Ivor Shapiro, the chair of the School of Journalism, was published in Taylor and Francis. PHOTO: NATALIA BALCERZAK

Prof considers definition of journalism in democratic societies

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By Hania Ahmed

Ivor Shapiro, the chair of the School of Journalism, has published a paper that considers a definition of journalism and the importance of that definition in democratic societies.

The paper, published online in Taylor and Francis on Feb. 13, talks about the fact that the profession of journalism or a journalist doesn’t have a clear cut definition attached to the word, but a functional definition of journalism, one that identifies five criteria that make up journalism, is needed for a democracy.

“Free expression and free press is essential to a democracy,” said Shapiro.

The five criteria Shapiro states as all being part of a definition of journalism are that journalism is about current events, is for the public, is accurate, is independent of propagandist influences and is original content.

Shapiro believes that a journalism like the one described above is key to informing the public, who can’t make an informed vote without the knowledge journalism brings, whether  it be basic current events or investigative journalism.

Shapiro also says that a special pass or working for a certain paper makes a person a journalist, but that journalism, especially in this age, is for everyone.

“If you are doing journalism, that’s what counts.”

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