Duties & responsibilities of journalists

Written by melody dawn
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Duties & responsibilities of journalists
Journalism (Journalism image by Zhanat Abylkassym from Fotolia.com)

A journalist writes professionally about world issues, local events, people and trends. There is a great amount of responsibility a journalist faces when presenting material to the public. Professional journalists follow a standard of conduct and ethics when working in mass media settings such as broadcast, newspapers, magazines and Internet.

Legal Responsibility

Journalists face important legal responsibilities. They should know their rights and the rights of each individual, and they should be sure they are compliant with legal issues. This will ensure there is no intrusion on matters of confidentiality and privacy. Libellous and slanderous remarks can result in legal action against journalists.

Social Responsibility

Media relate current events to the rest of society. These events are presented in the form of pictures and articles. It is the duty of a journalist to make sure the information is presented in a fair, balanced and truthful manner. Relating current events helps keep the general public informed and provides it with entertainment. It is a journalist's duty not to sensationalise any media event for her own benefit.

Professional Responsibility

A journalist has a professional responsibility to present an accurate portrayal of events as they occur. This usually is accomplished through excellent and thorough research. A professional journalist will present only the facts, leaving out her own opinions.

Ethical Responsibility

Journalists are bound to a code of ethics. An ethical journalist will provide the audience with meaningful information, but she also will know when information is too sensitive to be reported. For example, when reporting a crime or a death, journalists should be aware of family members who are involved or who have not yet been notified of the tragedy.

Reporting the News

Journalists are responsible for being active in their community. They learn to uncover facts and know what is relevant and useful before it is printed. Journalists sift through insignificant stories and report on what the public is interested in.

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