Journalism is the investigation and reporting of events, issues, and trends to a broad audience. Although there is much variation within journalism, the ideal is to inform the citizenry. Besides covering organizations and institutions such as government and business, journalism also covers cultural aspects of society such as arts and entertainment. The field includes jobs such as editing, photojournalism, and documentary.
A journalist is someone who investigates and report events, issues and trends to a broad audience through media. The media is the means or instrumentality for storing or communicating information. Examples of the media are newspapers, television, radio, and the internet.
The role of a journalist was to act as a mediator or translator between the public and policy making elites. The journalist became the middleman. When elites spoke, journalists listened and record the information, distilled it, and passes it on to the public for their consumption. The reasoning behind this was that the public was not in a position to deconstruct the growing and complex flurry of information present in modern society, and so an intermediary was needed to filter news for the masses. The public is not smart enough to understand complicated, political issues. Furthermore, the public was too consumed with their daily lives to care about complex public policy. Therefore the public needed someone to interpret the decisions or concerns of the elite to make the information plain and simple. That was the role of journalists.
The public would affect the decision-making of the elite with their vote. In the meantime, the elite (i.e. politicians, policy makers, bureaucrats, scientists, etc.) would keep the business of power running the journalist's role was to inform the public of what the elites were doing. it has been the believe that journalist are the ears of the public, for that matter they keep their ears close to the ground for any kind of information that will come from the government, public figures, politicians and policy makers to the public through the media. An examples of the media is televisions, newspapers, radio, internet etc. In Ghana for instance journalists normally inform the public in their news bulletins and newspaper reviews which is normally done in the morning. Journalists are not mere transmission belts for their own viewpoints or for information provided by others. They do original reporting, they do not confuse fact with opinion or rumor, and they make sound editorial decisions but a principal responsibility of journalist. journalists owe their primary allegiance to the public because through a journalist the public gets to know what is happening around him or her and it will help him or her to make well informed decisions and this is where politics and other things comes into it. This is the major work of a journalist since they hunt for news and later on package it to inform the general public through a wider medium either newspaper or the radio station. For an example if an epidemic breaks into the country, journalists use the media to inform the public about it and the way they should handle the pandemic.
Journalists also act as a watchdog over the elites(i.e. politicians, policy makers, bureaucrats, scientists, etc.) as the public had the final say with their votes. Effectively that kept the public at the bottom of the power chain, catching the flow of information that is handed down from experts/elites. To furthermore journalist also act like whistle blowers in terms of corruption. They do their own investigations to reveal the bad deeds of certain key players in the society and through that the key players are kept on their toes(their names does not go on air for disgrace ) in order not do anything bad. They do this by monitoring the government and the politicians so that they do not go against our country’s constitution and also to keep them up to their task. A journalist does this to bring development and democracy in our county. For example if a politician or the government goes behind the scene to do something bad like bribery and corruption journalist investigate it and bring them out for public knowledge, by doing this the politician or the government also try not to do anything bad For instance when the ace investigative journalist ANAS ARMEYAW ANAS uncover the corrupt deeds of CEPS officials in Ghana, the government has taken serious action against them and most of the security officials are now alert and they are prepared to do the right things or else ANAS will be there again to uncover them .
To further more a journalist also plays the agenda setting role in our country. This is done by the journalist taking a topic or a problem that has affected the country either in the past or in future. He does this either by commenting on it or doing a detail analytical documentary on it which then becomes the public discussion. For example joy Fm’s programmed a story on newly recruited government workers like nurses and teachers who have been paid for long time and how they were made to give themselves to men and to do other things just because they want to make ends meat. This became public discussion and some even took it to the higher authority and something was done about this very particular issue by the government.
A journalist also serves as an opinion leader in our community and the country at large. They do this by putting their views and comment in their viewers and listeners perspective and what they think is affecting the public and what should be done about it. They do this as in the form of editorials or in the form of feature stories. For example the chronicle gave their editorials on Thursday, August 6th, 2009 edition about the double standards of politicians
Another major role that journalist play in our country is education. The most important thing that a journalist do is to educate the public about an issue, problem, event or epidemic. He does this by contacting expect on that issue and he the journalist broadcast it or publicized it. For example when bird flu was first diagnosed in the world it was the international media who publicized or broadcasted it and they also did some analytical report on it by contacting health expect.
With this few words I employ all journalist to sit up to do the right thing now, before and after the general elections to safe guard our nation