Why Journalism Is Important To A Democracy?

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Journalism is a method to find and report information for the mass media. This profession is specifically aimed at collecting, editing, and releasing or broadcasting news and other related articles for tabloids, journals, radio, or television. Journalism involves a special way of reporting or academic writing that is characteristic of the literary genre. People are usually interested in knowing what’s happening around them and reporting is a great way of doing that. Journalism is important to a democracy as it allows the citizens of a country to have information about anything they want to know.

Here is why journalism is important to a democracy:

  • The main purpose of journalism is to report reality to the people without being biased. Even though it sounds simple, journalism entails much more than you would think. There is a code of ethics that is associated with becoming a journalist. Reporters have a responsibility towards the public, to be loyal and honest. Unfortunately, this is not always as easy as it seems to be. In fact, it is common for the radical groups or the government to stifle publications. In some places, they would attempt to control what the public could and couldn’t read. Evidently, the governments in these places, by no means, can be considered as a democratic government.  
  • Despite the repeated claims of the governments to embrace the right to speech, there have times numerous incidents throughout the past where these claim have been downright contradicted. If it were not for the reporters who were doing their job honestly, many scandals would have gone undiscovered. Journalists who abide by the true principles and intentions of journalism are actually the reasons that a nation is able to watch over the activities of the government. This helps in ensuring that the democracy in the country remains favorable to the public and not for some political organizations or the government itself.
  • Frequently, the media influences the truth and a good number people buy it too. Sometimes, the media shares the latest story but covers the verity that it isn’t actually as it appears to be. Details and evidence are generally excluded from the public attention and swapped with some “interesting” news. Even if it feels more exciting and amusing to the people watching it, news should not be made to divert and amuse the audience. The objective of the news is to update the viewers about the events taking place around them and the reality behind the confidential matters.
  • Journalism is important as it is a unique way to challenge the functioning of an authority when other agencies can’t. In a democratic country, there are three areas of government – the courts, the executive, and the parliament. Theoretically, the parliament is believed to pore over the executive but actually it is incapable of doing so. This happens because every political party, be it the ruling or the opposition, tends to have secrets to hid and doesn’t want to be charged with hypocrisy. With not enough numbers, opposition deliberately tries to derail the parliament sessions, meeting only erratically, and deflecting hard discussions. The courts, on the other hand, are overloaded and are often unable to take action to public concerns as quickly as the public might hope. Moreover, the executives tend the media to endorse its views but do not wish to be scrutinized by it. Amid this setting of uproar and mudslinging, some reporters still aim to raise matters of public interest, expose the causes, hold debates, and propagate values that can be instrumental in the shaping of the systems. They stick to their duties to make a rational and solid impact on societies. They try to pry open government or national institutions that have a habit of secrecy in order that the common man can be enlightened on the issues that affect them. In the time of shrinking significance of academic thinkers and artists, journalism is one medium that is still energetically challenging optimistic, convenient stories of those in authority.
  • Journalists have an enormous representative role. In a democratic society, there is constantly a need for representation as nations are too big to clear out all views as feedback for organizations. Politicians cannot represent all interests; they must bow to some and disregard others. Even if they pander to all the concerns, their influence is connected to their political stature and not to the appropriateness of their cause. On the contrary, journalism courses through the society and gets in touch with as many communities as possible and relates the opinions of the disregarded to the wider audience.

Like any other human organization, journalism has its own flaws. Reporters can have biases, prejudices, blind spots, visions of arrogance. In many cases, the reporters work for bigger organizations that have complex interests that limit them. Nevertheless, they work in an aggressive environment where they are constantly being confronted by peer groups and have to hoist their reporting standards, which eventually aids readers to distinguish the best from the good. For all its faults, the media has several self-correcting mechanisms which can be implemented in real time.

The journalism industry may not be entirely perfect, but that should not take away from the truth that it is an instrument that is important for democracy. Reporters try and keep an eye on how a country is evolving. They try to closely follow the government, its practices, shams and outcomes and are always considerate toward the sufferings of the weak and the deprived. Journalism is society’s mouth, eyes, and ears. They speak about, address, and listen to society’s issues more often than the political parties are ready to or capable of. In addition, they help the democratic government to communicate its working, schemes, and benefits that were promised to the public at the time of coming to power. Again, if the government has failed to keep its promises, journalism acts as a mirror to the society and clearly exposes the deceits that have been imposed upon the public, resulting in possible downfall of the government or at least giving the elected members an opportunity to make amends and live up to the expectations of the public.