Journalism - Term Overview

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Journalism is a concept that is based on the collection and analysis (whether written, oral, visual or graphic) of information, in any of its forms, presentations and varieties. The notion also describes the academic training and career of those who wish to become a journalist.

In other words, journalism is a professional work that is based on the collection, synthesis, processing and publication of current data. To fulfill their mission, the journalist or communicator must appeal to sources that are credible or take advantage of their own knowledge.

While the basis of the journalistic plane is the news, it also includes other elements that may be genres, such as the chronicle, the interview, the opinion and the report. For this reason, journalism can have an informative profile, be interpretive or exploit the sphere of opinion, to name a few examples. The different media, such as newspapers, television, radio or the Internet, make journalism can be graphic, audiovisual, radio or digital.

However, you can't only make this classification of journalism based on the medium you use. There are also many other equally important ones, highlighting, for example, the one that establishes a typology based on the thematic range on which it focuses and develops.

In this way, one can speak of political, social, economic, cultural, scientific, environmental, sports or war journalism, among many others. Starting from this classification, we can establish that there are media (newspapers, magazines, television programs...) that are specialized in one of those in particular. However, there are also others that manage to bring together the various types, such as the news programs where we can access information on a wide variety of topics.

Given the strong influence that journalism has in society, it's usually known as the fourth estate. On the other hand, in an attempt to guarantee the ethical development of the profession, there are professional associations and associations that regulate the activity.

The role played by journalism and the journalist in particular, the power they also have, is vital in society because through them the ordinary citizen manages to keep up to date with everything that happens not only in their most direct environment but also in your country or in the world. It's the way that you don't close your eyes to problems and that you learn the different social realities that exist.

For this vital work there are various awards that try to reward the great work and effort made by these professionals. Among the most important recognitions are the Pulitzer Prizes that are awarded annually in the United States and that try to praise the quality of the best informative reports, investigative reports, feature articles or chronicles.

According to historians, the first newspaper was the "Acta diurna" that Julius Caesar placed in the Roman forum in the 1st century BC. Already in the Middle Ages, in bourgeois cities written sheets with economic and commercial news were distributed, while in Venice sheets were sold at the price of a gazette (the currency that was used in that city in the sixteenth century), so that many contemporary newspapers adopted that name.

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