A very important feature of journalism is accountability. A non-accountable medium or journalist has lost its relevance and impact. Even in the real life, a person without any form of accountability is a dangerous fellow to associate with.
To be an effective journalist, who works tirelessly in holding people and government accountable, one must begin his trade with a level of personal accountability with regards to every news item/story being produced.
Fact is, the level of corruption in the society is making many journalists to follow the path of destruction. Any journalist who succumb to pressures here had lost his seasoning. The truth is, he that will come to equity must come with a clean hand. If journalism must play its role, professionals must be willing to pay the price its demand.
To effectively deliver on the job, objectivity is a must. An objective journalist does not just do things as it appeals but must have a commitment to ensure every news item produced is the correct and balanced opinion. This must not be radically coloured to achieve a preconceived negative or primordial intention.
As the conscience of the people, accountability is a must for journalist. Thousands of readers/listeners depend on what journalists put out there to form an opinion, judgement of what is happening around them and in the entire universe. Lack of consistency in this area is the reason trust in the majority of highly refereed platforms are reducing.
Many argue accountability’s definition may not be universal. Let us assume this is so, there are clear features associated with effective accountability journalists must possess. Jane Elizabeth captured these in one of her articles. Here are some points she made.
In helping to understand what accountability really means, Jane Elizabeth cited C.W. Anderson, Leonard Downie and Michael Schudson:
“Accountability journalism encompasses traditional investigative reporting, but much more. It includes fact-checking political speech, digging into digital data, and aggressive beat coverage to reveal as much as possible about what is really going on’’.
So if you plan to be an accountable journalist, here are predominant features:
A passion to show broad curiosity; eagerly adapt to new technologies and platforms. Curiosity is essential in real news gathering process. Without it you are lost.
Audience focus: Think about multiple audiences. You cannot depend on only one source and think you will get it right.
Your context: Work hard to create contextfor their audiences.
Story formation: Smartlybalance their time on story choices and audience interactions.
Quality relationship: Spend considerable time building relationships with sources, readers.
Teamwork: Buildconnections and teamwork within their own newsrooms and other important public.
Drive: Discover or invent their own way and direct their own work. Having a strong drive is very important. Right zeal and drive will lead you to untold discoveries.