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Introduction to Journalism

Journalism refers to the production and distribution of reports on recent events. The word journalism applies to the occupation (professional or not), the methods of gathering information and organising literary styles. Journalistic mediums include print, television, radio, Internet and in the past: newsreels.

Concepts of the appropriate role for journalism vary between countries. In some nations, the news media is controlled by a government intervention, and is not a fully independent body. In others, the news media is independent of the government but the profit motive is in tension with constitutional protections of freedom of the press. Access to freely available information gathered by independent and competing journalistic enterprises with transparent editorial standards can enable citizens to effectively participate in the political process. In the United States, journalism is protected by the freedom of the press clause in the First Amendment.

The role and status of journalism as well as mass media, has undergone changes over the last two decades, together with the advancement of digital technology and publication of news on the Internet. This has created a shift in the consumption of print media channels, as people increasingly consume news through e-readers, smartphones, and other electronic devices. News organizations are challenged to fully monetize their digital wing, as well as improvise on the context in which they publish news in print. Newspapers have seen print revenues sink at a faster pace than the rate of growth for digital revenues. Notably, in the American media landscape, newsrooms have reduced their staff and coverage as traditional media channels, such as television, grapple with declining audiences. For example, between 2007 and 2012, CNN edited its story packages into nearly half of their original time length.

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