Week 1: Discussion Questions

ThePressInstitute
Posted June 4, 2009 from United States

Correspondents, I hope you have enjoyed reading the learning materials for the first week.

I'd like to take this opportunity to talk further about the "concept" of journalism and how it impacts our lives and communities.

In the learning material this week, we defined Journalism as -- a discipline of collecting, verifying, reporting and analyzing information gathered regarding current events, including trends, issues and people. Those who practice journalism are known as journalists. Journalism is a profession that requires serious personal and professional discipline and adherence to a strict ethical code.

Let's think about journalism in a larger context for a moment. It's not just interviewing and writing. There is a deep purpose and strong meaning to our work. In the letter I wrote to you earlier this week, I said, "In no other line of work does an individual have the ability to ask bold questions, seek hard truths, and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Only a journalist can seek to highlight injustice, provoke change, inspire community and provide access to information so that people everywhere can live freer, fuller lives. In short, journalists change the world everyday."

Using those ideas as a platform, combined with your own insights and experiences please take some time to think about the following questions and formulate some ideas.

Why do we need journalism? a. Why does the World need journalism? b. Why does your community need journalism? c. Why do you need journalism?

I look forward to a dynamic and thoughtful discussion!

Cristi

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Tina Garforth
Jun 05, 2009
Jun 05, 2009

Dear Cristi, Here are my thoughts on Journalism together with a little insight into why I'm here and how I came to be here. It's a bit long, I hope you don't mind...

a. The World needs journalism to spread ideas, to begin discussions on complex situations, to ponder possible solutions, to potentially prevent the same thing happening again (if bad) or to teach others methods of success (if good.) b. My community in the Bronx, New York needs journalism to bring forth discussions on: immigration, poverty and disease (Aids, HIV, TB and Hepatitis are big problems here). Also providing equal opportunities for education in spite of socio-economic class and/or residential location and the health of the environment are also BIG issues in the Bronx, with pollution being the most likely cause of the highest rates of childhood asthma in this country. However, I also believe that the world may need the voice of the Bronx. The Bronx is a tiny microcosm of the world, made up of diverse communities and cultures that are forced to live side by side and learn to get along with each other. Being able to speak about this community, to share the experiences of violence, the cultural tensions, as well as the general tolerance and acceptance of each others’ differences, may be able to provide solutions and discussions that could help other conflicted regions around the world. In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, this is becoming an important and urgent topic. This is one of my passions and reasons for being here. c. I need Journalism to raise my own voice because I have felt unable to speak up and out for years due to self-doubt caused by emotional and psychological abuse. I became so unsure of myself, I wasn’t even sure I had a voice until fairly recently. Instead I used to paint, quietly, privately until I became afraid that my paintings were too obviously expressing my inner world. So I stopped. Now, years later, after becoming a mother, I realized the need to heal myself in order to be able to be the best mother I could be. I started to write about my feelings and experiences in a journal and slowly started to see that I’m not that bad after all. I still have days where I say the wrong thing and upset someone, but now when I do so, I don’t get punished anymore the way I used to. I have realized I don’t need to be afraid that the same things are going to happen to me now. And bottom line is that even if they do, I’ve been there before and survived it and I would do again. So here I am aged 36 and I’ve only just begun. I’ve started to share my deepest thoughts and visions for a better world and I’ve started to see how very interested some people are in what I have been thinking for years and am now saying out loud. I need journalism because I’ve realized how very empowering it is to raise my own voice and bring it out into the world and I wish very much to be able to raise the voices of others who are not able to do so for themselves, just yet… Blessings Tina

ThePressInstitute
Jun 05, 2009
Jun 05, 2009

Tina, You have raised some powerful points. I commend your bravery. You have just done what some of the world's best journalists do -- use your own hardships and experiences in order to make change and help others.

I am especially interested in your observations of life in the Bronx. You are so correct when you say that our world is increasingly interconnected. As reporters, it becomes not only our role, but our responsibility to look at life and culture more deeply. A journalist witnesses an act of violence and seeks to uncover the hidden social or political reasons for the violence. A reporter identifies poverty or suffering and acts boldly to use her voice, which is amplified by publication, to not only say this suffering exists but also that it doesn't have to exist.

Remember, individuals, communities and cultures all NEED journalism. We need strong, ethical people to report and write about our world so that we can learn more about ourselves and our place in this world. When you use your voice to create journalism, not only do you take steps to heal your own wounds, your words echo. With each echo your words begin the process of healing others too.

Thank you for your thoughtful response, Tina. I look forward to the rest of the discussion!

Best, Cristi

mamaAfrica
Jun 06, 2009
Jun 06, 2009

I agree with Tina's opinion about journalism and would like to make an addition that journalism is a tool for holding individuals, communities, states and the intenational world sytem accountable. The essence of journalism is embedded in the investigation, information , education and action taking process to make the world a better place. I believe that it is not enough to have facts over events and happennings but also to include the opinion of why they do happen and what should be done to make the happenings profitable to the coexistance of humanity. I am a believer in approaching issues from the the level of analysis of an individual and therefore wil approach the three questions of this discussion from the bottom- up. This is because, I have witnessed for a long time execution of many programs from the top-down and noticed that by the time they get to the micro level, the individual remains to be the most oppressed/unheard/unseen etc.

I believe that it is time the agenda setting formular changes from being states, corporations and organizations to being the individual. Afterall, it is the individual who is the basic unit of both the state and the society. I therefore consider journalism to be tool with which to inform and educate about individual needs, rights and freedoms. That it matters when news is about an individual as it would when it is about a super power nation. When the individual is given the opportunity to voice his/her facts and opinions, then part of human need, rights and freedoms are highlighted for discourse.

