Trustworthy, reliable journalism will come if you demand it

AN INDEPENDENT, unbiased and diverse media landscape is, to me, what keeps our democratic society in check.

Without it, the voting public would be uninformed, easily persuaded and controlled by whoever has the most power and money.

As a journalism student, media is my passion and journalism a profession built upon ethics and a responsibility to serve the public.

In the digital age, consumers have unprecedented control over which forms of journalism dominate.

The mainstream media, however, is often criticised for portraying the exact opposite of these ideals. In a recent poll by Reader's Digest ranking professions by trustworthiness, Journalists ranked 42 out of a possible 50, just scraping in above salespeople, politicians and CEO's.

I find it ironic that the people that often expose politicians and CEO's for being untrustworthy are not regarded much more highly themselves.

As in any profession, there exists a minority that perhaps do not fulfil their duty statement but if you look hard enough good, purposeful journalism is abundant.

Increasingly, Australian media is dominated by two major conglomerates: Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp and Fairfax Media.

Outside of these monopolies however you enter the realm of independent journalism; journalism that primarily aims to inform and educate, rather than simply sell.

In the digital age, consumers have unprecedented control over which forms of journalism dominate.

If people support intelligent, investigative journalism it will in turn be supported by editors and publishers.

But if media consumers continue to be sucked in by trivial, celebrity "news" and sensationalised tabloid journalism, the market will continue to be proliferated by buzzfeed-esque top 10 lists and thinly veiled PR which add no meaningful discourse to society.

I implore you to think about the media you consume as it is ultimately you, the people, who will decide how modern journalism evolves.

* MATTHEW ENGLISH, 19, has lived on the Northern Rivers his whole life. He completed his schooling at Alstonville High School and is now in his second year of a journalism/arts degree at the University of Queensland.


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