By Kelsey O’Connor
Journalists often work in dangerous environments under stressful timelines in hopes of getting information that the public otherwise wouldn’t have. Risking their lives for the good of the public makes these professional the “Information Heros” our modern society.
Journalism informs citizens of what they need to know in order to successfully participate in a democratic society. A world without reporters could be dangerous. The public would not know what was going on in the world. This could lead to uninformed voters. People could end up making decisions that contradict their beliefs or that negatively impact their lives. This is how journalism directly influences each and every person in the world.
According to Author of Journalism Who, What, When Where, Why and How, James Glen Stovall, the decisions that reporters help the public make range from innocent to grave. For example, listening to the weather on the radio may tell you whether or not to bring an umbrella. Yet it will also tell you what policies certain political figures favor or are against. He goes on to say, “Journalism is especially important to American society, where there is a tradition of access to information and the exchange of facts, opinions and ideas. That exchange cannot take place without journalism.”
Investigative journalism takes this dispersion of information one step further. They uncover stories that are often hidden from the public view. This video describes Investigative Journalism and its importance in our society.
Reporters are underappreciated and even sometimes even disliked. Yet without them, our ability to make informed decisions would not exist.
In 2014, Reporters without Borders published “100 Information Heroes” in honor of World Press Freedom day (May 3rd). Reporters without Borders is an international non-profit, no-governmental organization that promotes and defends the freedom of information and press. To see the complete list of reports and their stories, click the photo below.