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Opinion

Journalism will survive its crisis of credibility

Manny Mogato - The Philippine Star

(Conclusion)

Let me go back to my question: are journalists still relevant in this age of vloggers and social media influencers?

Yes, journalists remain relevant and important, especially because this is the age of trolls and disinformation. They must continue to report and write based on facts. Truth-telling is the hallmark of journalism, but it is a principle shunned by many vloggers and social media influencers who are only after followers and engagements.

Information coming from journalists can be perceived as slow, but that is due to the vetting processes rigorously followed to assure the public that the information presented is accurate, fair and balanced.

Admittedly, legacy media was late in the game and too slow to adapt to fast-evolving developments in technology. It also largely ignored falsehoods in social media when they began to appear, so when it began to fact-check, it was already difficult to change people’s minds and attitudes.

But journalists must not lose hope. It might be an uphill battle. but in the end, good journalism will prevail. Journalists must keep up with the pace of technology and must innovate and be more creative in storytelling. They must learn to produce more compelling and visually interesting narratives to compete with influencers and vloggers.

Journalists must work closely with graphic artists and other content creators to produce stories based on facts that are more appealing to social media users.

Journalists must not surrender their role as guardians of the truth to social media influencers and vloggers, many of whom distort facts and history and mislead the public for propaganda and disinformation.

Journalists must combat keyboard warriors with their own truth. Now is the best time to become a journalist. Journalists must turn these obstacles and challenges into opportunities to excel and shine brilliantly, in the interest of the public their profession serves.

The government, too, needs journalists. It cannot rely solely on vloggers and influencers to churn out information because, in the end, the public can see through propaganda, lies and fabrications. The public will eventually go back to the more reliable legacy media for unbiased and factual information.

In a vibrant democracy, governments cannot muzzle a free and open press. Propaganda and disinformation will not always work under a democracy.

Hence, journalists will remain relevant in the digital age. There is still hope for journalism. Journalism will survive and endure. The challenges of today are just hiccups, tiny obstacles that can be overcome by journalists remaining committed to truth and integrity.

JOURNALIST

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