If individuals will use journalism to set the agenda on issues affecting society, the collective voice of many individuals can push forth the agenda to platforms where action can be taken. If not they have the collective ability to hold to accountability those elected to take action. This accountability ensures that both the World system, the state and the community function to promote the needs, rights and freedoms of the individual.

In this regard, I need journalism to investigate and expose, inform and educate both individual and corporate communities about basic needs, rights and freedoms of women and girls. In rural Africa, many women and girls are marginalised having no power to speak against the ills in society, much of which leaves them being vulnerable to disease, poverty, food insecurity, illiteracy, unemployment, and gender inequality just to mention but a few. But even before they can speak, they are uninformed about decisions made in big cities by the elite who hardly identify with the hardships of living in the villages.

With skills in journalism I aim to be a watchdog and a mouthpiece for women. That women in rural Africa will set the agenda on the how the education , economic, health and other sectors will improve services to all while giving priority to women. That women will participate in the decision making process by giving their their facts and opinion to those given by politicians and other opinion leaders.

When journalism effectively plays the role of a watch dog and a mouthpiece for improving social status from the individual level's perspective, then the same can translate to the community and to the global arena.

Jacqueline Patiño
Jun 06, 2009
Jun 06, 2009

Dear Crristi:

To tell you the truth, I have never stopped to think why the world needs journalism. To me it is something so natural. I mean, it is like it always existed: people have been very natural at telling the news of one another ... since we don't know when. Then I think that might well be the reason why the world needs journalism, because when the chatting at personal level is not enough, journalism expands our horizon to revealing other ideas, action, work, sports, fashion, lifestyles, beliefs, politics, ... everything, a whole new vision, brought to us through the pen of a writer, the eyes of a photographer, the words of a broadcaster or the video of a TV host. The world needed the expansion of the chatting, this was the birth of public opinion, which is the main reason for journalism to be alive: synergy of the public opinion and how it molds our everyday life in all fronts.

As for my community, without journalism it would be even duller, imagine that! It is dull right now because our journalism has not expanded our visions yet, it has not taken over the waves of public opinion. That is why my community, being small as it is, needs journalism.

I need journalism because I have hushed for too long. Through Pulse Wire I have found a good way to connect with an audience. This is what makes the writing here so worthwhile for me: the connection with women, my favorite audience. I need journalism, then, because I feel the need to be connected with the feminine community.

All in all, the three parts of the question, why does the world need journalism, why does my community need it, and why do I need it, are related through a common blood bond: journalism is made by journalists, or otherwise said, people who don’t just play the music of the news, they interpret this music, through their own feelings, knowledge and backgrounds. We need to thank the people who become journalists and interpret the news wisely enough to make our world better, story after story.

malayapinas
Jun 07, 2009
Jun 07, 2009

Dearest Cristi,

I felt so privileged and honored to be together with you in our journey of making journalism, a journalism of the marginalized people of the world especially women and children of our times. I never thought I could reached this far! Being in the world of social activism and feminism, I always admired journalist who take courage to say and write the truth about social realities and about women and children. I always love reading articles that inspired me to continue my passion of serving the poor, of raising the voice of the majority, no matter what the cost. Such beautiful articles always bring me to higher heights of my advocacy for social change. My admiration for journalists who writes passionately always rings a bell to my desire to be one of them. But I laughed and said no to myself because; I felt I’m not capable of being one. I’m not equipped with words and language that can move readers. As I always thought, my writing is only for my personal journal, besides, I don’t have much time to dwell on writing and there are people who are inclined to do such kind of work.

But, I’m always confronted and challenged by situation about the lack of journalists who are truly speaking and writing for the people and for women of the lower strata of our society. Here in the Philippines. the mainstream media institutions are owned by big business and they are so powerful in controlling and molding public opinion in favor of the status quo. They are meant to be the mouthpiece of the ruling elite promoting decadent culture of sex and violence such as commercialization of women; perpetuation of the culture of passivity and colonial mentality. They are meant to promote the interest of big business (both local and foreign) and local beaurucrats in governance through paid advertisement and paid journalists. .

We can only count by our fingers, media institutions and journalists who are sympathetic to the people’s cry for justice and social change but they are being met by strict censorship, threat of possible shut down, charges of libel cases and worse being killed. Killings of journalists have been a continuing phenomenon. The Philippines even surpassed Iraq as the most dangerous country for journalists in 2006. As of December 8, 2008, according to the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) there were already 62 journalists killed under the government Of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The international media condemned such brutalities. Media repression is being intensified by the government to blind the people about realities of our country and the brutalities of the government and its armed forces to maintain political and economic power.

I believe this situation is also true to other countries around the world. The global media is dominantly of this orientation. We usually hear the voices of the prominent people like big business, big politicians and powerful governments and institutions telling their own versions of stories about the economic depression, the US led war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US global war on terror and the violence it played using local mercenaries and local elites to defeat people’s resistance and nationalist governments, the 47 years of US economic sanction of Cuba, global climate change, and countless more. They are armed with media personnel and journalists in full geared trumpeting their victories and glories in defeating terrorists and communists. The world seldom hear stories of ordinary women and men, the victims of the economic recession caused by the globalization policies of GATT-WTO and the countless bodies of women and children as collateral damage by the global war on terror. The global empowering voices of women raising to heavens shouting No to WAR, NO to Globalization, NO to Violence against Women and Children, NO to GATT/WTO are being downplayed and are hyped as threat to international and national security.

