Tom Murphy – Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy blogging about PR and other things since 2002…

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You better hope that journalism makes it

March 7th, 2012 · 4 Comments · Public Relations

For all the talk about the death of media, mainstream media, traditional media, broadcast media, print media and online media, since the turn of the century, they’re still hanging on. Sure circulations are down, many traditional papers have closed down, slimmed down or moved online.  But thankfully we still have the media, we still have journalists.

Social media has been great giving people a platform to share their opinions, but it doesn’t negate the need for journalists.

This isn’t a post about bloggers not being journalists by the way.

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The world isn’t that simple anymore. 

Some bloggers are journalists, some are not. Regardless everyone has opinions and thanks to social media they can share those opinions.  On the whole, and in view of the alternative, that’s a good thing.

However, after twenty years in the Public Relations business, I remain more convinced than ever that journalists are an essential and valuable asset that we must support and protect. 

Their cause hasn’t been helped by the confusion surrounding business models in a world that has a cacophony of often free content. But the value of free content is often tied to the cost. 

If you catch my drift.

As I’ve often said before the great thing about opinions is that everyone has one, and the downside is the same.

We need journalism because we need someone to be looking at our world in an objective manner. Yes I know there are sometimes issues, as I already mentioned, I’ve worked in PR for over twenty years.  I know the issues.

However, in a world of vested interest, give me traditional journalism any day.

I read a lot of blogs.  I read them with a filter.  We know that people (present author included) write blogs for a reason, and it’s not often to do with the finding the truth. People want to showcase their knowledge, share insight, push an agenda, sell their wares. There’s nothing wrong with any of these motivations, but let’s not pretend that it’s a replacement for journalism, it’s an adjunct – at best.

The bottom line is that society needs journalism regardless of your views or leanings.  The medium may indeed be the message, but it doesn’t matter if  journalism is in print, video, audio or online.  What matters is that we have people involved in looking at our world with an objective lens.

Blogs are a tool, they aren’t a replacement for the practice of journalism.

We should all try and remember that.

As the old song goes, all god’s creatures have a place in the choir.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Kristy Chong

    But do most journalists really want the truth or a page 1 story???

  • Tom Murphy

    Hi Kristy,

    interesting comment, but here’s the rub. Of course journalists are under the same pressure as everyone else. But do we want a world without them? A world of endless opinion but no one asking the tough questions, and (for the most part) seeking both sides of the story? I think not.

    TM

  • Lori C

    @Kristy. I’m sure all journalists want a page 1 story. But I would say that most good journalists (whether or not they are under pressure) are craftsmen who value their craft. Every singer wants a record deal. Every writer wants to be the next blockbuster novelist, but that doesn’t mean they want recognition at the expense of quality. When I was a working a journalist, I had a few page one stories. They were page one because they were good. I would not have been pleased had my stories been A1 stories for any other reason other than that they were A1 quality journalism. I find it hard to believe that any journalist would feel differently.

  • Cameron

    I agree that journalists are needed that we do need people who look at the world objectively.

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