The Functions of Journalists By Mrs. Riley The Political Function The press is considered to be the watchdog of government which means that the press will cover in detail the activities of the government. It will watch for scandal and wrongdoing. It will fight attempts to do business behind closed doors. Because we have free press in the U.S., the press has an obligation to provide the public information upon which to base political decisions. The Political Function Reporters Woodward and Bernstein revealed the Watergate scandal that President Nixon knew about the break-in to the Watergate hotel and subsequently tried to cover it up. The Economic Function The economic function of a journalist is to inform the material welfare of mankind. The press will provide information about products, goods, and services. Economic Functions Stock Market Unemployment Price of Goods The Record Keeping Function Mass media should reflect an accurate record of local, national and world news. Journalists are supposed to record what happens. What bills were passed in Congress? Who was born? Who died? Who got married? Who was elected school board? All of these are basic things and need to be recorded. The Record Keeping Function The Entertainment Function People need diversion as well as information. The comics, entertaining stories, and features fill this need. This is the lighter side of news. The Entertainment Function The Agenda Setting Function The agenda-setting function of a journalist is to have a large influence on audiences by choosing newsworthy stories through mass-news media. They don’t have to tell an audience what to think, but they could tell an audience what to think about. The media puts things on the country’s radar. The Agenda Setting Function For example, if the media place environmental issues on the agenda, people will begin to pay more attention to those issues. The Social Function Journalists will use the social function to get news from neighbors on a person-to-person basis. Journalists pass along the news about their readers’ local world. The Social Function Examples include: Obituaries Birth Announcements Marriage Announcements Birthdays News stories going on in the local community The Marketplace Function The press provides the forum in which all sorts of ideas are presented. It becomes the marketplace of ideas. If the audience is concerned about an issue and conveys this concern through the press, perhaps something can be done. The Marketplace Function People can write letters to the editor or can start a letter writing campaign to raise awareness about issues that are important to them. Sometimes readers send tips or story ideas to reporters. The Sentry Function The press not only needs to cover what is happening today but what is likely to happen tomorrow. Journalists need to anticipate future events and news. Journalists gain sources and talk to them about upcoming issues or trends. The Sentry Function What Are The Problems of Tomorrow???