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Journalism is essentially the reporting of timely facts.
Journalists inform about the who, what, when, where, why and how, in order to explain events, trends, issues and people and their significance.
Journalism is sometimes described as "first rough draft of history" or to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
Citizens Bill of Journalism Rights
From an expanded version by the Committee of Concerned Journalists:
- Proof that the journalists' first loyalty is to citizens
- That journalists maintain independence from those they cover
- That journalists will monitor power and give voice to the voiceless
- A forum for public criticism and problem solving
- News that is proportional and relevant
Journalists Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel describe what they believe are the nine major elements of journalism that make it unique:
- Journalism's first obligation is to the truth.
- Its first loyalty is to citizens.
- Its essence is a discipline of verification.
- Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
- It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
- It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
- It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
- It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
- Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.
See an expanded version of these principles at Journalism.org.
Journalist Michael Lund also stresses the importance of facts over truth in journalism. U.K. newspaper editor C. P. Scott said: "Comments are free but facts are sacred."
In determining coverage or amount of newsworthiness, journalists rely on news values:
- proximity and
Main article: Objectivity and bias
According to A Statement of Shared Purpose, by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Committee of Concerned Journalists:
- "When the concept of objectivity originally evolved, it did not imply that journalists are free of bias."
- "Objectivity" refers not to the person, but to the method, the testing of information, to help prevent biases from undermining the work. For example, this is pursued by seeking multiple and opposing sources.
- Journoworld website for local and regional journalists entry
- Answers.com entry
- Basic Journalism, from TeacherVision.com
- Elementary Journalism
- HighSchoolJournalism.org, sponsored by the American Society of Newspaper Editors
- How People Learn from the Press, from the Committee of Concerned Journalists
- Information on a career in fashion journalism
- Introduction to Journalism, PDF
- News University, online courses, a project of The Poynter Institute funded by the Knight Foundation
- Wikipedia article