International Journalist Day is observed every year on November 19. It’s a day that’s celebrated in honor of the memories of those journalists who laid down their lives while performing their duties. Journalists serve as the eyes and ears of the public. They are responsible for providing us with the necessary information we need. It is therefore important to have a day to recognize their efforts. All over the world, journalists face threats to their lives. Some are purposely targeted and murdered because of their work while some are killed in incidents such as bomb explosions. Many governments around the world target journalists for harassment, intimidation, and violence as they cover political stories.
History of International Journalist Day
Journalism dates back to the Han dynasty in China, which made use of regularly published news bulletins. But it was not until the 17th Century that publications reporting the news to the general public in a standardized fashion began to appear. Mass-printing technologies like the printing press were developed and allowed for the establishment of newspapers to provide increasingly literate audiences with the news. The first records of privately-owned newspaper publishers in China date back to the late Ming dynasty in 1582. In Europe, the first newspaper is often recognized as Johann Carolus’s “Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien,” published in 1605 in Strasbourg.
In some regions such as the Roman Empire and the British Empire, journalistic enterprises were started as private ventures. Other countries such as France and Prussia tightly controlled the press, treating it principally as an outlet for government propaganda and subjecting it to consistent censorship. Other governments such as the Russian Empire were even warier of journalists. They effectively outlawed journalistic publications until the mid-19th Century. As newspaper publications became a more established practice over time, publishers increased publication to a weekly or daily rate. Centers of trade such as London, Amsterdam, and Berlin had a heavier concentration of newspapers. Latin America established its first newspapers in the mid- to late 19th Century.
Today, people increasingly consume news digitally through e-readers, smartphones, and other electronic devices. This has led to the decline of traditional media and the reduction of staff in newsrooms. The digital era has also introduced citizen journalism thanks to the internet.
International Journalist Day timeline
Freedom of the press is formally established in Great Britain.
The first successful English daily, the “Daily Courant,” is published.
The U.S. broadcast television channels start to air 10 to 15-minute segments of news programming one or two times each evening.
Citizens frequently record footage using video camera-equipped smartphones and upload them onto channels such as YouTube.
International Journalist Day FAQs
What is America’s oldest newspaper?
Connecticut’s “Hartford Courant” is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the U.S., running since 1764.
What was the first 24-hour news channel?
Cable News Network (CNN) was the first 24-hour television news network, debuting in 1980.
Who is the highest-paid reporter in the U.S.?
As of 2019, Sean Hannity at Fox News was the most highly paid news anchor, earning a $40 million annual salary.
How to Observe International Journalist Day
Appreciate the journalists in your life
If any of your friends or loved ones is a journalist, let them know how much you value them. Their hard work often goes unnoticed.
Talk about this day on social media
Post about this holiday on social media. In this way, more people become aware of its significance.
Start a campaign supporting press freedom
Organize a peaceful walk in your neighborhood in support of press freedom. Include a short vigil for journalists who have died in the line of duty.
5 Facts About Journalism
There are different journalism standards worldwide
There are more than 242 codes of ethics in journalism that vary across the world.
There is no law that protects sources
In the U.S., there is no law that would protect a journalist’s sources in a federal court.
The profession has faced some hard times
About 500 U.S. newspapers shut down between 1970 and 2018.
The most popular news site
America’s most popular news website is “Yahoo News,” which has had 175 million unique monthly visitors as of August 2020.
America’s oldest daily newspaper
The “New York Post,” which was founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton, is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the U.S.
Why International Journalist Day is Important
It supports press freedom
Without freedom of the press, we wouldn’t have access to credible news. International Journalists’ Remembrance Day reminds the world about the value of press freedom.
It honors the departed
Numerous journalists worldwide have been killed while on duty. This day honors their memories and work.
It creates awareness
Most people are unaware of the challenges that journalists face in the course of their work. International Journalists’ Remembrance Day sheds light on these issues.
International Journalist Day dates