The Socially Responsible Existentialist: A Normative Emphasis for Journalists in a New Media Environment
In an open and virtually boundless media environment, old responses to the question of who is a journalist, based primarily on roles associated with the process of gathering and disseminating information, no longer apply. This article suggests a reconceptualization of the journalist based instead on normative constructs. Specifically, it advocates a blend of two competing philosophical approaches, existentialism and social responsibility theory, as well as two roughly corresponding professional norms, independence and accountability. The combination produces a “socially responsible existentialist”, a journalist who chooses to act as a trustworthy source of information that serves the public interest. That framework is applied at both a concrete level, through consideration of weblogs and the proliferation of partisan information sources, and a conceptual level, through consideration of gatekeeping and agenda-setting functions.
Jane B. Singer. "The Socially Responsible Existentialist: A Normative Emphasis for Journalists in a New Media Environment" Journalism Studies 7.1 (2006): 2-18.
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