Journalism is a discipline of collecting, verifying, reporting and analyzing information gathered regarding current events, including trends, issues and people. Those who practise journalism are known as journalists.
News-oriented journalism as often described as the "first draft of history." Even though journalists often write news articles to a deadline, news media usually edit and proofread the results prior to publication.
Reporting and editorializing
Journalism has as its main activity the reporting of events -- stating who, what, when, where, why and how, and explaining the significance and impact of events or trends. Journalism exists in a number of media: newspapers, television, radio, magazines and (since the 20th century) the Internet.
Generally, publishers and consumers of journalism draw a distinction between reporting ("just the facts") and opinions (such as editorials, (the official opinions of the paper) and op-ed columns ("opposite the editorial page" commentary)). However, this distinction can sometimes break down. Journalists may unintentionally fall prey to propaganda or disinformation. (See News management.) Journalists may give a biased account of facts by reporting selectively, for instance focusing on anecdote or giving partial explanation of actions. Foreign reporting may become more susceptible to bias, because the writers or editors of a newspaper in a given geographical area may find it more difficult to fact-check reports originating at a distance. (See Media bias.)
Newspapers and periodicals will often contain features (see under heading feature style at article news style) written by journalists, many of whom specialise in this form of "in-depth" journalism.
Journalists' interaction with sources sometimes involves confidentiality. Many Western governments guarantee the freedom of the press. By extension, these freedoms sometimes also add legal protection for journalists, allowing them to keep the identity of a source private even when demanded by police or prosecutors.
Recently there has been some controversy as to whether blogging constitutes a form of journalism. There have been arguments on both sides of the debate further fueled by a March 2005 court ruling in a case involving Apple Computer and several Apple rumor blogs. In that ruling the judge declared that the blogs were not entitled to journalist protections with regards to preserving the anonymity of sources as they don't qualify as a form of journalism. This set a legal precedent that many hope will be reversed on appeal.
Types of journalism
Journalism consists of the industrialisation of gossip. -- Andrew Marr