Definition of Journalism
Journalism in its most basic sense is the process of gathering and presenting factual information. This information is used to transmit a story to the public and to create a record for archival purposes. This can be by print, digital, broadcast, photography, or through alternative medias.
Typically a piece of news journalism will be fact-based and not opinion-based, written in a third-person style (meaning no use of "I" or "you"), and is usually governed by a style guide of conventions for word usage, capitalization, spelling, and such.
One of the essential elements of journalism is that it relies on first-hand accounts, quotations, and research for its factual basis. Reporters and other creators of journalistic work conduct investigations by searching for primary source material and talking to eyewitnesses and others involved in the story. They then construct a finished work that makes a coherent whole out of the information they have gathered.
Journalism covers news from several different angles. Events happen that news editors know their readership would want to be informed of, such as catastrophic fires or accidents. There are regular events and planned activities that are considered newsworthy, too, such as county Commissioners' meetings and local football games. Coverage is often assigned to report on these types of stories.
The public also supplies news items. Organizations are permitted to send press releases to the media to announce developments that the news outlets might want to publish. Best practices for press releases require that they must be fact-based, not promotional, and releases are often edited to fit size constraints . Readers may send photos and notices in for publication as well.
Throughout the ages, journalism has vastly changed not only lives, but entire countries and society in general, just by making sure people are informed and know the truth. In some countries, the government controls all means of news and journalism, but in most others, it is a free entity allowing access to important information to all who seek it.
When trying to differentiate journalism and any other form of communication, it is important to note that journalists devote their career to reporting the truth. They focus on bringing the verified facts to the readers, steering away from any expressly influenced thoughts. People crave the specifics and the entire story, so not only do journalists write about the realities, but they also research and delve deep for the hidden essentials that not a lot of people can find.
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