Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Advocacy and public voice need to be part of journalism"

In her latest column Veronica Hendrix, radio producer and treasurer of the Black Journalists Association of Southern California, dwells on her understanding of journalism.
For purists like me, journalism is more than delivering content by any means necessary, although that is what it appears to be morphing into. Journalism is a craft of conveying news to an audience responsibly, objectively, and ethically. In J-school, journalists are taught to seek truth and report it as fully as possible; act independently; and minimize harm to those affected by their actions. Those are great guiding principles. But there is an advocacy and public voice aspect to journalism that needs to be part of the model as well. Not only does the public demand it, technology has given it license to soar by the touch of a button.

The lines of what is and is not journalism have become blurred. Our world view as the purveyors of information is not the only view. We are at a juncture where we have to engage the public in new ways. As an industry, we can’t afford to be linear in our approach to telling stories and delivering content or we will become irrelevant.

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