Why journalism matters more than ever now

Here are extracts of editorials from several newspapers yesterday to mark World News Day:

Hold the front page (The Irish Times):

“In marking World News Day today, news organisations across the globe are setting out the case that ‘news’ matters, that news is more than entertainment or advertising – though it can be all – and that news is an essential oxygen supply empowering citizens, holding authority to account. And in doing so, sustaining democratic societies, a vital counterweight to political and economic power…

The occasion, however, is not just an acknowledgment of journalism and its necessity, a mutual self-congratulatory pat on the back, but a warning that all is far from well, that news and journalism are critically threatened.”

Quality journalism more crucial than ever (The Herald, South Africa): “

With so much misinformation circulating on social media these days, credible journalism is crucial…

In a world feasting on ‘fast news’, it is up to professional media organisations and journalists to ensure that the traditional forms of gathering the news, together with the required checks and balances, don’t fall by the wayside in the rush to be ‘first’ with the story.

In the age of Twitter, Facebook and Google, among others, there is a very clear place for credible, trusted media organisations.”

In an age of fake news, press freedom must be promoted and protected (South China Morning Post):

“There is a thirst for accurate information about this deadly new disease and the measures taken to curb it. But readers are confronted with a mass of unreliable information and rumours, most of it through social media. Journalists are trained to report objectively and fairly. They substantiate facts and provide balance. They do not always get it right. But there are good reasons why readers have turned to professional media organisations during the pandemic as they seek reliable information.”

Vital, vigilant journalism (Philippine Daily Inquirer):

“The weaponisation of social media for the benefit of powerful political interests is why journalism has become even more vital and relevant today.

In an age where all sorts of information are at people’s fingertips, the work of journalists has become way more daunting but essential, a constant fight to shine the light of truth against those who have the motive and the means to suppress it.”

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