These are the reasons I think, why the world, my community and me needs journalism. But a kind of journalism that does not only reports, analyzes, interpret events but a true journalism that speaks peace, justice, freedom, economic prosperity, and genuine development for the marginalized people and the most vulnerable sectors of society the women and children. A kind of journalism that enlightened those whom were blinded by the forces of monopoly capital and huge profit, a kind of journalism that connect people and women to stand firm and act for the social equality, gender equality, economic equality and environmental justice. We need a kind of journalism whose language can be understood by common folks in rural and urban communities against the language of journalism that only few can understand and appreciate; a journalism that echoes the heartbeats and pulse of struggling women in developing countries . Without this kind of journalism, the world will continue to be a paradise for those 10% who are rich, famous and powerful and a continued nightmare for those 70% frail workers and farmers who labored so much and produce goods and services for human consumption yet hungry and dying; the unrecognized and unheard voices of marginalized women who maintain and ensure the perpetuation of human race yet unprotected and abused and the innocent children that will inherit the world without the promise of a bright future.

Thus, we need to bring and harness more journalists of this kind on the line, journalists who know the art of bringing people together and bringing women voices together in making our dreams a reality . Giving birth to VOF program is such a great breakthrough in heeding this call. I proudly count myself in because the world urgently needs women journalists of this kind and I just can't turn my back to our people and to our children.

Khushbu
Jun 07, 2009
Jun 07, 2009

Dear Christi and correspondents

I have been thinking about our first discussion topic. I actually agree with everything that my fellow correspondents have written. We certainly need journalism for every reason mentioned already. However, to be specific in my own way, I try to answer nevertheless.

I am not a journalist myself, but I am getting close to becoming one through WorldPulse. I firmly believe that it is an immensely important profession, and a journalist has to shoulder a lot of responsibility-to bring to the fore the reality. Journalism has gone a lot of change in the recent times but the primary purpose of journalism remains the same-to stimulate, educate and inform the public and to influence them to work towards improving the world. A World Economic Forum Report says that “Journalism fosters civic engagement. It provides much of the raw material for the public sphere. It is vital to help societies develop.” I strongly agree with the phrase. Without journalism, people from around the world would not be standing in solidarity with the movement of Aung Sang Su Kyi, the world would not empathize with the women of Afghanistan for the oppression they face day in and day out from the Talibans, and people would never know the struggles that women face in this part of the world because of the age old patriarchal culture. This is the reason the world needs journalism-to give a wake up call to the people and urge them to bring the change.

Coming to my country, as clichéd as it may sound, Nepal is a beautiful country, with a lot to offer, from the Himalayas to the culture, the country is rich in natural resources. However, it is sad that the country is highlighted in the International media for all the wrong reasons. It is only through journalism that the world could be showed a new and a beautiful face of the country, let them know that there is a lot more in the country than just WAR. In addition to this, the country has been suffering in the name of border conflict with neighboring country (no offence to my fellow correspondent from the neighboring country). The border areas are tense most of the times because of their supremacy. There are so many people who still think that Nepal is a part of a larger nation which it is NOT. Journalism can be used to bring to the fore the aspects of Identity crisis that the country is facing at the moment.

Journalism is equally important to my community. I belong to a community where parents start planning the marriage of daughters ever since they are born. A huge fortune is spent in their marriages. An average middle class family spends $30,000 on a wedding, which is HUGE when it comes to a country like Nepal. The dowry system is the main reason behind this. In-laws demand huge sum and the girl’s parents agree without any retaliation, they have no option after all. The main feast, in which 1000 guests are invited from both the bride’s side and the groom’s side, is completely sponsored by bride’s parents, which I think is completely unfair. Journalism could be used to raise this issue, bring awareness, and eradicate it completely.

Finally, journalism is important to me personally. I want to use journalism as a tool to vent, to show my support for my fellow beings, to let the world know of the injustices around, and to bring a positive change through the power of writing. Here, I want to quote, Niem”ller, whose poem mentioned by the journalist in Manori’s post inspires me to no end:

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me

Manori Wijesekera
Jun 07, 2009
Jun 07, 2009

Hi Cristi,

Living in Sri Lanka, where media oppression is the norm that’s actively supported by the state, the question you raise is one that many journalists ask themselves daily.

Journalism, in its ideal form, is supposed to provide unbiased, objective and factual information on an issue. But unfortunately, I don’t see this anymore. Whether in print, TV or online, journalistic content is mostly pro this or anti-that, biased in favour of some dogma or political stance. I miss reading or watching a journalistic product which simply informs me, and doesnt try to make up my mind for me!

A long-time sub editor at the first newspaper where I worked told me that a journalist’s job was to “hold up a mirror to society”. I’ve since heard many other viewpoints on what a journalist should be, or should do. But I often find myself coming back to this simple advice.

This is where citizen journalism differs from professional journalism. Citizen journalists are expected to be biased, passionate about their viewpoint, and driven by personal experiences.

In Sri Lanka, we didn’t have too many citizen journalists until around 3-4 years ago when there’s been a surge in bloggers and individuals wanting to have their voice heard. So, as professional journalists were being forced to still their pens and turn off their cameras on sensitive subjects, the bloggers were out there having their say.

I think the world needs both kinds of journalists, because the more voices we hear, the more we get to know an issue from all aspects, the better our understanding and hopefully the more meaningful our response. Citizen journalism also allow us to understand things as they are, without being filtered through experts or studies.

