what is journalism

With technology costs coming down and people becoming more participative, I have always wondering what and how to define what journalism actually entails. Jeff Jarvis quotes in his post on Product vs Process Journalism and I totally endorse Robert’s definition

Robert Picard writes that journalism

is not business model; it is not a job; it is not a company; it is not an industry; it is not a form of media; it is not a distribution platform. Instead, journalism is an activity. It is a body of practices by which information and knowledge is gathered, processed, and conveyed. The practices are influenced by the form of media and distribution platform, of course, as well as by financial arrangements that support the journalism. But one should not equate the two.

Another point, I strongly feel everyone (esp. India Media) should start understanding the implication of what they mean by citizen journalism. Just aggregating tweets or news bits or live reporting on the internet by people is not what I would call journalism. And the word citizen journalism with the general interpretation becomes too overloaded and loose. What is processed and how it is presented in any media at the end is what matters not how fast (not too late ;-) !) and how much (esp Indian New TV Channels).

the media tree

My sister sent a lovely story as a forward and then it made me think about the Seventh Mass Media. This made me think a good way to help people visualize evolution of media is using a family tree analogy. Let me know how you like it. My family tree is different than what the story entails but I hope this make sense.

Grand Pa (Cinema – 1900) married Grand Ma (Radio – 1910) outcame daughter (TV – 1950) with strain of Richness+Mass
Grand Pa (Print – 1400) married Grand Ma (Recording – 1800) outcame son (Internet – 1980) with Curiosity+Interactivity
Pa (Internet – 1980) married Ma (TV – 1950) outcame (Mobile – 2000)!

I would say its a bit too soon to deciding its gender and its characteristics. Lets just wait and watch :-)

The story my sister sent The Stranger

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Texas town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger…he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.
If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)
Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home… Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn’t permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular
Basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished.
He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked… And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents’ den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?…. .. .

We just call him ‘TV.’

(Note: This should be required reading for every household in America !)

He has a wife now….We call her ‘Computer.’

Their first child is “Cell Phone“.

The Seven Mass Media

  1. Print (books, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, etc) from the late 1400s
  2. Recordings (records, tapes, cassettes, cartridges, CDs, DVDs) from the late 1800s
  3. Cinema from about 1900
  4. Radio from about 1910
  5. Television from about 1950
  6. Internet from about 1990
  7. Mobile phones from about 2000