For homework, we were assigned to read Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel’s short introduction about the essentials of journalism. They explain that even the very first tribal societies in Africa—start of humankind—had a thirst for “news.” People gossiped with each other and wanted to deliver their news. According to historian Mitchell Stephens, the basic definition of news has been the same throughout history and across cultures.
Kovach and Rosenstiel write that “when the flow of news is obstructed, ‘a darkness falls,’ and anxiety grows.” This means that people are constantly looking to be informed about others. Without such flow of information, there is silence; darkness.
For awareness in life, we protect ourselves, bond with each other, and identify enemies. Journalism is very important because it helps us do all these things. The two authors also say that we should care about journalism because it “influences the quality of our lives, our thoughts, and our culture.” Journalism records history of a society, how people lived, and what their culture was about. In order to have a truthful account of history, journalists must be honest in their reporting. Richard Just’s definition of journalism now makes sense. “To tell the truth about the world.” It puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it?
By Muhammad Jawad Khan