Sri Lanka desperately needs a thriving, free, responsible journalism. With the possibility of real peace in our generation, journalists can begin raising issues, start driving the social justice factors that are being ignored or are being shelved in the name of compromise. Journalists have always been Sri Lanka’s last hope for truth, and I hope this will always continue.

Journalism offers me an opportunity to have my say. Sometimes in a subdued, professional tone. But now, through WorldPulse, more passionately, more honestly and more intimately.

There are probably few professions where you could be killed for what you do (see my posting to the group on the recent murder of a much loved Sri Lankan editor, Lasantha Wickrematunge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lasantha_Wickramatunge). And while many of us will not be called on to make such sacrifices, I think we also need to understand the responsibility to truth, the higher calling of conscience, and perhaps of civic responsibility, that underlies the world of journalism.

I, for one, couldn’t do without it!

Manori

ThePressInstitute
Jun 07, 2009
Jun 07, 2009

Manori, Your insights are powerful. I agree with you that the world needs both kinds of journalism -- citizen and traditional. At The Press Institute, I believe in teaching strong, human centered reporting and writing tactics. One of the first definitions you all read in this weeks' learning material was a definition of objectivity. I think we can all agree that objectivity, in its ideal form, does not exist. Every person has a unique lens through witch they see the world. We all have deep belief, opinions and experiences that shape and mold our version of reality. So, as journalists, we must reframe our thinking about objectivity. I submit to you this definition -- A reporter's objectivity means that she is willing to be honest with herself about her deepest beliefs, biases and fears. And then, she must actively work against herself in the field to ensure that she is fair-minded in her interviews and writing. I'll give you an example -- One of The Press Institute's correspondents in Nepal has very strong beliefs about abortion. She believed abortion is murder and any woman who would have an abortion is a sinner who is going to hell. As her reporting skills blossomed, I suggested she write an article about abortion in her community. (Keep in mind, most Press Institute coverage differs from WorldPulse coverage in that it does not seek to present the viewpoint of the reporter.) So, she went out to do some initial reporting and came back in only a couple of hours. "I can't do it, Cristi," she told me. "I want to, but I don't think I can." I tried to explain to her that writing a story about the realities (plural) of abortion in Nepal did not mean that she was giving up a belief. But there are so many women in Nepal who only have access to terrible health care that maternal mortality rates are soaring and women who seek out abortions often die because they are forced to go to clandestine providers that use archaic and often deadly remedies. This is what I told her: "The truth is, no one is in favor of abortion. I'm not. You are not. It is a terrible thing, no matter what you believe. But the bottom line is this -- it happens. And it is our job to shine some light on things like clandestine abortion which are killing thousands of women in your country every year. Go. Go and find a woman who is willing to tell you her story of abortion. You will learn a lot from each other. Go. Go and find a midwife who provides clandestine abortions. You will learn a lot from each other. Go. Go and find a doctor and a politician who radically oppose abortion. You will learn a lot from them. When you are finished talking and listening and learning you will write a story that brings together every view of this important issue. You might not change anyone's opinion, even your own, but you will shine light on an issues that sits quietly, in darkness in your community. That is your job."

You can find the link to read her story on the PIWDW NewsWire here:http://piwdw.org/news/nepal/despite_legalization_clandesti/index.html

ThePressInstitute
Jun 07, 2009
Jun 07, 2009

Thank you to everyone who responded so thoughtfully and gracefully to this week's discussion questions. I look forward to more of your posts! I am humbled by your strength and courage and honored to be a part of your journey! Cristi

Sunita Basnet
Jun 08, 2009
Jun 08, 2009

Dear Cristi and Correspondents Being Nepalese and coming from the remote village to this stage where even a boy hasn't leave a village for his study. I believe, somehow I understand the problems of our country.These are my thoughts for the need of the Journalism.

Journalism is a way to provide information through the media. I believe, only the journalist will be able to speak about the truth and discrimination of their community in every situation. Furthermore, they will help to encourage people and provide information to aware people in order to bring equality and peace in the country. Gradually, it will help to make the world a better place to live in.

Comparing to other developed communities, Nepal is developing. For effective and swift progress, Nepal needs to know more about the world so that Nepalese can learn from developed countries people’s work. Nepal need journalist to make people aware of global issues such as women trafficking, gender discrimination, HIV/AIDS. Further, there are many other problems like poverty, corruption and human right violence. Journalist have to aware people to diminish those issues because people careless about it, until they face themselves. People are curious to learn about things happening around the world so journalism is an effective media to satisfy their need

Moreover, I believe that the world needs my voice to know about my community. It will help exchange the information and bring change in our community. Journalism is a way to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s a forum where global issues are discussing as global community.

People believe that journalists can give the enough information about things they are curious. Hence, people are ready to pay attention to them. As a result, when journalists talk about global issues, people give their interest towards them. Therefore, it is the best way to make people aware of global issues and their solutions. It also helps to make people aware of their rights.

Anjana
Jun 07, 2009
Jun 07, 2009

Dear all,

All the thoughts and perspectives are well articulated and I am glad to learn the perspectives of my dear friends. As for me journalism is access to the information of the world. But the journalism in the least developed countries are just taken as a profession not for providing information. Moreover media is regarded as the fourth part of the nation, so it is essential that journalist cover the unbaised stories, following the ethics of journalism. Journalism is essential as it is the window to the world and in this era of globalization we cannot stay aloof from the rest of the world. We can learn and unlearn many things from the information provided by journalists. But in LDCs as media are regulated by the political parties it is difficult to access the true nature of the story covered. There is no doubt the journalism is required for the world, community and country but the journalism should be unbiased as well so that the people accessing those information get the accurate information.

