Journalism Center

Journalism in the Age of Instant Information

Student Journalism

With modern day technology increasing almost more rapidly than the news can keep up with, so too does the news become ever more instant. No longer do we have to wait for the newspaper to come out before we can find out what happened in the nation. No longer do we have to find a TV to see what’s going on. Now it comes right to you, regardless of where you are.

Smart technology. It has redefined the way we receive information. We can now get information about our friends—even enemies—from Twitter and Facebook. We can get instant updates of major events happening across the world—right to our phones and tablets. And this is so apparent in our schools where our hungry tech youth are immersed in this type of information flow.

So what use does a school newspaper or even journalism have in our modern day schools? It is not really about the “news,” but rather about the “truth” behind the news.

Journalism is in-depth, something that Twitter and Facebook is not. Social media reports on rumor, gossip, and straight opinion. There is no investigation, no seeking of the truth, no real effort to give an informed opinion about anything. Who wants to take the time? Who will take the time?

Those that will are those who have the potential to elevate the field of journalism to the pedestal it deserves. The notion of seeking for the truth, of uncovering the actual facts, of wading through the lies, deceit, exaggerations, and misleading information is what a true journalist does. This is what the school journalism classes or groups needs to impart. There needs to be an objective and well informed outlet that brings credibility and respect to the student body. This is where journalism in school stands out.

There will be, very likely, always a place for a school newspaper and the need for students of journalism to gain real experience in their own environment. Students need to be taught the following Ten Principles of Journalism.

The Ten Principles of Journalism

  1. Finding the truth may take time.
  2. What you think is the truth may not be.
  3. Facts bring more credibility than personal opinion.
  4. Becoming an expert is when your opinion matters to others.
  5. Your bias will always show up in your writing.
  6. Writing is an art that must be developed and explored.
  7. Information is more than facts.
  8. Journalism has the power to change public opinion.
  9. Journalism has the power to topple established institutions.
  10. Nothing gives more power than proper research.

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