Journalism in North America
In the past, journalism used to be of sensational nature, however, that eventually developed into more literate and responsible organs.
Actually, the news papers gradually continued to be becoming larger and larger, whereby, advertising became more lucrative as a source of income. As the publishers and editors knew that the readers wanted current news based on facts, there came editorial independence giving new stature to the news function as well.
In modern time, newspapers are ready to be printed in one city and are simultaneously generated in other cities.
The Canadian example of mainstream media includes the Globe and Mail and the National Post (Toronto) among others; they are locally published/printed and they transmit all information verbatim by verbatim and line by line to printing plants in major cities across the country. Similarly, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal among others are active in the U.S.
The global newspapers of today include the “print editions” as well as the “online editions,” so do the North American daily newspapers, pod casts, interaction, multi-media, video, partnerships with broadcast, news databases, and email newsletter etc.
Like other countries, newspaper law covering matters of libel, contempt of court and copyright, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms were passed as part of the Canadian constitution in 1981; all this guarantees "freedom of thought, belief, opinion, expression, and freedom of media to all people.
Nevertheless, Canadian newspapers continue to face challenges and competition in their role as bearers of news in the information technology age. Despite the challenges, newspapers excellently keep up with performing the job of giving the people what they want to know with clarity.
In other words, there is a commitment of Canada's newspapers to operate in the public interest. A newspaper is a vital source of information and is a private business enterprise that serves the community with responsibility.
Freedom of Press is essential to the democratic society; it’s based on Canadian's right to freedom of expression available with guarantee through the Canadian “Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” It includes the right to collect and publicize information. It’s the “free press” that enables readers to use their Charter rights to receive information and make informed judgments on the current issues.
It means that the newspaper's primary obligation is trustworthiness towards the public good.
Gathering the truthful information for making part of news is expensive but is the only available option to utilize the credible sources with precision and accuracy.
Care must be taken when there is conflict of interest; it can’t be left undeclared.
Furthermore, the newspaper is obliged to protect its independence from the private and public sectors.
Ethically and legally speaking, only accurate and unbiased reporting is acceptable: Obviously, the newspaper keeps faith with readers by presenting only correct and up to date information.
All errors/mistakes should be reported and highlighted to maintain the trust of readers/audience.
The community newspapers are said to be of sound practice if there is clear distinction in news reporting along with expressions of opinion, and materials produced for and by the advertisers. Therefore, the altered images, if any, must be reported because people have right to know.
Other challenges: Community religious leaders including various associations tend to keep the newspaper editors and owners under pressure; they are interested in the coverage the way they want regardless of the consequences. In fact, controversial ads make the news paper editors/owners bend backward while looking for a way out. And no one seems to realize the free newspaper only can continue in business through putting ads in the paper in order to generate revenue.
No matter what, newspaper remains responsible to its readers, its shareholders, its employees and its advertisers, of course.
True, a newspaper plays a variety of roles for the civil society but building community opinion is the most important one. Despite the odds, editors strive hard to paint a representative picture of its diverse communities in order to encourage the expression of disparate views. At the same time, it has to be accessible and accountable to the readers of all kinds and levels.
Under all eventualities, respect is of paramount importance: The newspaper should strive to treat the people it covers with courtesy and fairness.
Modern Journalism faces a tough re-adjustment phase in response to the ongoing social, cultural and technological changes. Like it or not, journalists are beginning to leverage on social media to gather stories and are using news aggregators and subscribing to RSS feeds and blogs to assist them in their work. This means the challenged media continue to undergo drastic adjustment scenarios.
Furthermore, the publishers of weekly or bi weekly news papers. are people of courage, integrity, and tenacity as they stand against authority, community evils, national evils, international issues, and they take strong positions too in some cases.
Meanwhile, news managers and editors are concerned for Face book and Twitter as these sources are used for newsgathering especially during breaking news stories. But, there is some hesitancy in using social media ground to distribute content for fear of losing control of the information. No one can deny the possibility that social media seems to be changing things; it will surely bring about transparency, accountability and a broader range of voices and viewpoints.
The current tide of change is likely to bring about pressures on the need for more skills, and ability to respond quickly. This translates into compromised quality to ascertain the authenticity and verification of facts which can invite a serious handicap jeopardizing the flow of truthful information.
Surely, a journalist will soon have to have a good sense of whereabouts of the potential audience. They will have to figure out how to reach that audience whether they are online, in print, broadcast, mobile or social media platforms.
Hopefully, social media will not be allowed to damage the value of journalistic credibility. At the end of the day, we see journalism is still alive however merely adapting.