Journalism & Democracy

Few people consider journalists to be heroes, yet the professional journalist can be a powerful champion of freedom, justice, democracy.. and above all truth – the key to them all. Indeed, the free Press is one of the most important institutions in this country: it provides a vital defence of our traditional liberties against the machinations of power-hungry politicians, unscrupulous business tycoons, and crooks of all kinds.

Throughout modern history, journalists have been responsible for rooting out corruption and dishonesty in high places, thwarting attempts by governments and multinational corporations to gain yet more control over our lives, warning of the dangers posed by foreign despots, and drawing the attention of the British public to human rights violations, conflicts and humanitarian crises the world over. Indeed, Britain’s journalists are ‘the eyes and ears’ of the nation.

Whether it’s TV, radio, national or local newspapers or magazines, we look to our media to give us the facts and allow us to form our own opinions on what is happening in our communities and the wider world.

For over 100 years the Chartered Institute of Journalists has worked on behalf of the journalistic profession and the cause of Press freedom. It is fitting, therefore, that the Institute offers this booklet on “FIRST STEPS TO A CAREER IN JOURNALISM”, highlighting the opportunities open to students seeking to enter this challenging, exciting and highly fulfilling profession.

Andy Smith
Editor, The Journal of The Chartered Institute of Journalists