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What is News Media?

Updated on April 13, 2012

News media has affected American culture in many ways. The information in news media has been known to shape political opinions and carries social responsibility. The convergence of electronics and media has altered journalism and news itself. It is important for society to recognize the role media plays and the transformation taking place in today’s news.

Information media has social responsibility in several ways. Society relies on media to learn about what is happening in the world. It is important for people to understand what news affects them personally and what news is relevant to their career, family, and future. It is common for people to make life changing decisions based on news, such as financial decisions, changes in the economy, and local events. This places a heavy responsibility on the media. It is an American tradition in journalism to report facts first, validate sources, and apply ethical standards. Journalists have the first amendment right to report all information; however, what is legal is not always ethical. An example of this would be a juvenile’s name or name of a rape victim. The journalist can legally make names public, but it is not ethical is some situations. The media is left to implement these ethical standards on their own giving them social responsibility.

Politicians use media during campaigns as a form of advertisement. They also use media to help sway undecided voters to vote for them. Most campaign ads are used as a weapon to air negative messages about competitors. It is convenient for a politician to use a commercial to promote views and address issues using the power of editing. It gives them the ability to advertise only the information beneficial to their goal. Most people are fooled by TV and believe everything they see, although it may not be untruthful, it may not be the entire news relevant to the issue. News media is likely the most powerful tool in shaping political opinions.

Journalism has been transformed into a new form of media. Electronic media, such as the Internet, TV, and cell phones has become the most common form of media. The biggest transformation is the speed of delivery. When the reporting institution receives news it can instantly go public thanks to electronic media. This can affect the ethics of a journalist as well. There is almost no time between receiving news and delivering news. This shortens the time to reflect on the news and check sources for accuracy. Less time to apply ethical standards can lead to false reporting.

Keeping up with the changes in technology is at times difficult. News media seems to be on top of the latest methods in utilizing technology to deliver news. As long as there are journalists that remain ethical and understand the importance of reporting facts, this new media can be great.

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