What are the Principles of Modern Journalism?

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The main function of journalism is to bring to light to the people what its members feel and think. Journalists are therefore supposed to possess a good deal of intelligence, knowledge and experience as well as natural and trained powers of observation and reasoning.

A journalist has the same obligations as a teacher or interpreter as an educationist has. A journalist who misuses his power for any selfish or unworthy purpose is faceless to a high trust. While the freedom of the press needs to be guarded as a vital right of mankind, it has to suffer certain explicit restrictions to sub-serve social needs.

Freedom of the press does not imply promotion of any private interest of the journalist contrary to the general welfare. That is why the so-called news communications from sundry sources are not published by sensible journalists without substantiating their value as, news both in form and substance.

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Also partisanship in editorial comments which is knowingly based on a lie, does violence to the best spirit of journalism.

There are certain canons of journalism which every journalist is supposed to observe:

(i) Sincerity, truthfulness and accuracy

(ii) Impartiality

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(iii) Fairplay

(iv) Decency

Even when there is no legal authority to enforce* these canons, journalism, as a profession, is supposed to put deliberate ponderings to personal instincts which may encounter effective public disapproval qr yield to the influence of a preponderant professional condemna­tion.

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