Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Replacement of the Journalist

Journalists are those who have taken up the challenge to inform the general public of what is happening around them. They swear to do so with all the morality and with every ounce of ethical matter they posses.

Now, I know that it doesn't always turn out this way and some journalists tend to go off the path they started out on, however, this is the code of the journalist and it has remained as such; preserved within those few who have upheld the torch of truth in the bog of deceit that surrounds us.

I, like any other aspiring journalist, would like to believe that there is still something to be salvaged from the apparent wreck of journalism. Although my realistic side does tend to give me a slap now and again about my childish folly, I want to believe that every journalist is human first and a pawn of society second.

This is because the journalist has something that is called a conscience. An inherent feeling of what is right and wrong. And even though they cannot afford the luxury of subjectivity in their line of work, they still have the sacred duty of protecting the society in their role as gatekeepers of any and all information that is received by the mass.

Image Courtesy: Google Images/The Guardian.

I recently read somewhere that a few media houses had begun using robots, yes, robots to automatically update news from sources. These ‘technological marvels’ auto-update news on the basis of pre-set priorities from a given clutter of information.

How, I ask?

How can a machine tell what information is to be disseminated and what is not?

How can a machine distinguish between right and wrong?

How can a machine judge situation based on real-time scenarios the way humans do?

I believe they cannot. Period.

They say that these robots are just supplementary machines to help the human journalist spread information faster. At present they only update harmless news which requires no analysis. Well, what next? The next thing you know, computers will be compiling full page reports on happenings. Will the human element be taken out of the equation entirely? I probably think so.


Maybe I’m being paranoid and maybe I’m just worried that I may not get a job when I finish communication school, but is this justified? Computers dishing out analysis that require the human mind and conscience to do the job?

I think not.