The Functions of Journalists

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
 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
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
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
The Entertainment
 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
 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
 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
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
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