This text brings these present issues together in one invaluable resource for all students of journalism, politics and media studies. Help Centre.
My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Sorry, the book that you are looking for is not available right now. Books with a similar title. Consequently, professionalism is the concept that renders autonomy [ 33 ]. As journalism is not fully a profession, in the sense that its professionals may not have a universal type and amount of knowledge in comparison to medicine, law, or engineering; for example, news media organizations are relatively weak.
They have low entry barriers, and its options for sanctions are few; thus, the autonomy of the individual journalist represents unwarranted thing—the potential power of which warrants some levels of control [ 31 ]. The external restrictions refer to all forces restricting the political autonomy of the news organization, including state censorship and ideology, economy, legislation, and regulation.
Internal restrictions relate to force and pressure rooted inside the news media organizations [ 34 ]. In his global survey of journalists across the world and inconsistent with this result, David Weaver concludes that majority of journalists are not only unhappy about how free journalists are in their work, but also they perceive large gaps between the ideal of autonomy and the actual freedoms they practice [ 35 ].
Autonomy problems, in fact, help us understand how and why social media platforms considerably influence the profession of journalism, be it off or online. Arguably, social media or citizen journalism began as a direct and determined response to the perceived weaknesses of mainstream journalistic professional autonomy. Technology has played an important role as disruptor and enabler in these developments.
First, the rise of the Internet as a popular medium has led to a substantial increase in available channels for information and entertainment. Second, the proliferation of possible channels for news content undermined the attractiveness of the journalistic product, leading to a continuation of decline in audiences and revenues. Third, decline of audiences and revenues, in turn, enforces news media organization to accept both commercial and political funding and interventions, which eventually undermines journalistic autonomy [ 36 ].
The ultimate result of this cycle of effects is the decline of trust in journalism profession as a whole.
Historical roots of the social media provide an evidence that the awareness of citizens for the unfair alliance between traditional news media and governments was the main cause behind inception of this phenomenon. If audiences perceive off and online journalists as fair, objective, and autonomous, they will trust them and migration to alternative platforms will be at its lowest rate.
From lapdog to watchdog
Now, with the rise of social media platform, many more people are passing on their observations and ideas, playing a role previously occupied only by members of the institutional journalism [ 37 ], p. Further, media criticism has become less an organizational activity and more of a practice embedded in the social media platforms. Social media platforms have a distinct feature by the direct relationship between news producers and consumers, and no editors are currently served as mediators in this relationship [ 54 ].
The collapse of gatekeeping represents a direct attack on the elites journalists, policy experts, public officials, academics, etc. At the same time, citizens have become independent and free producers and consumers of political and social meaning they construct out of the mix of mediated narratives they are presented [ 39 ].
The collapse of gatekeeping has shifted the power and influence from the hands of a small number of journalists to all citizens who are capable to manage the process of newsgathering and dissemination. In practical terms, journalists lost the monopoly of gathering, handling, and disseminating news and information. Furthermore, any institution can directly contact its public without the traditional mediation of journalists, the dominant rule in the last three decades ago [ 40 ].
Gatekeeping as a process of ensuring comprehensive and fair coverage, therefore, is no longer strictly necessary; the gates have multiplied beyond all control [ 41 ]. Given the previous discussion, journalism educators and professionals cannot ignore the considerable impact of social media platforms. In response to this reality, a recognition that the already weakened entry barriers to the profession has become more lenient than before and that control over journalists whether through the organizational constrains or the code of ethics has become more weaker and negotiation over what is journalism and what is journalist has become more transparent.
The second relates to the ways social media redefine practices, ethics, and identity of journalism profession [ 42 ]. In her study on renegotiating the journalism profession in the era of social media, Jaana Hujanen concludes that ideals and practices governing journalism are being revisited by journalism students in terms of the challenges and opportunities that social media and citizen journalism offer [ 42 ].
