Journalists should explain our work to readers

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Trustworthy journalism is based on responsible, accurate and honest news and information, which also adheres to the highest ethical standards of the profession.

Journalists carry out our work in the belief that journalism is important to citizens around the world at its best.

As journalists from around the world come together on World News Day to publicly proclaim that journalism makes a difference, let’s not forget the discouraging fact (as revealed by the Reuters Institute in the Digital News Report 2022) that “the connection between journalism and the public may be worn”.

Those of us devoted to this profession sincerely believe that journalism matters. However, as the annual report on global digital news consumption published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford makes clear, public confidence and interest in news is declining; in fact, we see that an alarming number of people have decided to avoid the news altogether.

Today is a day to celebrate journalism. And it is also an opportunity for the global journalism community to raise public awareness of the role journalists play in bringing trusted news and information to the service of citizens and democracy.

After serving as a public editor for the Canadian newspaper Toronto Star for 13 years (a position in which I had the opportunity to connect and interact with several thousand readers expressing their concerns and complaints about the Star’s journalistic direction), I realize that we journalists should never take for granted that our news audience understands everything we do and why we do it.

We must explain not only what we do, but also what we do. We must be transparent and explain our methods, mission and goals. To be trusted, we must earn that trust.

Trustworthy journalism is based on responsible, accurate and honest news and information, which also adheres to the highest ethical standards of the profession. That means we have to correct our mistakes when we make mistakes. It also means clearly distinguishing between facts and opinions. It requires that diversity and inclusion be focused on the people and resources we focus journalism on, as well as the body of journalists who tell us the news.

World News Day has an important purpose to remind the public why journalism is important at its best. As journalists, we have a duty to explain to our audiences the ethical standards that distinguish responsible journalism in the public interest from all that noise generated by the network.

In a world of false information and outright lies that are going viral, a world where a younger audience is making social media their main source of news, it is very important to have public acceptance that journalism, at its best, is expression, responsible and fulfilling. journalistic standards.

I know firsthand how essential it is to connect and stay in touch with our news audience, and to try to build greater public awareness of the values ​​of journalism and the ability to distinguish between false information and real news. . I believe that if we journalists explain our work and hold ourselves accountable to our audience, we can build more confidence and interest in the profession.

On the occasion of World News Day in 2019, I asked readers of the Toronto Star for their thoughts on why journalism is important to them (#journalismmatters). I received responses from several hundred readers, most of whom showed a deep appreciation for Fact-Based Journalism, which strives to meet the highest journalistic standards.

“In this age where we publicly accept that lies and false information come to us from everywhere, we must be able to trust at least one institution that respects the truth, forces public figures to respond to those they represent and who committed to the public good as a value to fight for,” emphasized reader Leo Keeler.

Devan Munn’s words hit the bull’s eye with the universal message of World News Day as he tries to reach global news audiences:

“I believe that in a world without factual information, the less powerful will have no voice and the powerful will not take responsibility, while the public will never know the difference between them.”

Journalism, at its best, is important to all of us, all over the world. Today and always.

Source: La Verdad

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