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Journalism & Democracy

Is Journalism Democratic?

In this new age of media, journalism exists in many different ways. Traditional methods are becoming outdated and modern approaches are fast becoming the way people consume their daily intake of news, views and gossip.

Traditionally newspapers were the main way for people to get their daily news and this tradition has carried on with millions of people reading papers each day. However, ever paper has its own political slant and news featured and the style it is wrote in is decided by the editor and the newspapers owner. This in one sense is highly undemocratic as it does not offer unbiased views of the days happenings. The news must be factually correct as stipulated by the editors hand book and enforced by the PCC (Press Complaints Commission). As a regulatory body it does not have much power and therefore has no authority over the papers meaning editors will often run a story knowing consequences are not likely to be sevre if it is not factually accurate.

From the other perspective it is democratic that in theory (and money permitting) anyone can buy, or set up their own newspaper and publish news and stories which they feel relevant and may have a tie to.

The world of television journalism is slightly more clear than that of newspapers, especially with the BBC. The organisation is governed by a very strict set of guidelines that ensure fairness and an unbiased telling of the news. Most other networks follow suit but do not have to stick to the rigidity that the BBC does. Ofcom is the regulator for this sector and has far more influence than its equivalent for the press.

Online journalism is clouding the water so to speak, there is no real regulation giving bloggers (more so than traditional journalists publishing on newspaper websites) the freedom to say what ever they please, regardless of bias, discrimination and even actual fact. However this has opened up journalism to the masses and made the whole concept a lot more democratic and led to the rise of the citizen journalist and many millions of bloggers.

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