With Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram, Foursquare and a bevy of other social mediums and the web, where bloggers and other can easily self-publish, it seems like anyone can be a journalist these days. But does that mean that person understands the importance and process of fact-checking, accuracy and most of all, ethics? No, it doesn’t.
I suppose anyone could purport to be a journalist. But does that mean he or she understands what goes into journalistically reporting an article or crafting a press release? No. There is much more to just putting words on paper or online.
David Cuillier, director of the University of Arizona School of Journalism and immediate past president of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), reaffirmed this during his acceptance speech. “Today, professional journalists are needed more than ever – given all the misinformation and bunk out there,” Cuillier said. “A democratic society requires professionals skilled at collecting information, analyzing it, vetting it, and disseminating it clearly, quickly, accurately, and ethically. This is a calling, my friends." I couldn't agree more.
There is certainly a time and place for amateurs to report information. In fact, getting photos and videos from non-journalists can provide good content. However, journalism is not just throwing information on Facebook and Twitter or throwing together some quotes. As Cullier says, this business requires skill. It requires good judgment. It requires accuracy and ethics. This is why trained professionals are so important.
At AOE, we take time to get to know our clients, understanding their needs, spending time in the field and researching their industries, conducting interviews and fact-checking – and then fact-checking and editing again whenever we create content or develop a strategy. A case study, press release or social media post is more than just words. It’s the product of trained professionals who create quality communications - because journalism still matters.
Continuing to hone our skills and improve our craft is something we take very seriously. That’s why the AOE team members are highly involved in several journalism/communications professional associations and those in AEC-industry related fields. We love what we do so we want to be the best at our profession – and we are here to help you with a professional communications strategy tailored to your needs. Let us know how we are able to help you.