Similarly, the Project for Excellence in Journalism study found that both the journalists and their publics are prepared to accept a new different vision of journalism [ 4 ] in which the key function of gatekeeping of traditional mainstream journalism is no longer exist [ 43 ]. The aforementioned discussion demonstrates that the ills of off and online journalism throughout the world are partly responsible for the appearance and growth of social media.
The tight restrictions under which professional journalists operate give rise to a new digital alternative empowered by freedom without both responsibility and accountability and usually without sufficient knowledge and expertise that guarantee rational judgments. Thus, the problem is not with citizen journalists who exercise too much autonomy but with professionals who practice too little autonomy.
This in turn directs our attention to many important questions that need more exploration.
- Citations per year.
- Quantum Mechanics. Non-Relativistic Theory!
- Yashakiden: The Demon Princess, Volume 3 (Omnibus Edition);
- Autumn Mist (Dr. Who Series).
- Making Journalists.
- India in Slow Motion.
How can we understand the phenomenon of citizen journalism? Is it without boundaries or is it without ethics? What makes it persistent? More importantly, what are the factors behind its expansion and dominance to the extent that it has become a real threat to the existence of professional journalism? Alexander argues that it is the civil sphere of justice that established the democratic societies. Justice fulfills collective obligations while at the same time safeguarding individual autonomy.
He emphasizes the strong relationship between civil sphere and democracy and the freedom that embraces political and cultural spheres [ 44 ]. Alexander sees that power and self-interest are not the only interest that shape societies and that ideal of community and justice, integration, and feeling for others are important. This solidarity is possible because people are oriented not only to the here and to now but also to the ideal, to the transcendent, to what they hope will be the everlasting.
Alexander argues that the discourses and institutions of civil society go beyond the social restrictions of daily life, providing more universalistic civil codes for democratic critique, action, and reform. This autonomy from political and economic power is due to the fact that social solidarity grows from a symbolic structure deeply rooted in the core of social life [ 44 ]. Social media citizens are integral part of the civil sphere in which they express their views and attitudes free from the boundaries of journalistic institutions.
Making Journalists: Diverse Models, Global Issues - Google Libri
They are part of the Internet virtual community that has its own language, cultural, rituals, and sometimes ethical or unethical practices. Scholars of communication are invited to examine the ideals and norms that constitute the behavior of social media community globally and locally with special emphasis on its implication to the current debate of what is journalism and who is a journalist.
The central issues are 1 Whether the communicative behavior of social media citizens satisfies unmet needs that off and online journalists are supposed to meet 2 To what extent the content of social media platforms is viewed by Internet users as a real substitute for off and online journalism and why 3 To what extent freedom and autonomy social media platforms experience hinder or enhance its potential role to protect an independent civil sphere 4 What institutional changes off and online journalism have to experience in order to meet the challenges posed by social media platforms.
Given the challenges posed by social media, developers of journalism education programs everywhere may need to decide on choosing between the convergence-oriented curriculum or the individual courses or tracks. In Internet environment characterized by the fast growth and penetration of distrusted online social platforms, what matters is not the amount and speed of news but its accuracy that helps inform, enlighten and empower the recipients and the society.
What matters is the outcome, not the output. Social media from this perspective should be seen as an opportunity not a threat for mainstream news media organizations. Obviously, unethical issues of traditional journalism are not exclusively related to or started with the introduction of social media platforms. Literature documented the failure of mainstream news media in meeting the universal standards of ethics [ 45 ]. Yet, the problem has been intensified in the age of Internet in unprecedented way. Social media platforms challenge the essence of the profession and attack its ideals and norms as they are occupied by gossip, rumors, fake identities, and e-commercial activities [ 46 ].
The emergence of unlimited online communities interested in countless number of topics and interests, with and without any commitment to laws and ethics, brought endless troubles for the already troubled and disputed profession like journalism [ 47 ]. There is no doubt that this new phenomenon has positively promoted the civil sphere; meanwhile, it comes at the expense of quality of journalism as it blurred the lines between professional and non-professional journalistic work [ 49 ].
