The world, and especially the online world, is awash in communication.
The vast majority of this communication, however, is not news and especially not journalism. Almost 70 percent of email traffic is spam, according to web security company Symantec. In 2012, there were an average of 175 million tweets each day. But almost all – 99% — consisted of “pointless babble,” according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.
While journalism occupies a much smaller space than the talk, entertainment, opinion, assertion, advertising and propaganda that dominate the media universe, it is nevertheless perceived as being more valuable than most of the “stuff out there.”
That value flows from its purpose, to provide people with verified information they can use to make better decisions, and its practices, the most important of which is a systematic process – a discipline of verification – that journalists use to find not just the facts, but also the “truth about the facts.”