Everybody needs journalism as they provide a platform for everyone for us to speak up. The reader's page in a newspaper, magazine or your voice in the television provides us to put our insights, views in the wider area. Journalism helps us to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves but it is upto us to speak for them without tampering their views. Besides I need journalism as it provides me a platform to share my thoughts and get information about others. I get to know from the people who have similar dreams like mine and get to learn from their experience and move one step ahead to achieve my goals in life. Likewise, the concept of citizen journalism has provided us the platform to get information and share what we see, feel in our everyday life.

As we say media is the fourth organ of the state, it obviously has greater value to every citizen of the world, without media/ journalism we would not have met all the friends here in Pulsewire, so journalism is important for those who can read and write and to those who cannot because journalism speaks for all of us.

Dando Mugara
Jun 08, 2009
Jun 08, 2009

Journalism is such an interesting field and am very glad to have such an opportunity as this to learn and write about it.

No one can say, I don’t need journalism! I need journalism, my neighbor it, our community needs it, our society needs it, our country needs it as well as our continent together with the entire world.

Journalism is an eye opener to the public and it creates an atmosphere of consciousness. I will define it as the means by which information is gathered, assembled and disseminated to an individual, community and the world at large.

Journalism is all about information, without information, we perish. We need Journalism because it is a sharp tool which unveils the hidden truth to light, It is an eye opener and enables the illiterate together with the vulnerable in society to know their rights and speak up. It enables an individual, community and the entire global to make concrete and better decision. I, the community and the world need journalism for exact, clear and accurate information, journalism enables us to be aware of what is happening around us and puts us in a position to react or to prepare adequately, for example when there is an out break of a disease say swine flue, the world will be informed and people will put appropriate prevention measures in place. It is not just an instrument which tries to bind and unite the world but through Journalism countries affected by war, diseases and calamities receive aid. This is normally done by the involvement of donors who through the media are informed about the events. When the media through Journalist identify a problem, it presents it to the masses through the news papers, television and other media sources, this enables people to get involved and find a solution to the problem. Hence Journalism can also be said as advocate, since it represents the masses and hence influences the leaders to act according to the needs of the people When the community understand that there is a problem through the media, they will try to find a solution or speak out so that the relevant people in authority intervene, when the people in mazyopa compound were displaced, the media brought it on air, and continued speaking about it through interviewing relevant people in authority, hence the government found land for some of the displaced people. Although others are still living in tents, but the talks are still taking place. Journalism promote accountability and transparent, for instance one man spoke through the media against a minister who abused power in office, Then many more people started speaking about the same issue until the minister was ordered to step down and still facing charges, corruption is also reduced and this promotes development.

It gathers information from remote rural areas to urban areas, and does not discriminate or speak against any one, by so doing the governments are reminded of the promises that they have not yet fulfilled.

We need journalism because it promotes development, staring from myself, to the community and finally reaches to the world. In conclusion According to Dereje Amere,(2005) journalism is indeed a great field and mirror, which reflects the image of any given society’s life. The purer the mirror the clearer the reflection will be.

Regards Dando

Busayo Obisakin
Jun 08, 2009
Jun 08, 2009

Hi Everybody, Journalism is gathering, evaluating and distributing of fact of current interest.With the technological advance, journalism came to include other media such as radio, documentary, films,television and internet.With the explosion of web publishing, suddenly there are many more voices reporting information which means more ideas, viewpoints, interpretations and opinions are available to the public.The result of these being a better informed world, one where no centralized entity can control what others can learn.One of the major advantage of journalism in the on-line world especially those that focus on cultural criticism and debate is the kind of opportunity for feedback and intellectual stimulation. Others are reaching a wider audience,expanding their news coverage and interacting with readers in a more dynamic way. The world, community and individuals needs compassion, fairness and objectivity. Only journalism could provide all these things because in journalism, you dont just talk you talk facts and the truth. Journalism gives voice to the vioceless, hold the powerful accontable for their actions and make your community a better place. Jounalism sentizized people on what is happening around the world, it seek the truth and report the absolute truth and people are aware of the effect of what is happening on them and how they can protect themselves if it is something harmful. Journalism influence people to take action and understand issue, what some people may not want people to know, the information the citizens needed to be free, to make rational choices to hold government and authority accountable, to unmask corruption to flush out wrong doing, they know them through journalism. We need news to live our lives to protect ourselves, bond with each other, identify friends and enemies. This is why jounalism must not subsumed, it must not be allowed to be controlled by governments. Journalism is what what we need to free ourselves from oppression that is the order of the day all over the world. It kept us well informed.On the issue of women that research shows that only 10 out of 100 knows that they should have equal right and opportunity as their male counterpart. This is because of ignorance, It is only through journalism we will be able to educate these ones, the struggles will reach nowhere without journalism. I was in a forum last week, there was a discussion on what is it that women really want. I stood up and begin to tell them that all we are asking is that the same opportunity given to the men be given to us, if there are ten men in the senate let there be ten women and so on, we have been talking of 30% in Nigeria for long, The 30% is even on paper, we have not been implementing it. Infact now we want 50% and which must be implemented. You cannot beelieve it as i was talking some women have started saying they dont think it will be possible. We need to use the opportunity of journalism to keep ourselves well informed. As i learn here in PulseWire i have decided that at every opportunity the campaign flag must be flying through me . I have started doing it , in the church, in my neighbourhood, at work, in the market and at every oppotunity, i keep on educating women on what is their rights and the men to know that the time have come women ministry is no more limited to the kitchen and the bedroom. The kitchen and the bedroom belong to both of us and so also all other things socially, politically, economically etc belong to both of us. Through journalism, i have become a powerful voice in my community and as i live and my soul liveth, i will continue to be.

