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

What is the Role of ther Journalist?

Extracts from this document...


What Is The Role of a Journalist? This essay will discuss the question what is the role of a journalist? Firstly, it will show that Britain has a free press and attempt to explain what free press means. It will then try to identify the different types of journalist common in the media today, with focus on print journalism. Additionally, it will argue that it is fundamental that all journalists abide by a professional and ethical code of conduct. Britain has a free press. There is no censor and no licensing, and anyone can publish a newspaper provided he or she does not break the law in doing so. (Hogson, 1994, p.153). British press is private; the Government has no control over publication, nor is it allowed to own any shares in press companies and no aide is granted. However, British press does receive exemption from the payment of VAT. The press is allowed full access to Parliament, and Governmental operations are commented on daily in news reports. Britain however, has no written constitution and freedom of the press exists here by consensus only (Belsley & Chadwick, 2006). Journalism in 2007, covers a much broader spectrum than ever before, the advancements of the Internet, satellite and cable television and mobile telephone technology has made news ever more accessible and its contributors more diverse.(Allan, 2005). Many newspapers have their own online editions, television stations broadcast news twenty-four hours a day and news updates can be obtained via text message through mobile phones (Harcup, 2004). ...read more.


In a recent article in The Observer, columnist Peter Preston comments on reports that newspaper circulation is in decline and the public is now using other sources to receive news. He argues however, using quotes from Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of The Guardian group that it is the tabloids, such as The Mirror, The People and The News of the World who are losing their readership. He claims that quality newspapers including the observer, The Telegraph and The Times have barely had a shift in circulation figures in the last thirty years. I would suggest that these figures could perhaps reflect the sometimes-huge mistakes that these papers have made in their reporting. As mentioned by Stuart Allen (2005), who begins his book with the story of The Mirror's mistake in printing pictures of Iraqi prisoners of war, which were later proven to be fakes. He claims that if proper sourcing were undertaken, the paper would have uncovered the hoax before publishing. Stories like this one undermine society's faith in the journalist. Therefore, Tony Harcup's (2007) suggestion that the most important role of a journalist is to report the truth, could be fundamental to the future of newsprint. Harcup starts his explanation with a reference to a story from a 1963 American newspaper, which was the inspiration for a song by Bob Dylan. Harcup tells the story of Hattie Carroll, a black waitress, who was murdered by wealthy white farmer, William Zantzinger. ...read more.


a clear distinction between comment and conjecture and fact." (Harris & Spark 1994, p.227) Tony Harcup, (2004) recognises the difficulties reporters face when witnessing news events, that: "...they may be carrying all sorts of personal or cultural baggage that can impact as what they see as 'true' and what they recognise as 'the facts'." ( Harcup, 2004, p.62). It can be argued then, that a journalist must be objective and forget whatever personal prejudices or preconceived ideas they may have. Events must be reported on without bias(Harcup, 2004), scrupulous note taking is also necessary for later referral, not only helping when writing a report hours, days or weeks later. Meticulous note taking will also aid a journalist, should his account be contested. In conclusion, a reporter should be a beacon of the truth. Opinion is welcome, perhaps even necessary, for society to evolve. Debate is healthy and without it we could be at risk of a totalitarian Government sneaking in to power. Opinion has to be stated as just that. When writing a news account, the writing should not be coloured by personal feelings, a journalist must write facts as they happen, not as they 'see them'. A reader should be able to pick up any news account and trust that the information it contains, is factual and not manipulated in any way. If too many journalists bend the truth, or fail to check the facts of a story inside out, then mistrust could spread through society like a cancer. This may possibly, leave press' future hanging in the balance and with it everyone's freedom of expression. ...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. To what extent does the print-media influence young people into smoking, in relation to ...

    The taunting article may, however, deter young people from smoking, when they discover how Church has been dealt with in the press, especially with regard to the writer's closing comment: "Don't worry, Charlotte. We all make an ass out of ourselves in our nico-teens."

  2. Is journalism a profession? What arguments and evidence would you put forth to support ...

    The Broadcasting Standards Council (BSC) adjudicates on matters of taste and decency. It is the Broadcasting Complaints Commission that focuses on ethical issues in journalism. The codes were introduced for two main reasons. Firstly, to provide journalists themselves with ethical guidance.

  1. Press freedom gives journalists the right to present stories to the public that are ...

    The third area within the code to allow for the public interest defence is stories regarding children. The press is already regulated in this regard by the law, but the PCC adds that: "The press must not, even when the law does not prohibit it, identify children under the age

  2. According to research, women journalists battle both for jobs and to be taken seriously. ...

    'Career breaks' can often be the downfall of women's careers in journalism as they can affect the quality of their work not to mention their liaison with contemporaries. Areas such as child rearing attribute to what Gaye Tuchman describes as being women's 'symbolic annihilation' in journalism.

  1. 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

  2. The connection between Levinas's philosophy and particularly his concept of 'the other' and it's ...

    The mortal author cannot always be there to forestall the misinterpretation of his intentions"15 It is impossible to have the same perspective as any 'other' "This richest and truest knowledge is the sensible apprehension I am experiencing here and now"16 " "to witness according to our ordinary understanding of the

  1. "UK national newspapers have adopted a racist attitude in their coverage of recent international ...

    Court proceedings were still underway and the report was merely a factual presentation of the court hearings for that day. Now such an occurrence where in which parents or even family friends abuse or kill children in present times is a regular occurrence.

  2. Media Control

    Dictatorship & Censorship - When we think of censorship, it is generally in the context of dictator governments such as the Iranian people have. Most of the Iranian people only receive news and information related to Iran's current serious problems, but censored out is the corruption and oppression within their own government.

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