Posted by aina08 on April 2, 2008
A journalist (also called a newspaperman) is a person who practises journalism, the gathering and dissemination of information about current events, trends, issues and people.Reporters are one type of journalist. They create reports as a profession for broadcast or publication in mass media such as newspapers, television, radio, magazines, documentary film, and the Internet. Reporters find sources for their work, their reports can be either spoken or written, and they are often expected to report in the most objective and unbiased way to serve the public good. A columnist is a journalist who writes pieces that appear regularly in newspapers or magazines.
Depending on the context, the term journalist also includes various types of editors and visual journalists, such as photographers, graphic artists, and page designers.
In the early 19th century, a journalist was someone who wrote for publications, but over the past century it has come to mean a writer for newspapers and magazines as well.Many people consider journalist interchangeable with reporter, a person who gathers information and creates a written report or story. However, this overlooks many other types of journalists, including columnists, leader writers, photographers, editorial designers, and sub-editors (British) or copy editors (American). The only major distinction is that designers, writers and art directors who work exclusively on advertising material – that is, material in which the content is shaped by the person buying the ad, rather than the publication – are not considered journalists.
Regardless of medium, the term journalist carries a connotation or expectation of professionalism in reporting, with consideration for truth, fairness, balance, decency and ethics – although standards can vary widely between publications. Many mass-market newspapers make no pretense at impartiality, though in countries such as the UK, they generally adhere to a voluntary code of conduct, with objectives such as maintaining truthfulness. Some editors argue that bias is impossible to avoid and that it is more honest to adopt an editorial opinion while ensuring that material is factually accurate and coherent.
Ethics in journalism
Most journalists in the USA adhere to the standards and norms expressed in the Society of Professional Journalists ethical code. Foremost in the minds of most practicing journalists is the issue of maintaining credibility, “Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.”
Journalists often either receive training directly in the type of news field that they wish to enter, or through various institutions of higher education. From Columbia University and New York University on the East Coast of America, to University of Southern California and California State University, Northridge on the West Coast, there is a broad range of options for beginning journalists to choose from when entering the field.