Thanks Cristi for this oppotunity

Warm Regards Busayo

Ayobami Olusola
Jun 08, 2009
Jun 08, 2009

Dear Cristi and everyone, This morning I went to a ladies hostel here in Ife, as I was entering into the hall, there was a commotion outside. I turned and opposite the hostel a little boy of about six years was being chased by a a small mob. Apparently, the boy had snatched a phone and was running away with it. The little boy was caught by a man. I watched as the man grabbed this boy and imagined that perhaps the child would struggle, instead he held on tightly to his captors waist as they walked back into the crowd. Behind me, a debate started about what should be done to the boy, some felt he should be released and others believed that he should be given 'maximum shi shi' (thorough beating) as a deterrent. I thought that the best thing would be for the boy to be rehabilitated. If he were released, who knew what had driven him to steal at a time he should have been in school, surely that same thing would be waitin g for him. On the other had, if he was beaten what would that acheive? Scar him for life perhaps? Why does the world need journalism? Journalism not only proovides us with information but helps and in many instances challenges us to process such information, it provides an avenue for questions to be asked, for different opinions to be considered and for us to make the best decisions from the options available. I do not know if the solution I thought up to this morning's incident was the best available option. However, journalism affords the avenue to look at this situation from different perspectives before an individual or a people reach their individual or collective conclusions. This is applicable world over because I think that all over the world, situations arise daily that require us to as Cristi says 'ask bold questions, seek hard truths...' I think that because change is so constant in human society, this will always be so. There will be issues that need to be thought out and processed. My community need journalism desperately for a number of reasons. Journalism, this ability to at least voice out our opinion is I think one of the things that still gives us a feeling of power, that we do matter in the political scheme of things, that things are actually changing and that things can really get better after all. This is because the power to vote has been snatched through the mass rigging that is the hallmark of most elections. For now, in that area there is little the general populace can do. However, we can speak, this speaking is not without its risks but we continue to speak. I call it a form of therapy, it is painfully comforting after an election to watch/listen to talk shows where people call in to discuss how they were not allowed to vote or ballot boxes were snatched from their polling centres or how there was no election in their ward and the results for the ward had been announced. This is painful for obvious reasons,however it is comforting because this is a country where as child I was given firm instructions NEVER to talk about the then military government whose leader died today 10 years ago outside the house. This new (though limited) freedom is one that we are still yet to fully harness as a medium of change We need journalism because it is a poweful weapon, perhaps the only leverage available to the people in this kind of political climate. Nigeria also needs journalism because like Khusbu said about Nepal, this country and her people are often portrayed in the worst possible light by many international media houses.We need journalism because important that we as Kachifo, a publishing house in Lagos puts it tell our own stories. I agree that there are negatives but there is more to a people than what those on the outside can see, there is the resilent spirit in Nigerian that has kept us this far. I believe that through journalism, this country can create her own identity instead of wearing a label from elsewhere,. I need journalism because of my need to be informed and to also speak out. i need journalism on two levels. I need to be on the receiving end, to access information and to rub minds with others. I need to be the "giver" also because I have something to say, to bring to the table that will influence the world. I need journalism because of the boy i saw this morning, because he cannot tell his story and perhaps I could help him to, because I can help bring together and objectively examine the solutions proferred at hostel this morning and because journalism could make a difference in that young child's life. He was not beaten, but was allowed to leave almost immediately and disappeared before I could reach him. Perhaps next time. much Love Olakitike

LUZ MARINA JARAMILLO
Jun 09, 2009
Jun 09, 2009
EL periodista es un testigo de excepción del diario acontecer de una sociedad, es un comunicador, un observador que atrapa la realidad cotidiana y la vuelca en noticias. Registra, documenta,analiza, observa los hechos y sucesos y los transmite, los convierte en noticias. Logra, así, un registro histórico del diario vivir de una sociedad en lo político, económico, cultural, social, cotidiano. Casí que podría decirse que es el periodista un observador, ojalá imparcial, de la rápida y vertiginosa dinámica de una comunidad en todos sus ordenes y niveles. Así capta, registra, informa, comunica, de tal manera que está con su oficio documentando, registrando, atrapando, conservando, la tradición oral, ese voz a voz de una comunidad, es el gramófono, portavoz, altoparlante, es la lente que atrapa los sucesos que se suceden en el diario vivir y que gracias al trabajo del periodista se rescatan del olvido. Los registra, así, en un periódico local, en una noticia, en una revista. Recoge las opiniones de personalidades, políticos, artistas, ejecutores y las atrapa, y al volcarlas en una hoja de papel, en un medio de comunicación, las salva de la extinción, las arrebata al olvido y las convierte en espacios noticiosos, entrevistas, reportajes, columnas de opinión, editoriales...

Abre espacios de reflexión y propicia el intercambio de opiniones alrededor de un tema. Su ojo educado le permite ver y captar lo que otros no ven y vuelca en palabras esa rápida dinámica de una sociedad. Por eso es tan importante el aporte del Periodismo en nuestra vida, porque registra toda el palpitar de una sociedad que de otra manera se perdería en la bruma del tiempo, en el vertiginoso correr del tiempo. Su lente atrapa esa realidad, la detiene, para contarla a los demás y abrir, así, espacios de reflexión.

