Journalism has never been a safe job. Reporters run to locations that other people are fleeing from – not because they know how to fix the problem, or even because they know what the problem is. They risk their safety so that others may live informed lives.
It is a noble purpose, but also one that is coming at an increasingly high cost for reporters all across the planet. There are high-profile cases = including the one that involved Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate and never coming back out – but every day there are smaller transgressions against journalists that risk their safety, and undermine the public right to information.
In this article, we look at the modern landscape of journalism on a global scale.
The world journalists give us
As you sit with your coffee in the morning, listening to your favorite news radio broadcast, and maybe scrolling through your favorite casino games at online casino in Australia, you’ll get reports regarding situations taking place all over the world. However, as you’re getting the day started, try not to get lost in the sea of games like keno, roulette, slots, and video poker by dedicating some time to the latest news as well. The up-to-date information is the result of dozens if not hundreds of people putting themselves into uncomfortable and even dangerous situations to equip you with valuable information. Some of these reporters wind up in situations that they never get out of.
Consumers experience the news in safe, comfortable doses that don’t challenge their sense of safety. Unfortunately, while you enjoy your morning coffee, the situation for journalists all over the world is growing direr.
In 2019, then-President Donald J. Trump announced that the press “truly was the enemy of the people.” Now, it’s difficult to write about former President Trump without inciting volatile feelings on both sides of the political spectrum. However, regardless of one’s political leanings, it is impossible to deny that this rhetoric marked a decided departure from the typical American attitude toward the free press.
Sure, there has always been tension between politicians and the journalists who cover them. One needn’t look too far back to remember how unwelcome Fox News Journalists were in the Obama administration’s press room.
However, the current attitude toward journalists is more extreme than ever. Only 7% of Americans self-report having a great deal of trust in mass media. And while there is a political divide – confidence in journalists is significantly higher for democrats than it is for republicans – the picture is bleak on all ends of the political spectrum.
This attitude of disbelief has created a dangerous landscape for reporters even working domestically. Attacks on American journalists reporting on the home front have gone up at a record pace. The words, “Murder the Media,” were infamously scrawled on one of the doors at the U.S. capitol by insurrectionists at the January 6th riot.
Covid only exacerbated the problem. Media reporting on the pandemic was received with an enormous degree of scrutiny. Reporters were routinely confronted by angry citizens while reporting on the pandemic.
And while these attitudes largely fell on partisan lines, it’s not even accurate to say that one party trusts reporters, and the other doesn’t. The truth is that most Americans say they disagree with how the pandemic was covered by the media.
What does this fraught political climate mean for reporters or people who are considering a career in journalism?
Employment in journalism
Journalism employment has been in a steady decline for fifteen years. Any stat you find about jobs in the reporting space is going to be bleak, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people are responding to changing public perceptions of the media.
It’s no secret that, while public opinion has been growing ever sourer, the Internet has been unleashing its fury on traditional media. To that end, it is possible journalism is declining as a profession primarily because there aren’t as many jobs to go around as there used to be.
And yet, more recent data indicate that the threat of violence and distrust journalists everywhere face is having an impact on how reporters feel.
An overwhelming number of journalists report believing public trust in them has diminished in recent years.
However, there is a small silver lining. The same reporters who indicate that they are being received poorly by the general population also believe that they retain the trust of their core audience.
To that end, members of the media-consuming public can help to preserve the free press by supporting the journalists that they trust and care about. This can be as small as shouting out good content online or subscribing to publications that put out high-quality media.
Angry voices tend to speak the loudest. However, to ensure that high-quality facts about important topics remain readily in circulation, it is important for the public to show their favorite journalists as much support as possible.