communication Quarterly, vol. 86, no. 2, 2009, pp. 277–298.

Hájek, Roman, et al. “Czech
Journalists’ Refreshed Sense of Ethics in the Midst of Media Ownership
Turmoil.” Media and Communication, vol. 3, no. 4, 2015, pp. 52–61.

Kaymas, Serhat. “When the
Journalist Meets New Media: Some Reflections on the Interactions between
Journalist and New Media Driven Journalism in Turkey.” Journal of Media
Research, vol. 10, no. 3, ser. 29, 2017, pp. 26–47. 29.

Lazaroiu, George. “Contemporary
Mainstream Web Journalism and the Interactive Nature of the Online News
Experience.” Analysis and Metaphysics, vol. 9, 2010, pp. 101–107.

Lesage, Frederik, and Robert A.
Hackett. “Between Objectivity and Openness—the Mediality of Data for
Journalism.” Media and Communication, vol. 1, no. 1, 2014, pp.
39–50.

Roses, Sergio, and Pedro Farias
Batlle. “Comparison between the professional roles of Spanish and U.S.
journalists: Importance of the Media System as the Main Predictor of the
Professional Roles of a Journalist.” Communication&Society/Comunicación
y Sociedad, vol. 26, no. 1, 2013, pp. 170–195.

Stepanov, Georgeta. “Objectives
of Media Action in the Social Journalism.” Outlook on Communication,
vol. 5, no. 4, 2015, pp. 294–299.

Yang, Jin, and David Arant. “The
Roles and Ethics of Journalism: How Chinese Students and American Students
Perceive Them Similarly and Differently.” Journalism & Mass
Communication Educator, vol. 69, no. 1, Nov. 2013, pp. 33–48.

 

 

 

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