Importance of Journalism to Democracy
Written by Amanda Maritan January 27th 2022
According to the Brazilian political scientist Biroli & Miguel, the media industry became the main connection between politicians and the population. Since journalism’s main role is to investigate and announce the issues present on the political powers, such as the legislative, executive, and judicial powers, the profession is also considered as a resistance to authoritarianism.
Journalism, as well as the media industry, is able to migrate among different public spaces: discussion and debate, expression, and political spaces. Because of this, the journalist has the social mediation responsibility as they construct a narrative about our reality and its issues, and share them with the population. They are responsible for exposing government flaws, needs of improvement, and decisions, keeping us informed about what’s going on in our countries, as well in the world, so we are aware of the impacts on us from the governors’ decisions and what we need to do for a change. We need to remember that, in a representative democracy, it is important to have a bridge (journalism, media industry) between us (voters) and them (politicians), so we can keep exercising our popular power.
In the past decades, however, with the emerging technology and web social spaces, journalism’s main ethic ‘’the search for truth’’ has been at risk due to the amount of information displayed in our lives. The public social media space has been allowing people to share and create their own journalism, made by fake news and information that they heard from someone who heard from someone else. Is the real journalist, extracting the true facts and events, and sharing them with citizens, who is responsible to keep our democracy aligned with the truth. At the same time, this media profession is the one capable of connecting not only the political powers and parties with the people, but also the opposite.
At the end, with society's evolution, we have the population each day more capable to create and consume information, putting at risk the real journalism, at the same time, we have journalists connecting us with the major power holders allowing us to have some kind of power too. The importance of journalism as a tool of manifestation, truth, and pillar in our democracy is undeniable, since it exposes, criticizes, and demands from the government transparency and also clarification. It is a direct way of demanding from the political powers an explanation and action for whatever is happening in our society.
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