En las catástrofes naturales no solamente informa, avisa del peligro, propicia la colaboración de todos, fomenta la solidaridad. Por esto a un periodista deben animarlo nobles ideales, su juicio debe ser veraz, equilibrado, justo y certero... puro ha de ser su corazón. Es un mensajero de buena fé que debe tener la transparencia de aquellas palomas mensajeras que en tiempos antiguos llevaban las noticias a sitios remotos...ese debe ser su código de honor, su sentido ético, para que en verdad aporte en la búsqueda de un mundo mejor.

En mi sentir está ese deseo de comunicar, de expresar, de transmitir lo que ha diario se observa en el transcurso de la propia vida.... Gracias Cristi, por permitirnos expresarnos y por guiarnos en este hermoso oficio...

LUZ MARINA JARAMILLO
Jun 09, 2009
Jun 09, 2009

Disculpenme, debo hacer una corrección, en el último párrafo debe leerse: ... "lo que a diario se observa".... (sin "h")

ThePressInstitute
Jun 09, 2009
Jun 09, 2009

Adoro sus ideas y la pasión para el periodismo! Usted es correcto cuando usted dice que un periodista debe tener un puro corazón. Aplaudo su valor y la dignidad que usted traerá a su nueva profesión. Gracias por todo! Cristi

Cristina Quisbert
Jun 09, 2009
Jun 09, 2009

There is such a variety of cultures and peoples but many times we don´t know about them. I think journalism has that important role to canalize information about the diversity of situations that develop in each city, country, continent. Those cultures and peoples have differents visions and value and through journalism we could know about each other. Our mother Earth is changing and we could know about, how, when, where those changes are happening.

I live in an indigenous aymara region. In October 2003 in El Alto citizenship were protesting against the policy of the government, a strike was declared and government sent soldiers to El Alto, during those terrible days more than fifty people from the different neighborhoods were killed, more than 100 people were injured. Interviews, photograhps and a lot of information was collected , part of which is now being used in order to sue the authorites that caused that damage. I think it is important to develop a kind of journalism that instead of using information to improve ratings, could reflect realities hidden in the anonimity. I think in general indigenous communities have a lot to share in relation to the use of natural resources in our mother earth, which is something really important for our lives, but that type of information is not covered.

I need journalism because I need to know what happens in the world and because I need to share with the world events from the rural and urban events within this indigenous area.

Gifty Pearl Correspondent
Jun 11, 2009
Jun 11, 2009

Hello Cristi, I am happy to share "maadwen"( my thoughts /perspectives) on the need for Journalism. I have had the opportunity to be involved in some journalism being a member of a media youth adocacy group in my country and through out these years, this is the single opportunity i have had to share the importance of Journalism in the world, one's community and oneself. This opportunity therefore means alot to me and of course to the world that is listening!

Why the World need Journalism The world need to be informed, educated and entertained hence the need for Journalism. Information I and education are both powerful tools for self, national and international development. There are so many political, socio-cultural, educational etc happenings, events, scenes every passing minute in a particular part or corner of the world that the world need to be informed about. The world is fast evolving-every day there are new Scientific, technological and self discoveries that need to be shared with the world and its people. As people are being informed actions are taken for justice, peace, development. As the world are being educated minds are being opened, perceptions, theories etc are being challenged. Through Journalism the world learns from each other and shares thoughts, ideas,skills etc.

Why my community need Journalism? My community is part of the world and hence it need to be informed and educated. My community needs to be connected. People’s voices need to be heard about issues that affect them. People need to be informed about issues and happenings in the world. People need to be given the opportunity to get their voices heard or amplified through Journalism.

Why need Journalism As an individual, I need to be educated, informed and entertained and so I need journalism. I need to know what is happening daily, weekly and monthly in another corner or part of the world. My eyes need to be opened; my ears need to be fed with the noise, voice and cries of the world so that I can respond. Through Journalism I can speak out and help others speak out. I can advocate for other people because I believe in and stand for fairness, justice development. Through Journalism, I can speak out and make my voice heard on issues that I am passionate about, issues that affect me as a woman, I can also advocate for situations, circumstances and systems that do not favour woman .For me Journalism is a school that teaches, equips one with unique skills, opens the eyes , the heart , and the mind than any other classroom. With Journalism I am confident that i can change the world with my words, stories and my thoughts. I can challenge perceptions, educate people and inform the world. I can make the world a better place than I met it. I strongly believe that I need journalism as long as I live and believe in contributing to a world fit for children and women and empowering women. Everyone else needs journalism whether people have access to the medium of journalism or not.

Gifty

Halima Rahman
Jun 12, 2009
Jun 12, 2009

Why do we need journalism?

Dear Cristi, Dear all,

Before answering this question let me put it this way:

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THERE WAS NO JOURNALISM?

What will happen if one wakes up one morning and discovers that all modern means of communication worldwide have gone or were not functioning any more? The radio, television, press, magazines, blogs, and telephones all had gone. Nothing but silence simulates the silence of the graveyard.

I can't imagine starting my day without switching the television on, listening to the radio, reading newspapers or browsing the internet. However, this giant industry is based on advanced technology and expert journalists who make the news reach me in no time. Eight seconds is the amount of time it takes between clicking on the submit button and having it displayed in front of my bifocal glasses.

