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The A to Z of isms. Journalism.
Journalism is a product of modern history and it's shaped by the politics of the places where it works.
In liberal democracies, it's based on the ideals that knowledge is important, that expression should be free and that reliable information is good for society.
It's been driven by the invention of new technologies such as paper, printing, electricity, photography and now of course, digital, social media, the internet.
It's changed radically over time—from medieval scribes recording war and taxes to paid pamphleteers in coffee shops waging political battles; to mass market newspapers that use new tech, like trains and telephones to gather and spread the news; to television and radio that allows us to see, hear and connect with the rest of the world.
The BBC's Richard Dimbleby's radio reports from Belsen concentration camp brought the horrors of the Holocaust to the world.
Television journalists like Dan Rather and photographers such as Don McCullin showed America the brutal reality of Vietnam, and reporters from The Washington Post metro desk forced a presidential resignation over Watergate.
As journalism became more influential, so politicians battled to control it.
Journalism's always about power.
Power over information, holding power to account or providing propaganda.
It claimed to make and break careers, swing elections and even start wars.
It's produced heroes who have revealed scandals, such as systematic child abuse by paedophile priests.
It's also created monsters who ruined lives and broke the law, such as the journalist who hacked into people's phones.
Now it's all changing again.
Automatic software programs are writing 'bot journalism'. Citizens broadcast on their phones.
Algorithms created by huge technology companies shape the flow of news as people like or retweet the facts and opinions they want to share.
That's meant an explosion of content, a tidal wave of information, much of it false, furious and fractious.
People are confused about what to trust, uncertain what is true, fearful of the anger, conflict and bias they find online.
We're in an age when populist leaders and shadowy interest groups use the cliche 'fake news' to attack journalists and deliberately mislead the public.
So why did journalism fail to see all this coming?
Do we even need journalists anymore?
Fake news is actually good news for trustworthy, reliable journalism.
It's a chance for the news media to show why they're needed—to sort out the truth from lies and speak for the citizen.
The digital age is a chance for journalism to reinvent itself with new tools such as virtual reality or artificial intelligence.
The internet provides massive competition for the mainstream media, but it also offers pathways to new business models such as membership, subscription and collaboration.
Most of all, it offers an opportunity for journalism to get back in touch—to be more diverse, relevant and engaging.
In a social world where emotions and values drive our communications, journalism needs to rediscover the human touch and also to get back some key traditional ideals—to be reliable, responsible and to tell the stories that help to explain our complicated and often frightening world.
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Journalism: Why 'fake news' is actually good news | BBC Ideas

305 Folder Collection
ayami published on August 19, 2019
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