What is the greatest threat to journalism today… that’s a pretty big question that I’m not quite sure how to answer.
There are many things that I believe pose as threats to journalism as we know it and the potential of growth that we hope for. Everything that comes to mind falls under the umbrella of undermining the credibility of journalists though.
Whether it is photographer Souvid Datta photoshopping another photographer’s work into his own photos or click driven media that really has no meat to it.
If the general public doesn’t believe a word we write, then do we even have a purpose?
When individuals, whether they are freelancers, bloggers, or apart of a news organization, go off and start changing the facts or spinning things in a particular manner just to have their name known, it takes away from what is left of the news credibility.
The public isn’t stupid, they know when stories are fabricated, they know when you are doing something just to get clicks on your website, they know and they don’t like it. Then, they generalize and lump everyone in the media field into the same category of “unreliable.”
But what can we do about it? That’s an even harder question to answer.
The main way that journalists can combat this is by doing really good work and being advocates for what we do by having the conversations of what quality journalism is and why it matters.
Show them, don’t just tell them. We have to prove ourselves and earn back the trust that has slowly slipped away. People want evidence that we are doing good work. Don’t give them a reason to go against you.