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The Relationship Between Journalism and Society

Journalism is having a vital impact on our society as it plays an important role in eradicating the old ways of thinking and generating social awareness among common people in terms of health, business, politics, economy and many such likes, but this impact is only feasible when the journalism or the media as the case may be is unbiased and is having the courage to provide unaltered facts in its entirety.

The relationship between journalism and society is integrated. Journalism had a very deep impact on society as it is a source of information to the society and has the ability to mold the public opinion. With the passage of time journalism has been developed, its availability has been improved and its impact on society has been increased. Television, radio, newspaper and internet is included in journalistic media. The effect of journalism is different in each country and depends upon the type of the government. In democratic government, journalism is more developed as it enjoys more freedom as compared to other type of governments. In the last two decades, Journalism has undergone many changes due to the arrival of digital technology. Due to the publication of news on the internet, people are more interested in reading news on mobile phones and other electronic devices as compared to newspapers (Siddiqui & Singh, 2016).  

Journalism has both good and bad effect on society. The good effect of journalism is that it is the most important source of information to the society about the current happenings, events and facts not only about a particular region, state or a country but about the whole world. By sitting at home we can read as well as see the news of the world.  Moreover the society and media are getting closer through the process of communication. Communication is the process of sharing views and ideas from one individual to another. Good journalism always holds the societies united in bad situations by rendering the information and the representations that comprise mutual experiences, whereas bad journalism provides important news inaccurately and unfairly can leave people dangerously ignorant and uninformed (Tasen?e, 2010).

The purpose of journalism ultimately is to serve the society by presenting truth so that society can take correct decisions and mold a right opinion. A fake or news for propaganda can highly endanger the society. During the time of the election of government, people are highly relied on the news, which gives them information about the different candidates. On the basis of the information provided by the media, the people can decide in whose favor they should vote.  

The Good and Bad Effects of Journalism on Society

In old times when the watch was not invented, everybody has time, but since the watch is invented nobody has the time. Nowadays, the people have left no time to go through the policies of the government and so the people depend on journalists as the media make the people aware about the policies, legislation and the other orders passed and implemented by the government to and for the society. Since no man is born perfect, so a common man understands the complicated language of the acts, statutes. Therefore, journalism plays the role of a middleman and informs the public about the government policies in a simple language.

Journalism is also an autonomous supervisor of power and gives a voice to the voiceless. Through the media, the corrupt and powerful people are often exposed. Through many sting operations, the journalists exposed the unethical and undemocratic people who are seen indulged in corrupt practices in order to have a wrongful gain and wrong loss to the country and coming generations. Such journalism has helped revealed the real faces of such unscrupulous men of the society and the bad activities they are found indulged in (Alejandro, 2010). This type of under-cover journalism is a journalism of modern times, boldness and righteousness and it has helped the democracy in many ways including bringing the real truth before the society which earlier remained in veil.  

Apart from this, journalist introduce to the society the knowledgeable and intellectual people, who except their wisdom had nothing else to give to the society.  Journalism is a means to the intellectual to share their views on the policies of the government keeping themselves in the limits of the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression. In a democratic society, it is very essential that people raise their voice against the wrongdoings of the government. Journalism is a public platform for criticizing and commenting on the policies of the government.

Journalism and media have been able to bring a dynamic change in the society. Radio, television and internet are the important media, which has connected the people in a number of ways. In a different type of manners, information can be recorded and send to a number of people quickly. These electronic means have greatly increased the sphere of journalism and had a deep impact on the society. Mass media had played a marvelous role in the society. Through mass media, we are able to know about the currents happening around us in a more quick way. The news of local, national and international level is provided in a speedy way. Through mass media information is provided about the country current development programmes, policies, health and education system, foreign and defense policy, etc. It helped the society to become a part in the growth and development of the country by admiring as well as criticizing the policies of the government (Khurana, 2005).

