What is journalism? What does it mean to be a journalist in 2016?
What is journalism in the era of media conglomeration? Has media conglomeration turned journalism as it was known in the 20th century into public relations for the 1%?
- What we see on local evening news? Sensationalized reporting of gun violence amongst those on the low-end of the economic ladder between sports, traffic, and weather.
- What we read in newspapers and magazines between the advertisements, crossword
- What we see on national news and cable news? Human interest pieces, celebrity gossip, and opinions given about politics, sports, and Hollywood all looped and edited to elicit emotion rather than thought or discourse.
Is journalism meant to report facts and information that affects large numbers of people based on the political, economic, and/or environmental the information will impact? Or is it just people writing/broadcasting what newspaper owners and trending topics dictate?
Journalism is about facts and information. It’s about exposing injustice to the public. It is about shining the light of truth into the dark corners of conspiracy and deceit.
Just because a small group of billionaires has bought all major news outlets (media conglomeration), doesn’t mean they have bought the facts and information that qualifies as news. Just because political parties receive large donations and cater to these media conglomerates, doesn’t mean they are immune from the facts and information they wish to keep secret from being reported to the public.
As was shown in the DNC Leaks, MSNBC was in direct contact with the Democratic National Committee about what to say and what not to say about Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. If MSNBC is a news station, and they are conspiring to turn the news into specifically crafted public relations, do they not deserve to have this conspiracy reported on? Is that not a news story?
When the news is owned by the people the news used to report on, so they don’t get reported on anymore, then the nature of gathering facts and information as well as reporting them must change. If the 1% would divest all holdings in all news reporting outlets, and all journalism was once again independently financed, what purpose would Wikileaks serve?
In a post print media conglomerate landscape, hactivism has evolved into journalism.
How much content have credible news outlets turned the DNC Leaks into? How many articles, pictures, videos, sound bites, polls, tweets, vines, snaps, and stories have been created because of what Wikileaks has done? The only ones who seem to think it’s wrong, are the people who have been exposed and their allies.
Mainstream media using the information provided by Wikileaks makes them complacent which makes what Wikileaks does with their hacking no longer any different from what a beat reporter did with their pen, paper, and access to newswires in the 20th century. Ten years ago Wikileaks may have been an underground, illegal, immoral, criminal, hacking networks of deviants, anarchists, and outsiders. In 2016, they are just another credible source alongside the Associated Press and Reuters. In 2016, Wikileaks is journalism.