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The Professionalism of Journalism

The Professionalism of Journalism

Write 300 words about the professionalism of journalism using the information attached to the order.

The Professionalism of Journalism

Breit (2011) views a profession as an occupation which has assumed a dominant position
in the marketplace and therefore it gains control on the determination and substance of its own
work. Sometimes, a profession is defined in terms of the traits it reveals, such as applying
specialized knowledge to certain kinds of work, exercising some levels of autonomy and
governance, wielding power, portraying oneself as valuable to the society as a whole and to
those using professional services, and adopting a formal education process through a tertiary or
university level institution.

Although media production is not currently under a single professional body, it can also
be regarded as structured in the same way as PR, journalism and law. Journalists are
professionals because they relay information, opinions and ideas. They aim at searching,
disclosing, recording, questioning, entertaining, suggesting and remembering. Journalists give a
practical form of freedom of expression. While most journalists work in private enterprise, all of
them have these public responsibilities. Thus, one thing that defines communication media
practices as professions is the call to a higher, moral, ethical function. However, due to the fact
that a lot of journalist material is supplied by PR firms, it is usually the case that journalists need
to deflect criticism that their resources are less objective, leading to the competition between
journalists and PR people. This detracts from professional legitimacy (Breit, 2011).

To promote a sense of professional practice in journalism, it would be important to shift
the pre-training for communication media practices into universities, as has happened with
nursing. The compulsory teaching of such courses as Media, Law, Ethics is another signal that

professional standards are being taught. However, as Breit (2011) points out, communication
media practices cannot be fully likened to engineering or medicine in regard to an objective set
of methods.



Breit, R. (2011). Professional Communication: Legal and Ethical Issues, 2 nd ed. Lexis Nexis,
Butterworths: Australia.

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