What is the real role of journalism?

News companies provide us with almost all of our political, national, and world news. According to Oxford Languages, journalism is, “The activity or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or preparing news to be broadcast.”

 The role of journalism in society is to provide us with information about these difficult and abundant topics. 

Newspapers and news websites provide us with a marketplace of ideas that help us to make political, economic, and entertainment choices. That being said, this means that journalists have a considerably large amount of influence on society which is why it needs to be as objective as possible. 

Most people consume non-objective news that simply tells them what they want to hear. This is terrible for the unity of society because when people only consume and believe what they want to believe it pushes them further apart and in our politically polarized world that’s the last thing we need. 

Personally, I think that’s what’s to be blamed for much of our political polarization in the last several years. 

There needs to be a clear definition between journalists and entertainers. There are a multitude of so-called journalists who really aren’t providing their audience with objective information, but rather entertaining them with skewed or bogus information that incites emotions which in turn leads to an increase in viewership. 

Increases in viewership lead to more profits which raises the question of whether journalism should be profit-based or not. People consume more inciteful news rather than the real objective news which makes this question difficult to answer.

A lot of big news companies are dependent on the profits made from inciteful and skewed news to stay operational. The other problem with putting out skewed information is that after a while the credibility of these organizations gets weathered away leading to wide distrust of the media which can be harmful to society.

News companies need to choose real news over profits. Journalism should be looked at more like a service to the public rather than a business.

 That isn’t to say however that money shouldn’t be made off journalism, but it shouldn’t be the primary focus. Instead, the primary focus should be providing the public with unbiased information and real news.