More than four in ten American adults own a smart phone, according to stateofthemedia.org. The ability to access the news is more overwhelming than ever. John Peter Zenger published the New York Weekly Journal in the 1700s. In 1735, the British government did not find his journalism appealing…as it was not in their favor. He was arrested and tried for libel. As of the last decade, it appears that everyone can be a journalist…if they so choose.
Ellie VerGowe, 24 and a graduate student, believes that “it’s to tell people what’s going on”. Though this is what journalism is intended to do, this journalist wonders if it has turned into something completely different…less news and more commentary on the news. “Unfortunately, I feel like journalism is very slanted one way or the other, so its important to read both sides so that you can get as complete of a picture as you can. You have to be very careful what your sources are.” states Tim Ahlberg, a senior and president of Northparks’ student association, 21.
A new form of journalism is blogging. It’s become very popular within young adults. Blogs can be very helpful for something specific. They also provide creative outlets if one wants to get their writing into the public eye. However, it seems debatable whether it is a valid source for news. Hannah Williams, a nanny in the Albany Park neighborhood believes “Journalism as opposed to blogging is important because its an unbiased and professional stance on reporting the news”.
Journalism is a “vehicle to convey truth and ask hard questions and give the public answers that they can’t get on their own” says Rebekah Strobel, 26 and a graduate student. Cortney Wall, a group fitness instructor at Helwig Recreational Center, agrees it “tells a story in which its recorded clearly and as concise as possible for the audiences”.
Robert Hostetter, 66 and chair of the communications department, says that “Journalism is to figure out the truth. Journalism often is just at the level of headlines and superficial information and does not give us adequate context and interpretation”.
It seems as though it is agreed upon that journalism acts as a channel in which the public gets information about the on goings in their community, their nation and the world. It also seems that many people see the news as somewhat skewed at times and biased. “It is whatever journalists say it is” claims the book ‘The Elements of Journalism’. “The idea that the mainstream media do not provide a balanced account of social protest has been developed especially in the period from the 1960s to the early 1990s” say Thomas Poell and Erik Borra. This furthers the idea that people look toward less mainstream media to get their news because they are unhappy with how the news corporations put lenses on stories based on their point of view.