Change may be in the hands of journalists

Thursday, October 2, 2008

By: Kathryn Lisk

The number one rule in journalism is getting the facts straight. Never should a journalist publish anything before being certain that the information they are about to publish is accurate.

However, in the present society where the media is impossible to avoid and the public is obsessed with being informed, I would argue that the media affects its public as much as it informs.

For example, the U.S. is currently attempting to sort through a financial crisis. Obviously the media is providing its audience, whether that be readers of newspapers, listeners of radio stations, or viewers of news networks with information and answers on the Wall Street crisis and the proposed $700 billion bailout plan. In providing this information, journalists surely shift the views of their audience no matter how unbiased they attempt to be.

When it comes to economic problems, the more people doubt the economy, the less they spend and the worse it becomes. Therefore, journalists publishing or reporting about our country's financial struggle could cause Americans to keep their money in their pockets and away from an improved economy.

I am not saying journalists should keep the truth away from the public. Nor do I believe that Americans should be less informed. In fact, I feel the opposite.

Instead, I am simply stating what an important role journalists play in society. The views journalists publish can become the views of the public.

So in a time like this, the pressure is on.


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