Is all news journalism?

By Anne Myrthe Korvinus

As starting journalists, we must be aware that everything we are going to write or produce will be a contribution to society. Since, all that’s published will be on the web forever and can be traced back to you.

McQuail writes the following about the link between journalism and society:

In everyday terms, journalism refers to the activities and outcomes of those professionally engaged in collecting, analysing and publishing ‘news’. In turn, news can be defined as factual accounts and explanations of current or recent events of wider relevance to a given public, usually characterised by their geographical location (city, region, nation, etc.). But not all journalism is news.

I want to make a critical note here. Not all journalism is news? What does this refer to? Is a story about an art event news or not? Is it relevant to a wide public? I’m not sure.

And, what if we turn the question around: is all news journalism? News sites like NU.nl or the news section of AD try to keep you up-to-date with current events. Those events might interest a wide range of people in the Netherlands. But, can those messages be considered journalism? Sometimes those posts are reproductions of a press release and therefore I wonder, how is that a professionally engaged way of collecting and analyzing news? Following that reasoning, it might not be journalism according to McQuail but I have doubts. It can still be news, right? I think we must not limit ourselves by formulating definitions of journalism or news, since I feel like those definitions are constructed in society and are fluid over time.

References

  • McQuail, Denis. “What is Journalism? How is it Linked to Society?” Journalism and Society. London: Sage, 2005. 1-26.
  • https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2017/11/20/pan-is-soms-net-een-miljonairsbeurs-14124316-a1581865

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