According to The Elements of Journalism, a book by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, there are nine elements of journalism . In order for a journalist to fulfill their duty of providing the people with the information they need to be free and self-governing. They must follow these guidelines:
- Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
- Its first loyalty is to the citizens.
- Its essence is discipline of verification.
- Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
- It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
- It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
- It must strive to make the significant interesting, and relevant.
It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.
In the April 2007 edition of the book , they have added one additional element, the rights and responsibilities of citizens to make it a total of ten elements of journalism.