Simon East Media & Communications in Ministry Semester 2 2010 Errington, W. & Miragliotta, N. (2007) Media & Politics: An Introduction.

South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Chapter 4 Week 6 The News Media in Action
201 words

1. Do you think journalists can lay claim to professional status, given that anyone who writes or publishes is entitled to call themselves a journalist?
I would suggest that journalists are a mix of professionals and non-professionals. In the sporting arena, professionals are those who have honed their skills and are recognised as having exceptional abilities with increased pay. Likewise, I believe the professional journalists are those who have earned a certain level of recognition within the community and regular exposure in major publications. Perhaps it s not for a journalist themself to promote their status, but rather the recognition granted from others around them.

2. What do you think accounts for the low regard in which the public hold journalists, and who is to blame for this state of affairs?
I think the behaviour of certain journalists in a narrow sector of the industry has tarnished the reputation of all journalists. These three issues are perhaps the core of the problem:
y

The nasty, pushy journalism seen on some current affairs shows 74% of people feel that television journalists unnecessarily invade people s privacy (p.75)

y

The mistakes and errors that commonly plague news reports 63% of people feel that journalists often get their facts wrong (p.74)

y

The tabloid magazines and paparazzi techniques, sensationalising and exaggerating trivia

While some fault obviously lies with individual journalists, I feel that the cause of the problem is the compounding cycle of public demand, financial gain, and the resulting pressure upon reporters to compromise ethical standards.

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