Journalism faces extraordinary challenges in this era of digital disruption. Digital content dominates people’s daily lives through new media and social media. Journalism that presents news that has gone through the editorial process, which ensures accuracy and considers the public interest, faces competition from citizen journalism. Disruption has changed how journalism operates and produces its work.
First, journalism, which has a place in human history, needs to affirm its relevance with indisputable journalistic works. Affirming the professionalism of journalism does not mean ignoring the presence of the internet and public access to it. Journalism is part of human culture that lives in a democracy. Therefore, journalism is part of the journey of a nation’s history, like other cultural institutions. However, as civilization advances, journalism must transform itself in understanding people’s lives and how it carries out its functions, from information, education, and entertainment to social control.
Second, if some writers on social media are citizen journalists who do not have strong editorial policies but produce information consumed by the public based on their instincts, then professional journalism must take the same position as a source of information that serves the public. This advocacy is one of the essential ingredients in producing journalistic works.
Third, the challenge for journalism also lies in how to deliver information and news to the public amidst the noise of information. The packaging of news that is easily digestible and understood without violating journalistic ethics is one of the challenges of journalism in this era.
Fourth, unlike citizen journalism through social media, professional journalism has a place as part of the national press. The press itself is a pillar of democracy, and its presence is a necessity. Without the presence of the press, a democratic country like Indonesia will be handicapped. Unlike citizen journalism, which is an expression of freedom of opinion, professional journalism has a mission to build democracy through its works.