In an age where legitimate and factual news and analysis of issues have become usurped, clouded, or supplanted by misinformation, disinformation and often blatant lies, accurate reportage and objective analyses of news and issues are needed more than ever.
News journalism (reporting what actually was said or done) and advocacy journalism (analyzing or interpreting those actions and facts) have always been a part of public discourse since the press came into existence. Both practices—embraced and used in exercising Freedom of the Press—have played and continue to play a critical role in fostering a democratic society such as our Republic.
The primary purpose of news journalism is to inform, to make the public aware of what is going on.
The primary purpose of advocacy journalism is to explain and clarify what those occurrences, incidents or issues mean—all in an effort to achieve better understanding for accurate opinions and perspectives to be formed.
But in the age of hyper partisan news outlets and publications, the proliferation and promotion of conspiracy theories, and where social media is seen as a legitimate news source, the current state of advocacy journalism needs to be distinguished from Real Advocacy Journalism® that is desperately needed instead.
Shortly, after my book Shaping Public Opinion: How Real Advocacy Journalism® Should Be Practiced was released in 2021 an application was filed to trademark “Real Advocacy Journalism.” Real Advocacy Journalism® has officially received its trademark registration from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Under this trademark educational services, namely, conducting training programs and creating written materials for use in the fields of public advocacy, advocacy journalism, and public persuasion and distribution of training materials can be provided. Visit Books and Resources – Real Advocacy Journalism® for more information.
It is through Real Advocacy Journalism®—that genre of discourse which attempts to pull everything together, put events into their proper and accurate perspective in order to bring about the right and good end, and the expedient and proper course of action—that the potential for error in judgment on public matters is minimized.
The political columnist/commentator, as a practitioner of Real Advocacy Journalism®, should strive to help clarify, to evaluate, and draw conclusions for his/her readers/listeners who have been too preoccupied, too removed from actual events to judge clearly for themselves. The political columnist/commentator shares the results of his/her either having witnessed things first-hand, or his/her having been privy to first-hand information, experts, and key people directly involved in the issue under discussion.
Through the eyes and experiences of the political columnist/commentator, the reader/listener is able to become knowledgeable, to experience, to visualize, to understand, to arrive at an opinion about what is going on in his/her community, in his/her country, in the world.
That is what Real Advocacy Journalism® is all about.