Journalism, the collection and periodical dissemination of current news and events, or, more strictly, the business of managing, editing, or writing for journals, or newspapers, the broadcast media, or, more and more, online audiences. Despite the increasing importance of online Web sites, the daily newspaper is still considered a basic news medium. Many journalists in broadcast media—radio and television—received their training in newspaper work. They have adapted the methods and principles of traditional journalism to the requirements of the newer media. The study of journalism is constantly changing with the advent of new technologies, and the current crop of students have access to training in everything from traditional storytelling to writing, shooting, editing, and broadcasting news and commentary in a digital environment.
There are no hard-and-fast rules separating journalism from other communications activities. Online news sites generally emphasize shorter stories and breaking news, whereas traditional magazines and newspapers may deal more with background materials. Newspapers, broadcast media, and the Internet all offer breaking news coverage, editorials, and commentary. Coverage may range far and wide in subject matter and approach. It is sometimes difficult to draw the line between news and entertainment programming in most popular media. Motion pictures overlap with the field of journalism through documentary films. See also Internet; Magazine; Motion Picture—Documentary Films; Newspaper; Radio—Radio as a Medium of Communication; Television.
Newspapers—as well as television, radio, and online news sites—not only have provided news but also have often carried on their own investigations. In a sense, they have made their own news—whether done in a responsible fashion or otherwise. News organizations have often been campaigners for a cause that they have considered just. It is frequently difficult to determine at what point objective reporting leaves off and crusading begins. Nevertheless, one point to note is the effort to achieve reliable reporting without abandonment of the right to conduct campaigns in what is regarded as the public interest.