The Purpose Of News In American Society

1645 words - 7 pages

Morgan Lenhert
Professor Philip Benoit
The Press and Society
February 9, 2012
News in American Society
News is defined as “a report of recent events” or “previously unknown information” (Websters Dictionary). News should be something that has a specified influence of effect. For instance, good news would be the end of a war and bad news would be the beginning of a war, and so forth. “News has two priorities: it must be current, and it must mean something to people” (Media Awareness Network). What is the purpose of this news though? There are many objectives of news, but the main objective of news is to inform the audience (Media Awareness Network). This is because of the notion ...view middle of the document...

Journalism plays a large role in news and media. “To survive, journalism must adapt in form and style to reflect changes in culture, politics, taste, and technology. But as journalism changes, those who produce the news also must keep in mind the purpose and principles of producing accurate information on behalf of the citizens” (Kovach and Rosenstiel, Preface). This “accurate information”, or news, only has value when it is expressed and cannot be saved for later (Philip Benoit, Powerpoint). The whole point for the media is to get the news out to the world while it is happening or in a decent time span since the news happened. If a war breaks out and there have been threats that could endanger the citizens, one would only hope to know about it right away; and not have to find out about it as it is already happening. Citizens can only hope that the news that they are receiving is true and honest; whether it be in a newspaper, tabloid, telegraph, computer, television or radio. “Over the last three hundred years, news professionals have developed a loose set of principles and values to fulfill the function of providing news—the indirect knowledge by which people come to form their opinions about the world. Foremost among these principles is this: Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth” (Kovach & Rosenstiel, pg. 36).
There are many different types of media that can get the news out to the world locally, nationally, and globally. One can only think to themselves about which one of those is actually following the obligation of giving the truth. Although in the past there were only newspapers and flyers posted around and later the telegraph, now there are electronic media. “Electronic media have brought with them a greatly increased ability to influence people. . .” (Abel, Preface). Newspapers were a large influence on people in American society as well; publishing regularly, having a variety of stories, and having a consistent title and format. When electronic media became known, people found it a lot easier to obtain the news and at the same time not have to spend any money to do so. Although there is belief that electronic media’s purpose of news is based on the money flow and ratings that is received. Media outlets have to give their audience what the audience wants, leading to competition between the many different types of media. With the variety of media sources, citizens today can pretty much get news anywhere and at any time. With such a large variety of the sources one could only expect to find honest and factual news somewhere (Media Awareness Network, What is News?). “But it can also mean shorter, more exciting stories; flashy, sexy, shocking images; crime, death, disaster, tragedy; confrontation, violence, controversy; or anything else that might attract viewers or readers. When taken to extremes (as in the “tabloid” newspapers or television shows), “news” can become just another type of sensational entertainment” (Media...

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