Role of a journalist in the 21st century.

Lara Logan reporting in Baghdad. Photo: Chris Hondros/ Getty Images

Lara Logan reporting in Baghdad. Photo: Chris Hondros/ Getty Images

It comes as to no surprise that technology advancement has exceeded exponentially and will surpass humans in various sectors. This is especially the case for journalists working in the media industry, as technology has dramatically changed how we engage and communicate amongst an audience. However, with that said, the work of real journalism cannot simply be replaced and automated.

As pointed out by the late John A. Herbert, a former Staffordshire University journalism lecturer; the main role of a journalists is to be “disseminators of news and information, interpreters of news and information and adversaries of the newsmakers and politicians to test the case and arrive at the truth.”

These ideals of journalists acting as a ‘watchdog’ to society remains relevant within the current media landscape of the ‘post-truth’ era. With audiences connected and exposed to countless media providers, communities and influencers, it can be increasing difficult for people to determine what information is real or fake.

With so much information presented to the public, it is the role of the journalists to challenge any misinformation presented within the public sphere. This is the essence the journalistic work that needed in the public, as this principle is what sustains any democratic society from an authoritarian state.

The sense of professionalism by a journalist is indeed what differentiates from any citizen journalist or opinion leader in the public sphere. The ability to be unbiased and neutral in one’s approach to news is vital in communicating to an audience.

It is what aids in one’s decision making, particularly where we live in age of information overload. Delivering quality information to an user is a real value add, for quite often our information processing is very limited.


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  1. Source:

    Herbert, John. (2000). Journalism in the digital age: theory and practice for broadcast, print and on-line media. London: Focal Press.
    Herbert A. Simon. (1979). Information processing models of cognition. USA: Department of Psychology, Carnegie-Mellon University. (Accessed 18/03/17)

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