The Purpose of Journalism

Present day technology has brought new methods of communication. It has removed all the boundaries relating to time, quality of news and made it very easy to gain the relevant information about a happening or fact. With the development of the technology, it becomes easy to get any information through internet. In this technological environment, the politicians are afraid of misusing their power and they are very well aware that if they will indulge in corrupt practices, the media will easily expose them to the public which will badly affect their image and they will not be able to get votes in the next election. With the development of technology, democracy has also become powerful. The development of mass media has also paved the way for Globalization which leads to people of the world closer to each other (Schudson, 2009). 

Simply speaking journalism acts between the public and the government as a bridge. On one hand journalism informs the public about the happenings in the society and on the other hand it makes the government know as to what is the impact of the decisions and policies of the government upon the society of their decisions. Thus through journalism, the government mainly conveys their decision to the public and takes feedback of such decisions which helps in government to further improve its policies.

The other effect of journalism on society is that it has made the people more knowledgeable about the events happening around the world. Our education system has been improved. The student can easily become aware of the latest events and happenings through internet. Social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Google search engine has made the education system more simple and informative.  Moreover, we can get the information about a happening or event instantly through online news as there is no need to wait for publication of the news to be printed and then delivered to the public (Salman, et al., 2011).

Where a good journalism has proven to be a boon to the people and on the contrary irresponsible journalism has always had the tendency to cause social harm in many spheres. The importance of journalism lies in the fact that it has been able to root out corruption from our society. Moreover, it has helped the government to make better laws and policies for the betterment of the society. It has helped the society the lifestyle and way of living.

Journalism as an Autonomous Supervisor of Power

There has been discussion as to whether stings are good journalism or bad journalism or are such stings are journalism at all. Journalism, which exposed scams, frauds, corruptions, either through stings or otherwise cannot be said to be bad journalism or bad journalism since all these revelations are for the betterment of the public and society at large. So sting is journalism in a good sense. Furthermore, when the journalism through sting operations reveal the corrupt part of political leaders, bureaucrats or the government officers, then sometimes they have to resign from their powerful posts. 

Journalism plays an important part in molding the public opinion at the time of election of the government of a country. At the time of election media plays an integral part in making the candidate popular or unpopular. If a voter does not take much interest in politics or in the policies of the government and wish to cast his vote, then he always switches on to the media to see as to which candidate is popular and unpopular (Glasser, 2013). A voter generally makes his opinion regarding a particular candidate by going through the political news and political articles without going into the merits of such news and all those news and articles tends to turn the opinion of the vote in favor of a particular candidate and if the media is biased, then they said biased media would always favor its favorite candidate thereby making him popular and win. Thus the attention and the popularity given by the media to the election candidates often drives the public to vote the candidate which have been chosen the favorite by media agency.  

The bad effect of journalism is that news is made in a more sensationalized way to increase the TRP of news channels. There are many inaccuracies in the new journalistic media which needs to be improved. Bad news always attracts the general public even if it is not relevant to their lives. However, nowadays people are very well aware of this fact and knows that the journalists are trying to gain the attention of the public by presenting the news in a more dramatic and sensationalized way. Most of the journalists in order to increase the sale of the newspaper present the news story in a more sensationalized way. They are least concerned about the fact that they should present and important and true news before the society (Chen, 2012). 

Journalism as a Public Platform for Criticizing and Commenting on Government Policies

In today’s world, the ugly face of journalism is the misuse of journalism by a journalist for his personal gain. The prime duty of the journalism is to let the people know as to what is happening in state, country and the world. But it has also been seen that some of the journalists withheld important news from society either by taking bribe or any personal gains thereby not bringing the truth before society which leaves a bad impression of the society upon journalists and journalism. There are fundamental rights of speech and expression in all democratic rights, but such rights are also coupled with some restrictions and limitations which should not be crossed upon especially by the journalist under the garb of journalism. With all such freedoms, there should be a check on the powers of the journalists so that the journalists could not misuse their role being a journalist for his own gain (Vehkoo, 2010). 

