The Goals of Modern Journalism


In business, change is inevitable. So is Journalism (that’s big-J).

The Journalists Memorial, located inside the N...

 

The goal of any successful business is to keep abreast of trends, as well as adapt to the constant flux of consumer tastes and interests.  Add new technologies and practices to the equation, and the dilemma of business survival increases significantly.

Journalism, as with any other business, must adapt to cultural surroundings and the needs of those they serve.
It is an activity based on providing intelligent voices reporting on the ever-changing movement of society.  In addition, they must remain viable through the progress of tools such as the Internet and social networking—both giving a larger voice to the average person.

Blogs, Facebook and Twitter, as well as newer avenues of communication, allow everyone to join the conversation.

The result is the Internet equalizing opinions, giving equal weight to (sometimes wildly) divergent and marginal points of view.

The challenge in today’s climate is for journalists to break out of the Internet chatter and to prove themselves as a valuable reference for understanding critical social issues.

Their job is to remove the “wheat” from the “chaff.”

In the vastly rising number of voices, extreme opinions and narrow agendas, the journalist must offer guidance for the common good.

It boils down to this—journalists must develop discerning voices, rising above the leveling nature of the Internet.

It is essential to our culture—helping to develop an informed, socially productive citizenship, offering value in the “marketplace of ideas.”

The need for journalists to set up a presence online is similar to the efforts of commerce to build brand awareness.

Branding is the most effective way to promote awareness and serves as a convenience to the consumer.

However, writing is not about the quality in a product, like the features of a widget.

It is in the quality of service, not only through understanding, but also in the ability to compose an article in a way that serves society.   News is not a product but a service.

How can this be accomplished?

Methods of marketing are widespread throughout business.

It is common in business to use marketing as a way to reach consumers–to help them remember your product or service.

Electronic marketing has become a new entry in the business world as companies, as well as people, are beginning to realize the power of the online world. It represents a seismic shift for various business models.

The goal is to use some of the process of successful marketing—both traditional and online—and fit them for today’s multimedia journalist.

Journalists must use their most notable currency—credibility—as a value-added brand recognizable as the “go to” source of information.

There needs to be a balance between self-promotion and journalistic ethics, while avoiding lapses in behavior.

To be successful in any business, journalism included, one must recognize the needs of the customer and change practices accordingly.

They must follow the changing nature of their industries, use methods of winning practices, and convert them to their own field.

Some answers for the modern writer consist in branding, in finding a distinctive voice that can be trusted to provide unbiased, accurate information.

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