Save journalism - to what end?

Tobie Wiese


I was given a rather sexy heading – 'Forget the rhino, save journalism' – under which to say a few words. I would agree with the assumption that both are under threat, but while most people will have a natural inclination to save an endangered animal I’m not so sure about how many will stand up for the survival of journalism. After all, why do we need journalism? And secondly, it seems to me that much of the woes that journalism is going through at present are self-inflicted.
It is often said, also in these turbulent economic times, that when America sneezes, the world gets a cough. It would therefore not be inappropriate to look at some of the cures that have been offered for the condition of journalism in the United States, because many of the trends that first manifested there have already made themselves felt here. To this end I will rely largely on, and refer to, work of the Committee of Concerned Journalists (CCJ), as it has been recorded by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, in The Elements of Journalism.

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