Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Public service journalism in peril
Journalism spurred by the passion to orchestrate an informed citizenry, a truly functioning democracy, is for naught if the financial means are nonexistent. It seems as though the need for service journalism to join the money-making game is ever-intensifying. Service journalism may be perceived as a public good, but once the cards are dealt and the game has begun, this ideal becomes agitated by increasing concerns. How can a press retain its independence when startup funds are issued directly from the state? Can an article be published with a solemn pledge to fairness and accuracy when the reporter in question receives his salary from the very individuals he is covering? Such inquiries accurately illustrate the tense relationship between financial need and strict adherence to quality journalism. A journalist’s rendering of utopia would entail a press not bound by a capitalistic agenda, but free to serve the public with the untainted truth. Is public service journalism an idealist’s illusion, or is there a financial relationship of a more stable nature, capable of sustaining a free press?