COM 235 6-1 Discussion: Democracy and Journalism

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Democracy and Journalism

The practice of journalism has made immense contribution towards the growth and maturity of strong democracies. Occasionally, mishaps occur in the journalism industry for instance incidences of relaying information to the general public in a superficial manner and publishing sensational materials that polarize consumers. Nevertheless, journalists have distinguished themselves as vital ingredients that strengthen accountability in a democratic society (Waisbord, 2013).

Journalists employ various media platforms that are useful in keeping the leaders in check regarding the use of public resources thus guarding the interests of the public. In the event the leadership plunges itself into abusing its powers and misappropriation of resources, journalists become very useful in highlighting these excesses to the citizens. Hence, journalists serve as watchdogs by blowing the whistle in case a section of the leaders overstep the rights and privileges of their offices (McNair, 2012).

Freedom of expression is very vital in any democracy and the practice of journalism provides appropriate avenues for the citizens to express their views. Consequently, these platforms serve as crucial conduits through which information flows between the leaders and their subjects. In the event of unjust democratic practices, the journalists are able to highlight these malpractices and cause the leadership to focus on redressing them (Fenton, 2010).

The practice of journalism also strengthens the transparency of democratic processes such as election of new leaders, public administration, and allotment of public resources, which are very vital in promoting equity amongst the citizens. Perceptions of inequalities amongst the citizenry may potentially cause animosity amongst the citizens and weaken a democracy hence the importance of journalism in strengthening the participation of citizens in governance for a better society (Waisbord, 2013).


Fenton, N. (2010). New media, old news: Journalism and democracy in the digital age. Sage Publications.

McNair, B. (2012). Journalism and democracy: An evaluation of the political public sphere. Routledge. Retrieved from

Waisbord, S. R. (2013). Watchdog journalism in South America: News, accountability, and democracy. Columbia University Press. Retrieved from