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The Talon

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The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

The Role of Journalism in Our Society and Our School 

Thomas Charters Via Unsplash
Journalism plays a pivotal role in all aspects of our society today.

When you hear the word “journalism”, what comes to your mind first? The reporters and the eye-catching news on television are probably the most common impressions of journalism to many of us. We often only get to know the external appearances of journalism without realizing the great impacts journalism has behind the scenes. Throughout human civilization, journalism has always been an integral backstage worker in creating a more beautiful society. 

To understand the significance of journalism, let’s start with a simple introduction. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the word “journalism” means “the work of collecting, writing, and publishing news stories and articles in newspapers and magazines or broadcasting them on the radio and television” (Cambridge Dictionary). The definition might be different from our assumptions as we tend to focus on the final product– the news on the media.

 The process of producing news requires much more work than we can imagine. Journalists begin their pieces by coming up with ideas they want to write about, which they need to develop a detailed working plan or outline afterward. It then leads to a crucial step– gathering information. Journalists need to collect useful and accurate information through ways such as connections, social media, and officials. It is also necessary to be aware of the reliability of the sources by fact-checking them. For example, journalists would use multiple sources instead of only one source. Next, journalists turn it into an organized article. Their articles should be clear, critical, objective, and professional so that the audience can easily understand and relate to them. Finally, these articles would be published by the editors after careful modifications and checking (Media Guide). 

The world is sneakily changing every second, and a way to obtain updates and information is necessary. Through news and reports in the media, we obtain information and updates about current events, keeping us informed about what is happening around the world. 

With the rapid development of technology, journalism is also applied in more forms. In the past, people relied on reading newspapers, listening to the radio, or watching television to get information. Now, online media, such as Twitter and YouTube, have become a dominant way for people to access news. Based on a study by the Pew Research Center in 2018, 20% of adults in the US said they get their news from social media, 16% said they get news from print newspapers, 26% get it from the radio, 33% get it from news websites, and 49% get it from TV (Shearer). Also, 36% of teenagers often get news from social media, and 27% from news websites (Shearer). The research indicates that news websites and social media are often popular ways for people to get news, making the point that the practice of journalism is increasing through the internet. This surge of journalism strengthens its role in society and encourages more people to access news, especially teenagers. 

Journalism’s significant influence on society raises public awareness. While the news is spread easily and instantly through the media, journalism can also raise public awareness of social issues. News articles always include a story angle and a clear point of view. Journalists also would add a lot of effective facts and data as strong evidence to support their stance. This urges the audience to consider and be aware of the topics covered in the articles.

As journalism makes people pay attention to the news, it is also a way to advocate for rights and issues. The news articles persuade the audience and call for action by presenting the reality of society. An example would be calling the readers to participate in protests that speak up for the issues concerned. 

Here is an article from Time Magazine, and we will analyze how it raises public awareness and advocates for the issue of hunger through a few excerpts from it. “In a nation as affluent as the United States, it’s a harsh reality that more than 44 million people, including vulnerable children and seniors, grapple daily with food insecurity” (Robbins). The article started by using the logical appeal of providing persuading data, which can captivate the audience. The author also revealed that he faced hunger problems in his childhood and that meals were not always certain (Robbins). His anecdote about hunger proved to the audience that the hunger problem is always around us by making a connection with himself and the issue of hunger. In the end, the author closed the article by calling for action– “Together, we can change the course of global hunger and ensure that no individual, regardless of their location, faces the uncertainty of their next nutritious meal” (Robbins). 

Oscar Wilde once said, “In America, the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs forever and ever.” We should all be grateful that the First Amendment granted the US the right to have journalism in our society. Next time when you hear the word, “journalism”, hopefully, it will connote a much deeper meaning than only the reporters or the news on the television to you.