Social media should not diminish the value of journalism

By ELIZABETH DE ARMAS

Since the beginning of its existence, the Internet has been infamous for giving its users what they want – news, shopping, recipes, gossip and social media – in an instant.

Journalists have also taken advantage of the Internet, using it to break news and have more room to relay their message without being confined to a page in the paper.

As a young journalist growing up with the “tech savvy” generation, I so happen to love the Internet. I rely on it for almost anything, including placing my Domino’s Pizza delivery orders. But, not everyone feels this way. Especially when it comes to social media – made possible because of the Internet.

Browsing through my reliable friend, Google, I came across an article, which states that social media has hurt the value of journalism – not helped it.

Umer Nangiana, the writer of the article, says journalists no longer follow their code of ethics when reporting news through their respective social media outlets.

“The country’s media does have codes of conduct, but very few journalists practice them,” he said. “Newsrooms need to create a culture that inculcates ethics in workers who would go on to collectively uphold morals in professional journalism.”

Although many journalists, and individuals alike, would want to report this claim to be false, I agree with Nangiana. The Internet has allowed reporting to lose its credibility.

This is half in part due to journalists wanting to be the first ones to break news before checking it, rather than being the first ones to break the right news after checking it.

Another factor is the journalists who now feel the need to be satirical in their hard news tweets or comments. Many examples of this can be seen in the sports world of journalists, where many have crossed the line at many points in time.

If social media is used correctly, it can pick up journalism and bring it to a whole new level. But if used poorly, and by the wrong people, it will diminish the quality, reliability and credibility of journalism – which should never be put to the test.

Because, after all, journalists will always be needed.

We’re fearless. We’re determined. We’re informed.

But, we need to remain dignified.

 


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