Journalism is the discipline of gathering, writing and reporting news, and broadly it includes the process of editing and presenting the news articles. Journalism applies to various media, but is not limited to newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. While under pressure to be the first to publish its stories, each news media organization adheres to its own standards of accuracy, quality, and style — usually editing and proofreading its reports prior to publication. Many news organizations claim proud traditions of holding government officials and institutions accountable to the public, while media critics have raised questions on the accountability of the press. The word journalism is taken from the French journal which in turn comes from the Latin diurnal or daily. The Acta Diurna, a handwritten bulletin, was put up daily in the Forum, the main public square in ancient Rome, and was the world's first newspaper.
The Covent-Garden Journal was an English literary periodical published twice a week for most of 1752. It was edited and almost entirely funded by novelist, playwright, and essayist Henry Fielding(pictured), under a pseudonym. The Journal incited the "Paper War" of 1752–1753, a conflict between a number of contemporary literary critics and writers, which began after Fielding declared war on the "armies of Grub Street" in the first issue. His proclamation attracted multiple aggressors and instigated a long-lasting debate argued in the pages of their respective publications. Initially waged for the sake of increasing sales, the Paper War ultimately became much larger than Fielding had expected. Further controversy erupted in June, when Fielding expressed support for a letter decrying the Government's 1751 Disorderly Houses Act in the Journal. His remarks were viewed by the public as an endorsement of the legality of prostitution. The final issue of the Journal was released on 25 November 1752. In its last months, poor sales had resulted in a transition from semi-weekly to weekly release. Ill-health and a disinclination to continue led Fielding to end its run after the 72nd number.
William Monahan is an American novelist, screenwriter and former journalist. Monahan went to work in Hollywood in 1998, when Warner Bros. bought the film rights to Light House: A Trifle, which had not yet been published, and contracted him to adapt it to the screen for director Gore Verbinski. In 2001, 20th Century Fox bought Monahan's spec script about the Barbary Wars called Tripoli, with Ridley Scott, who was to become Monahan's primary collaborator, attached to direct. Monahan, immediately successful as a screenwriter, has since worked with Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, among other filmmakers. His first produced screenplay, Kingdom of Heaven was made into a film by Ridley Scott and released in theaters in 2005. His second produced screenplay was The Departed, a film which earned him a WGA award and an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Monahan prefers that screenplays be written by one writer rather than a collaboration of multiple screenwriters writing competing drafts. Thus far he has followed his scripts through production, and is one of very few sole credit writers in the film business.
I suppose, in the end, we journalists try - or should try - to be the first impartial witnesses of history. If we have any reason for our existence, the least must be our ability to report history as it happens so that no one can say: 'We didn't know - no one told us.'