Journalism is the art of gathering, verifying, disseminating, promoting and mirroring reliable information, to citizenry worldwide. It is a highly skilled profession, where journalists use special talents and adhere to common standards called code of ethics. In fact free press is the oxygen of democracy and its second leg, its presence or absence in a given society is an indicator of a prevailing regime.

The main objective of the press exceeds the daily highlighting of citizens, to providing a platform to the voiceless and to help in community building and development.

I am envious of American journalists because their country is the one that included the freedom of speech in the constitution. At the same time journalism in the developed world goes beyond that to assuming the role of guarding, protecting and monitoring the activities of political and judicial branches, thus ensuring the ruling minority respects the rights of the ruled majority.

This in contrary to the situation in under developed countries where totalitarian regimes seek to reverse the verse and push the press to mirror to the public their own 'face', otherwise facts can become a "risk" and journalists have to check every morning whether their heads are still between their shoulders or not. Four years ago a Sudanese famous journalist was kidnapped and beheaded in compensation for exceeding the red lines many times.

In the discussion of context of journalism, we must not fail to stop a while at the mention of great pioneering men who had laid the foundation stone and shouldered the advancement of this profession since the early stages in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries up to the Millennium, where it has reached its current status: Thomas Paine, Samuel Adams Joseph PULLITZER, etc,.

We must acknowledge and appreciate the role played by Pulse Word Website for its genuine unprecedented idea of empowering women. Under umbrella of the Web blossoms the logo "NO ONE SPEAK FOR ME, I SPEAK FOR MYSELF", which constitutes an innovation in citizen journalism. Thirty correspondents form more than twenty countries have been selected through tough contests, will be trained and qualified to make the message of woman's empowerment a reality.

This however, shows that the task of Journalism is to cover all angles of people, whether living in palaces or huts. People throughout the world became interconnected and have strong bonds and common interest pertaining to news publishing-related items. At the heart of this "fourth Estate" is a large group of experts shouldering the task of covering various capacities worldwide: reporter, writers, correspondents, commentators, editors, editors in chief, managing-editors, news writers, photojournalists, cartoonists. Print media and broadcast are the most famous branches of journalism.

We must take into account that media has affected some conservative societies and pushed them to accept facts and change. Some become more opened as in the case of the Sudanese society that admitted the existence of "slight violations of human rights" as in the case of the Sudanese authority. They admitted to more than 300,000 killing of civilians and rape in western Sudan, restating their previous claim of only 10,000.

It is well known that locally directed media plays a significant role in societies. This can help through monitoring, sensitizing, criticizing and providing substitutes that speed up cancellation of some harmful practices that jeopardize people's lives. Local media supports dialogue and communication between tribes and contributes to the reduction of tribal tensions. It helps them find solutions to challenges facing locals and hindering development.

WHY DOES YOUR COMMUNITY NEED JOURNALISM?

My community is much different. I am from a vast country, characterized by diverse ethnicity, religions and features. Poverty, environmental deterioration, uneven development, corruption, political system, civil war (more than 40 years of blood shedding), tribal tensions, high birth rate (six children per woman according to the (2008)Sudan National census. High illiteracy rate, rising domestic violence, etc, have engendered mass internal migration and displacements towards urban centers. Women and children are the most affected by the new environment.

I tackled the issue of this group living at the outskirts of the urban centers, striving to force their way in life at the following link.(http://www.worldpulse.com/node/9334)

The situation of women varies from liberation to total submission. When in parts of the Sudan, they are chiefs of tribes, in others they are inherited by husband's relatives when widowed. This is due, in part, to lack of education and development.

The core of the problem is to push the targeted group to question their traditions and push them to seek self empowerment either through education or economic independence.

It is not only traditions that are to blame for denying woman the right to education. An un-even development, famines, war, migration, etc, are major factors that cast a dark shadow on women's presence and impede their future development.

Bringing change doesn't happen overnight especially in some parts of my community where the institution of widow inheritance is still prevalent. This requires the initiation of organized media campaigns with the purpose of highlighting, sensitizing and empowering the targeted groups over a long term.

Having a connection world-wide plays a great role in demolishing barriers and getting people connected. Without the support of journalism, how can the world get knowledge about the inhuman situations in which people are living under the shelling of mortars, in the war-torn region of Darfur and in the western part of Sudan.

Why do you need journalism?

Digging in the heart of community's problems and help people find their way, is a feeling beyond expression, especially in my case.

Thanks to the revolution of technology, anyone who possesses a computer can have access to the internet and establish their own website or blog. Depending on the location where they live, they can disseminate information even ahead of outstanding houses for printing and publishing of the largest media organization. But whether these efforts are acknowledged or not, the emergence of the citizen journalist makes the role of the press more important than ever. Since we live in a complicated world of the Third Millennium information is no longer a rare commodity.

I am not new to the field of blogging; I don't know when first I conceived the idea, or which force has driven me that way, but once I started journalism it haunted me day and night. In 2001, I was unemployed, hard up and recently gave birth to my 3rd child. I established my website, which I gave my full name: (http://www.halima.8m.net) Six years later, still unemployed, I established my blog: (http://www.blogs.albawaba.com/halimam)

Strong, Objective, curious, "unbiased", adaptable to changing situation or work tension, and love to work in a team, this is me. I am Passionate about discovering new things. I am quite convinced that there are societies who need to be focused from a different angle, for many truths are still waiting to be uncovered, many stories need to be recalled and there is a window still overlooking women waiting to open wide.