Journalism is perhaps the most important means we have today to explore and document these unprecedented times. Journalism is a profession that involves intelligence, inquisitiveness, creativity, and persistence.

While the internet is ablaze with citizen journalists documenting what’s happening on the ground, a professional journalist is needed to refine the narrative. When crafting a news story, a journalist must remove personal bias and implement fairness into what they write.

However, some news-related stories are intended to portray the writer’s personal opinion. Opinion pieces are often written by regular columnists or are placed in an “Op-ed” section. Feature stories, hard news, and breaking news should remove any personal opinion from the story, and only present the facts.

A student of journalism masters many sub-genres, including advocacy journalism, tabloid journalism, broadcast journalism, gonzo journalism, investigative journalism, photojournalism, and much more. In essence, journalism exists to record history, as it is happening.

The profession is considered the “fourth estate”, due to its expressed advocacy and ability to frame political issues. While journalism is not implicitly a part of the political structure, it exerts a significant amount of social influence. To be a journalist is to be an influential member of society, able to sway public opinion with their words.

Professional and ethical standards in journalism include accuracy, truthfulness, impartiality, objectivity, fairness, and public accountability. All journalists should strive to uphold these values, especially in this era of division and controversy.

Earn a Journalism master’s degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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