Are Journalists Capable of Self-Reflectiveness?
It is an already well-established fact that today mass media has an outstanding influence on its audiences, so that the whole world views that we hold may be to a large degree instilled in us by opinions heard on TV, or read in printed media. In this situation, the role of people who are behind the mass media industry becomes very important. Journalists belong to this category of influential occupations in mass media, so the article by Brian Cathcart “Trust us. We’re journalists” is interesting already because it helps us develop a somewhat unconventional view of their involvement into the approaches of mass media to the depiction of our everyday reality. More specifically, the author highlights the fact that nowadays journalism is perceived by many as an accusatory voice directed at the wrongs and evils of our society. With this power at their hands, however, most journalists seem to be in a silent agreement to maintain taboo regarding their self-criticism, and to vehemently protect their rightfulness and alleged impeccability, which makes the author of the article wonder whether double standards are at work here and whether ethical boundaries are being defined by journalists all too often according to their own impression of them. Now, the very admission by the author, who himself is the representative of the journalistic corporation, of the possibility of such double standards is a very valuable insight for all readers, many of whom might have not been aware of the presence of such standards before. At the same time, one might equally wonder if Cathcart goes perhaps too far in his criticism, as he to a certain degree sounds similar in his tone to those ‘hypocritical’ journalists whom he denounces in the beginning of the article. All in all, this article is a thought-provoking piece of reading that most people would find to be quite a relevant commentary for the modern state of affairs in mass media.
Cathcart, Brian. “Trust us. We’re journalists”. New Statesman, 2007. Visited February 12,
2007 at http://www.newstatesman.com/200702050012.