Journalists have the power to reach great numbers of people faster and farther. They help as catalyst, consumer critic, action energizer, and educator of the citizenry over various matters that influence life. Hence to professionalize news, journalists have followed norms and routines to keep their news informative and attractive, and one that generates just as much as any economic entity. Journalists’ norms include information gathering from multiple sources.
These information gathering methods include personal interviews, using social scientists’ tools such as survey, opinion, and political polls. Having some knowledge regarding social science research methodologies enable journalists to easily and competently report on topics emanating from such works. Another norm is popularizing information gathered from sources because today’s news is not just something that is sensationalized. Rather, it is news that is purposeful, pragmatic, and relevant – affecting the daily lives of people.
To popularize news is to interpret, and make the information clear and easy to understand; to put the facts together in their proper framework, to promote these facts and to bring them home to the readers. Doing this will help readers realize how serious or useful a particular issue is, and to open their eyes to possible solutions regarding an issue. Clarity begins with using the right words which are most often short and zeroes in on the specific. To make news attractive that generates as much as any economic entity, a journalist must always keep the following qualities of news in mind.
These qualities are timeliness, prominence, proximity, novelty, human interest, and consequence. The media is important because they have a crucial role to play in drawing the attention of the public to a particular issue, enterprise, person, institution, or business. Their role in nation development cannot be undermined for it is through journalists and their timely news that enhances the well-being of individuals as well as the community, nation, or other collectivity.