The Atlanta Press Club recognizes these are disruptive times for journalism and its professionals. The rise of online distribution and social media have forced an economic upheaval within the industry. At the same time, there is a growing cynicism about the profession that can obscure the critical service journalists provide to society.
Challenging times require clarity of mission and earnest consideration of what can be improved. The Atlanta Press Club intends to do both. This is in keeping with our goal to serve the evolving professional, educational and social needs of our media community, while we foster journalistic excellence and advance the public’s understanding of a free press.
With this in mind, the Atlanta Press Club asserts the following in support of our journalism community:
“The Atlanta Press Club, almost 600 members strong, values diversity of opinion, civil discourse and constructive criticism of institutions. These are hallmarks of a free society, and journalists serve a key role in advancing these values. People invested in their communities rely on the work of trusted and ethical journalists to help them stay informed and make decisions. Journalists are trained professionals who strive to gather information and present facts. Millions of readers, viewers and listeners endorse this work every day with their time and attention. A free press is essential to a well-functioning society that benefits all participants, and it must be protected at all levels.”
The Club will incorporate this statement of principle into its “Journalism Matters” campaign, event presentations and social media activity. Please distribute the statement to your professional network as you see fit.
The Atlanta Press Club further recognizes the need to lead a broader conversation about our profession within Atlanta’s newsrooms. We have two important questions in mind:
1) How can we as journalists foster a better understanding of our mission and value?
2) How can we improve our efforts to live up to that mission?
The board of directors will organize a series of meetings at key organizations starting this year. Details will be available soon at atlantapressclub.org and the outcome of those meetings will be reported to the membership.
Finally, the most immediate way to support our profession and goals in this time of great change is to join our “Journalism Matters” campaign. This support will contribute to timely training programs for established journalists, the development of new journalists, and the recognition of quality journalism.
We hope to hear from you soon. What we do matters.