In an ever-evolving world where all of us were clamoring for information, journalists became the people who told us how to think about it. Now, with the rise of fake news and the decline of traditional journalism, we’re in an age where truth seems to be fluid and up for interpretation. Dinathanthi is a Tamil daily in Tamil Nadu, India. Dinathanthi is a part of Dinamalar Group which has various newspapers and magazines. In this article, the author has penned down the contribution of journalists in making this world a better place to live in.
As early as 1836, the first western newspaper was published in America. A century later, there were nearly 9,000 dailies in the US with an audience of 30 million people . The medium was an instant hit, and from then on there has been no looking back for the industry. Public opinion molded by newspapers not only influenced public behavior but also changed voting patterns.
That’s why we need journalists more than ever before. Journalists help give our society a shared set of facts that allow us to understand each other in spite of our different beliefs, ideas and experiences. They keep those facts honest and objective so that we can trust them to truly know what’s going on in this complicated world.
1. They help hold governments accountable.
Journalists are often the ones who keep a close watch on governments, especially their leaders and officials. They follow public officials around, asking difficult questions and reporting about what is happening in government. This helps the rest of us understand what our leaders are doing on our behalf, and it also helps us decide if we like what they are doing or not.
In countries where the press is free to write about what is going on, people can choose whether or not to support their leaders and what they are doing. If a leader does not do a good job or breaks the law, journalists can write stories that tell us about that person’s misdeeds. This makes sure our leaders can’t abuse their power and get away with wrongdoing.
2. They help give people an education.
Many families in developing countries cannot afford to pay school fees for every child in the family. But children still deserve an education and a chance at a better life than they would have if left to their own devices on the streets. Journalists are helping to provide that education to children by reporting on innovative programs from other countries where children receive schooling by doing very little work, like planting trees. When these stories appear in the media, readers donate money to help plant trees or create other educational opportunities.
3. They help protect human rights.
Human rights are the moral principles that describe the basic rights and protections that every human being is entitled to regardless of another’s opinion. Freedom of speech is one of those rights, so journalists in free countries have the job of reporting on important issues when governments or other groups try to take away those rights from their people. Journalists work hard to ensure that governments do not routinely abuse their positions by silencing the press, restricting access to information and arresting those who speak out.
4. They make democracy possible.
Democracy is our belief that every human is entitled to at least a voice in how they live their lives. A free press and independent judiciary are the foundations of a democracy because they allow people to live by the rules of our society where everyone has equal opportunity and a voice in how their government works and governs itself. Without these safeguards against injustice, there can be no real democracy. Without an independent press, it’s impossible for people to know what exactly is being done on their behalf and for what purpose.
5. They help us make sense of our world.
In a chaotic world like ours, it’s hard for people to understand how their lives fit into the larger whole. But if professional journalists report on the important stories going on in society, we can get an idea of what is happening in different places and how we all fit together as a global community. We can also understand better the goals that different groups wish to accomplish and who they are trying to serve or benefit with their actions.
6. They help us relate to each other better.
In a world where there are so many different people, cultures and ideas, it is important to know who we are and where we fit into the world. Knowing who we are allows us to develop better relationships with our neighbors and build communities that encourage everyone’s contributions. In some places in history, journalists have had a role in giving us a better idea of who we are as people and how we are related to other groups around us.