The lack of reliable institutional and professional standards in addition to lack of experience, training, and education raises the question of what is journalism and who is the journalist in this new flux environment [ 47 ]. Here, one has to raise the question of whether the social media platforms have added to or extracted from the normative ideals of traditional journalism.
Evidence show that, unfortunately, this new phenomenon has undermined the basic role of journalism.
9. De-Westernization and Cosmopolitan Media Studies
In democratic societies, the news media organizations fulfill two functions. First, they inform the public and serve as an open platform for deliberation through providing all opinions available. Second, they scrutinize those who are in power and watch their mismanagement [ 50 ]. To perform these duties properly, news media, Asp argues, should be fair to represent all partners involved in the news stories, informative to supply up-to-date accurate information, and finally serve as watchdog to hold powerful public figures accountable [ 50 ].
These ideals linked journalism to the universal value of objectivity where journalists are impartial, detached, or nonpartisan [ 51 ]. Without good and reliable information, citizens struggle to engage in a democratic system of governance, as evidenced by falling voter participation both during and after elections. The role of journalism as watchdog to hold public officials accountable has been shifted to social media platforms, where anyone can be a watchdog to scrutinize the mismanagement and misbehavior of all in power.
As Singer argues, anyone can publish anything with virtual impunity; moreover, the publisher can choose to remain anonymous. On the other hand, the two-way or multiple ways of communication encourage interaction and enhance democracy [ 52 ]. What is more realistic is that, though information and interaction increased in terms of quantity, scope, and speed, its low quality impedes its potential role in fostering democracy.
Existing literature points to the fact that despite the current global society is flooded by information through social media platforms and news media organizations, democracy is not being well served. Political participation is being deteriorated in Western and non-Western democracies. In contrast to the expectations of the optimistic view, the most obvious impact of social media upon democracy has been its disruptive capacity for traditional political practices and institutions [ 53 ].
In other words, disinformation, misinformation, and fake news of social media platforms cannot contribute to creating the informed citizen; rather it converts him to be apathetic, inactive with no or little political efficacy. In his review of the contemporary history of digital journalism, Ben Scott points to the crisis created by the new social media platforms. Rather than being the rescue for journalism by restoring a public service mission to create a better civic life, he concludes that these platforms are steps in the continuous deterioration of journalistic quality and democratic values [ 54 ].
Practicing freedom in the absence of responsibility either from inside the individual, organization, or society resulted in proliferation of unethical acts that not only limit the power of these platforms but also endanger off and online journalism as well. Perlmutter and Schoen, listed a number of unethical problems of social media platforms as follows: lack of fact-checking and editorial oversight;. Among the ethical problems of social media platforms is the use of hyperlinks that allow journalists to feed their stories with a wealth of information [ 56 ], and while enriching the news, it makes it difficult to identify the responsible person in case of ethics violation [ 57 ].
This is simply because the content is changing every second to the extent that accurate, fair, complete, and balanced coverage of any event would be impossible [ 57 ]. The immediacy brought by the social media platforms, where everyone is a potential publisher, allows for even less deliberation by the journalist and editor who try to compete with social media platforms [ 58 ]. This has created a verification problem because content can be changed, manipulated, or removed out of context from the original [ 59 ]. Furthermore, the acceleration of the news cycle has raised concerns about the erosion of the discipline of verification among journalists themselves [ 60 ].
The verification problem, in turn, negatively affected sources and message credibility that has been the asset of journalism. Credibility has been connected theoretically and empirically with perception of trustworthiness and expertise. It has been measured with survey research asking the public to report their perception about bias, trust, fairness, and accuracy [ 61 ]. The erosion of credibility of social media platforms was explicitly stated in the call of the Vice President of European Commission Frans Timmermans who said: We live in an era where the flow of information, disinformation, and misinformation has become almost overwhelming.
That is why we need to empower our citizens with the mechanisms to identify fake news and check accuracy of content they receive [ 62 ]. The structural characteristic of social media platforms allows its users to be anonymous. Globalization and Belonging.