The most effective journalism is rooted in facts, connects with the public and educates without having any bias. By definition, it is the act of reporting news. A journalist seeks to spread knowledge, not opinions. This can be accomplished either through the written word, photography or broadcast journalism.
The emergence of new forms of media, such as online news sites and blogs has changed the face of communication and blurred the lines between reporting facts and storytelling. While reporting only the facts may seem a simple goal, many writers find it very difficult to withhold their personal feelings from their writing, and must nurture this skill.
A good journalist finds a topic that is relevant, timely and of interest to their target audience. The next step in effective journalism is to gather facts and information on the topic, from reputable sources. These facts can come from research conducted via the internet or written publications, from interviewing subject matter experts or involved parties or a combination of many different sources.
Once the facts have been gathered, the journalist then needs to compile the information into an article, whose sole purpose is to communicate the information, not to express an opinion. Journalism is a form of strategic communication that is designed simply to inform or educate, so the journalist is like a teacher. As a teacher, the journalist has a responsibility to deliver the facts to his or her students with the hope that those facts will provide a solid base upon which to build an opinion and allow them to make informed decisions in the future.
The journalist serves an important role in our society. With so many different media voices clamoring for our attention, the journalist stands apart as an unbiased source of information. Rather than wanting to have his or her own voice heard, the effective journalist wants only to have the story heard.
The point of journalism is to inform the public of events that are happening around them. If you can shed light on a situation, bring attention to an issue or inform your reader of something relevant without trying to sway them to your opinion, then you are succeeding as a journalist. Effective journalism serves the greater good, in that it allows the general public to have access to information about events that are happening in the world, that they might not otherwise know about.
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