The new media adversely effected the journalism as it has decreased the importance of newspaper in the present society as now days people are more interested in searching a newspaper on the internet instead of newspaper. As a result the sale of newspaper is decreased. The originality of the news is always lost in the internet based news. Entertainment is the main purpose in internet based news. It lowers the dignity and quality of journalism. Social media boosts the violence in the news which has a bad effect on children. The old age people are less interested of using internet as celebrity gossip is more published on social sites instead of relevant news. Though internet has reduced the importance of newspaper, but professional reporters is always a necessity from turning raw data into edible knowledge. Apart from this, breaking news can be published instantly, it takes a lot of time to publish the same in a newspaper. Media industry will continue to be affected by the new technological changes. The technology affects the education and political system as well as social media industry favorably as well as adversely. The teaching and learning process had been highly influenced by the media. The whole education system relies on the internet for communicating and transferring knowledge.

The safety and security of the country is paramount and journalism play an indirect material part in maintaining the defense of a country. A good journalist knows what information is to be given to the public at large and what to be withheld for the safety and security of the public. But in order to waves and gain TRPs it is not right to reveal or air or publish the important and classified information regarding the arms and ammunitions of the defense forces and the such like sensitive information which goes in the wrong hands can cause loss and harm to the country and ultimately to the society. The first objective of the journalism should be to publish and air the relevant and appropriate news that does not amount to interference in the security matter of the nation (Cohen-Almagor, 2014). 

At last, it is concluded that journalism is a very sacred profession and is of full of responsibility. Honesty and loyalty to this profession is highly recommended. It is the duty of the journalist to present only the relevant, accurate and authenticated news to the general public. People will lose trust on journalism and mass media if the news presented before it is fake, manipulated and unauthenticated.  Social media plays a beneficial role for journalism by providing instant news to the public.  As the technology is changing tremendously Journalism and media will give a new form to the society. Montesquie stated that the legislature, executive and judiciary are the three pillars of the democracy, but nowadays the journalism is also being considered as a fourth such pillar or the watchdog of the society. So, Journalism's first obligation is to bring the truth before society and be loyal to them. It should act as an independent supervisor of power and should not be biased. Good Journalism always gives a platform for public criticism. Above all, a good journalist should always use his powers with caution and care and the responsibility towards society should never be ignored.

References

Alejandro, J., 2010. Journalism in the age of social media: Thomson Reuters Foundation, Available at: https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Journalism%20in%20the%20Age%20of%20Social%20Media.pdf

Chen, G., 2012. The Impact of New Media on Intercultural Communication in Global Context. pp. 1-11, Available at: https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1012&context=com_facpubs

Cohen-Almagor, R., 2014. After Leveson: Recommendations for Instituting the Public and Press Council. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 1(14), pp. 1-24.

Glasser, T., 2013. Freedom of the press in the twenty-first century: an agenda for thought and action, Available at: https://www.aejmc.org/home/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/AEJMC_Summit_Report.pdf

Khurana, N., 2005. The Impact of Social Networking Sites on the Youth. Mass Communication & Journalism, 5(12), pp. 1-4.

Salman, A., Ibrahim, F. & Hj.Abdullah, M., 2011. The Impact of New Media on Traditional Mainstream Mass Media. The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, 16(3), pp. 1-11.

Schudson, M., 2009. News and Democratic Society: Past, Present, and Future1, Available at: https://www.iasc-culture.org/eNews/2009_10/Schudson_LO.pdf

Siddiqui, S. & Singh, T., 2016. Social Media its Impact with Positive and Negative Aspects. International Journal of Computer Applications Technology and Research, 5(2), pp. 71 - 75.

Tasen?e, T., 2010. The Impact of Online Journalism on Society, Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/215484557_The_Impact_of_Online_Journalism_on_Society

Vehkoo, J., 2010. What is quality journalism and how it can be saved, Available at: https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/What%20is%20Quality%20Journalism%20and%20how%20can%20it%20be%20saved%27.pdf

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