Sunday, August 25, 2019
The role of public relations in the shaping of news Essay
The role of public relations in the shaping of news - Essay Example Since the past century, when journalism became an established and highly respected practice, journalists have helped to shape news and public opinion. While journalism involves creative writing and plagiarism is abhorred, a few journalists and media houses have taken up an unhealthy practice called Churnalism. This is a form of journalism in which press releases given out by the Public Relations agencies and news agencies are copy/ pasted to create content for print and online media, without verifying the news or investigating the issues. This has given rise to the internet bound writer whose main source for news and creative ideas is the Internet. Field and investigating journalism that once made erring national leaders and business barons wait with dread for the morning paper is now nonexistent. Taking its place is the ubiquitous PR release that forms the main news source. Overall, crime stories see the highest Churnalism with PR release sent by police departments. PR releases by b usinesses and NGOs find some more publishers among journalists. (Davies, 2009). The dangers of this churnalism are manifold. There is a strong indication that the PR agency, that releases the news releases are tendentious and in favour of the entity, that pays the agency. For such agencies, truth and facts are secondary and they tend to pile calumnies, distort news, and twist facts until the resulting story meets their prescribed line of thought. Such reports create more trouble when ill-advised journalists, media and newspapers pick up.