Issues in reporting for a global audience
This blog relates closely to the last post. A journalist’s audience is no longer either national or regional, but often both. They must make their articles widely accessible, understandable and relevant to a larger audience so to not lose readers to other publications who do cater for those needs/wants. Therefore the way and places journalists gather their information from will need to broaden. These new forms of technology and communication widen the public sphere and expand a reporter’s sense of responsibility beyond one region or community (Freeman 2008).
Freeman (2008) points out that what is reported now reaches an international audience and will impact how nations view their constituency and their place in the world.
In 2011 around 500 investigative journalists from over 50 countries came together to discuss the evolution of newsgathering. Many agreed that social media was useful in investigative reporting but others believed there were limitations. Most agreed that in hand with old fashion forms of gathering information, social media was a definite benefit and those who didn’t use it were missing out on a key element (Nazakat 2012).
To avoid issues with global reporting Nazakat (2012) says its important journalists are as transparent as possible when it comes to sources, so audiences can make their own assessments of information.
“No matter what kind of latest and sophisticated technology you use, it is the content which will remain the king.” (Nazakat 2012)
If a journalist publishes an article that contains false information whether it: a) defames a prominent figure b) gives false information regarding a global issue, which could possibly cause a rift between people/communities/nations – these are mistakes that are published on a global level and have the potential to cause large distress to the public and the publisher.
Although as the fourth estate it has always been a reporter’s job to seek the truth for the public, now more than ever they need to be double checking and triple checking their facts, with social media and the internet which makes publishing virtually a 2 minute process, timeliness and getting your story out before your competitor is a real issue. This is no excuse for a journalist to cut corners and resort to ‘Churnalism’. Nothing should compromise the checking of facts and the correct format and procedure for reporting.
“The three Cs – content, clarity and credibility, should continue to be adhered to, no matter the platform.” (Nazakat 2012)
Freeman, S 2008, ‘Public problems in international reporting: the expanding public sphere’, Journalism Ethics, viewed 24 September 2012, <http://www.journalismethics.info/feature_articles/public_problems_in_international_reporting.html>
Nazakat, S 2012, ‘Social media and investigate journalism’, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, viewed 24 September 2012, < http://www.icij.org/resources/social-media-and-investigative-journalism>