• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is journalism a profession? What arguments and evidence would you put forth to support or deny any claim that journalism has to being a profession?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

MA in Mass Communications Option 1 Is journalism a profession? What arguments and evidence would you put forth to support or deny any claim that journalism has to being a profession? Journalists play an intrinsic part of the media landscape, which in turn reflects and influences society. However, as a profession it is different to comparable occupations. Accountants, lawyers, teachers and doctors are expected to undergo unique, specific and vigorous training processes. The very nature of their occupations requires high levels of knowledge and skills, which their respective professional bodies ensure through high standards of entry qualifications and rigorous training and examinations attainments. Professional codes of practice regulate behaviour and determine continued membership, which has maintained high standards of professional integrity and historically given these groups a privileged position in the hierarchy of professions. Journalism has traditionally been viewed as a more vocational career. As such, until recently, there have been fewer opportunities to study it as a formal subject. Related associations are few and regulation is arguably more relaxed that in other professions. But do these fundamental differences make journalism any less a profession? Are indeed journalists themselves any less professional in their work? I would argue that whilst journalism isn't a profession in the most traditional sense, it does in fact qualify on most levels. In the last decade, in particular, the level of conventional 'professionalism' in the UK has increased, with the introduction of a more established and recognised association and professional qualification. In order to begin addressing some of these issues, it is important to investigate the internal mechanisms and structures of media organisations and the external forces that impact upon them. It is also relevant to consider different approaches to what we understand as an occupation. So what actually constitutes a profession? In a very simplified form, it refers to status and expertise. Being a professional in a particular field involves having a certain level of accomplishment, as opposed to amateurism. ...read more.

Middle

Whilst deemed by some as unethical, many employers view this as the cheapest means of filling vacancies that are already over subscribed. It also avoids the recruitment costs. Recruitment of journalists is very much subject to the particular and possibly idiosyncratic needs and practices of individual employers. These conditions mean that entry into journalism is haphazard and usually more difficult for ethnic groups. This is an issue the industry has addressed to some extent. The NUJ black group and the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) began looking at the issue of black under-representation in white media in the early eighties. The study found that black and Asian people, whether they had recognised journalism training or not, experienced for prejudice when they tried to get jobs than when they tried getting training. The majority of respondents to the study wanted to see the implementation of equal opportunities policies backed by law. This remains an on-going problem for the industry and something that needs to be more rigorously monitored and addressed. A key pre-requisite of an established profession is a code of conduct. In the broadest sense, this should set lay out key rights and wrongs. Lawyers, doctors and teachers, all follow a set of ethics - moral principles or codes. In journalistic terms, this is sometimes seen as a contradiction in terms. Journalists are very often accused of being totally unethical and many accept the term 'never believe what you read in the paper'. Good journalism in essence should arguably be described as 'news that has been gathered in a morally justifiably manner, topical, truthful, factually based information which is of interest to the reader/viewer and that is published in a timely and accurate way to a mass audience'. However, in an ever-increasing capitalist media industry, this type of journalism could be argued to be in decline. There is a tension between ethics and market forces. ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite conforming to these principles in some way or other, journalism still remains quite different to more conventional professions such as law, medicine and education. It is still possible to become a journalist with very basic qualifications and simply learn when doing the job. Whilst journalism is an important, impactful and potentially powerful career, perhaps one of the key defining factors is accreditation. In the legal, medical and teaching professions, professional accreditation is necessary before you are able to practice within the specific sphere. Journalism remains an anomaly at this level. Despite being encouraged to gain professional accreditation, it is not obligatory. Bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Chartered Accountants in contrast ensure that individual members enjoy 'chartered' status. Never the less, I would still argue that journalism is a profession. Journalists are considered relative experts - with a certain level of written skill and accomplishment. The majority of journalists act in a professional manner, demonstrating ethical and moral commitment. This is an area where journalism often suffers, with many assuming all journalists follow the tabloid mould, scandalous, morally reprehensible and unethical. However, this type of journalist and indeed journalism is in the minority. If we consider power as an occupational differentiator, journalists exercise significant control over their own activities. Subjects maybe commissioned, but journalists are often given free reign on what they write on a certain subject (subject to editing). Such freedom isn't enjoyed within many other professions. Finally, it is important to point out, that journalism as an industry in the UK has changed significantly and will continue to do so. If we look to the USA, journalism is highly regarded as a profession and as such there are a huge selection of well-respected degree-level courses on offer. Perhaps public perception of journalism needs to change before it can become a more widely acknowledged and 'understood' profession. On an academic level, there remains friction between traditional journalists and respected academics, resulting in limited cohesion between the two. On a public level, journalists are often viewed negatively as a result of bad journalism and journalistic practices. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Paper-based media studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Paper-based media studies essays

  1. Can journalism be objective?

    off journalism's potential for sustaining the public sphere and informing democratic decision-making. According to Allan (1997) more than a decade ago that the end of objectivity and impartiality as the guiding principles of an ethic of public service may soon be insight and there was a lot of evidence that this was correct.

  2. Representation of Black Women in Vogue UK: Is Fashion Racist?

    While the Asian model is dressed in monochrome, the black model is pictured more ostentatious in a pink outfit, while both of the white models wear green. Even though the advert includes different ethnicities, they are singled out through the clothes they wear, still represented as 'the other' while the

  1. Assess whether the Northcliffe Revolution is a useful way of understanding developments in the ...

    During this period Northcliffe pioneered the use of three varying types of crusade - social crusade (e.g. issues of poverty), jingo crusade (e.g. problems of national security) and the stunt. (Chalaby: 2000: 36). In the pre war years Lord Northcliffe crusaded about the possible threat that the Germans would eventually pose unless our armed forces were further funded.

  2. To what extent does the print-media influence young people into smoking, in relation to ...

    from her lips - Kate, 29, had more in common with Pauline Fowler than a catwalk queen." Rodger, J. (2003). In this article, Kate Moss has been likened to an older television-soap character due to the fact that is smoking.

  1. 'Great historian or great liar' Which description best fits Herodotus?

    any notion of my own, I have described nothing but what I either saw myself or learned from those who I have made the most careful and particular enquiry." (Thucydides Bk1:22, trans Jowett. Oxford Clarendon Press 1990.) Herodotus also limited his sources to the Greek point of view never consulting or referring the a Persian source.

  2. Centre of academic writing

    While planning I fail to decide to what is important and what is not which consumes a lot of my time. Then the drafting process I often drift away from the thesis statement and also the matter which is relevant for the argument and I tend to lose marks for that.

  1. research paper Anti-Asian racism seems like to be still alive in today's America with ...

    Once there, he was yelling and crying out on the street while holding a small wooden stick. Upon the arrival of the police, Officer Rohnert Park worried that his life was threatened by Mr. Kao's weapon, the wooden stick and also feared that Asians to be experts in martial arts.

  2. "Dreamland Japan" - The Manga and Anime Market - Book Review

    Often, we linked Japanese manga with pornography and violence. This chapter breaks down such misunderstandings by presenting lots of manga artists and editors, who made the best of manga's artistry and features, produced art of high standard, and made Japan rank as one of the biggest global centres of comics.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work