I think that media and journalism have become erroneously combined. The media is anything that provides information of any sort. Journalism is a field that uses ethical rules to conduct its business with professionalism, confidentiality, partiality, and responsibility. Unfortunately, now any pretty face that works in the media calls himself or herself a "reporter" and a reporter and a journalist are to completely different things. However, many people are not aware of this and may think that the information given by Ryan Seacrest in E! News should be treated with the same importance as the information provided on MSNBC by an experienced journalist. That is scary.
Watch out...and don't believe everything that is said or shown to you. Media and journalism for the most part is biased and the people producing the news have an agenda. When watching the news you need to be a critical thinker, and constantly ask questions and form your own opinion and perspective. The sad part is most people do not know how to do that, or think they do not need to do that while watching the news or reading the news...they believe everything that is told to them. People need to be able to pull out the bias and facts and tell the two apart, and then decide for themselves what is true and what is not.
The lines between journalism/entertainment/propaganda blurred mightily with the advent of cable news and talking heads. What is purported to be news is sometimes even more than slanted: It is deliberately manipulated and misrepresented to influence public opinion.
Case in point. Recently I watched a brief clip from the speech of a well known politician which was presented as proof that he was adopting an outrageous position on an issue. Switching networks, I saw the same clip, but it was presented fairly, in context--what the politician had said both before and after the passage. His words in context showed that his position was the exact opposite of the first "news" story I had seen. In truth, he had been slandered in the first report by selective editing and commentary. This is not journalism; it is propaganda pushing the limits to mind control. Anyone who gets news from a single source, in this case, would have been more than grossly misinformed; he or she would have been very effectively manipulated. Today, more than ever before, it is important to get news from a variety of sources and to recognize the difference between news and that which is not news.
That said, consider genuine journalists with professional integrity--and I believe they are still out there. We had better hope that they are. A free, courageous, and honest press is essential to the welfare and preservation of the country. The founding fathers understood that and made themselves clear on the subject. I'm sure there are some corrupt journalists out there, but if journalism itself is corrupted, we will have no one to police the powers that be while the rest of us go about our daily lives.
I suspect that, although they look different, and may even try to be different, they are really different sides of the same coin. I cannot share Amy's enthuriasm about journalism. I think it's virtually impossible to report "facts" with letting your personal ideas, leaning, prejudices become part of the reporting. I think you can do your best, but I don't think it's achieved by many reporters. If you work for the times, chances are your writing will have a liberal slant; if you work for Mike Savage, it will probably be conservative. It's the responsibility of the reader (in the case of print journalism --- paper or internet) or the viewer (in the case of modern media) to spot the prejudices (even in the use of language) and to filter it out.
Sadly, I think it's all brainwashing. I suspect it's always been that way. If you want to read an interesting novel about it by a famous journalist, William Sapphire, you might want to read "Scandalmonger." It's a great read and you'll learn alot about the role of the press in the early years of our country.
Journalism is reporting the facts without allowing your personal prejudices to interfere. There are ethics involved. It should be fair and balanced regardless of who the big money is or where the pressue is coming from in the world.
Media is big money owning the ideas and telling the pretty faces on TV what to say because that's what they pay them to do. Media sees its job as persuading the public to do a certain thing...like vote for a candidate or read a book. It's basically come to brainwashing.
It is definitely worth it to read as much as you can and decide for yourself from the news coverage provided by independent bloggers and journalists rather than the huge network media.
Let's define first:
Media is a compilation of different forms of communication (TV, Radio, blogging, Internet, twittering, etc) to transmit information, but it does not have to adhere to the scrutiny of editing, nor ensure the impartial analysis of current events. The main focus of media needs not to be educational nor informative- it can also be used to entertain and amuse.
Journalism is a specific area in the field of communications(which is now part of the whole media compilation) that has, for generations, earned the public trust in the area of communications precisely because it is meant to be impartial and objective, and its main purpose is to inform, not entertain, nor amuse like with media.
Which one is best? Well, we have failed at both when it comes to impartiality and focus.
There are newspapers and news shows which openly (or surreptitiously) favor a political party, hence lowering the trust level of journalism.
Media, with its bloggers, its mockumentaries, etc, is slowly (and sadly) becoming the new journalism, and people (ME INCLUDED) at times prefer to get their news from Colbert than from CNN.
So, the big winner is, unfortunately in my book: Media- if it at all could maintain some level of objectivity.
I would have to say that the media and journalism are becoming pointed in their positions, and making it harder to find unbiased reporting nowadays. It is is incredibly lucrative, and with the right scandal shot, you can afford to send your kids to the best private schools in the world.
There is no question that money is tainting journalism and with the explosion of on-line media outlets and newspapers folding everyday, it is becoming harder and harder to keep mainstream journalists without them going freelance available to the highest bidder.
There are still some wonderful educational organizations for journalism such as Quill and Scroll honor Society.