Roles, Functions, and Competencies of Communicators and Journalists

The discipline of communication is populated by a wide variety of professionals who are in communication practice. They are creative artists, writers, editors, journalists, bloggers, educators, social advocates, businessmen and businesswomen, preachers, scientists, politicians, and news announcers and anchors. These professionals are bind together by a desire and dive to send and receive messages and make an impact on their audience. Because communication is the most natural thing for humans, these professionals specialize to serve the general public and the public of their choices. They operate with a wide variety of mediums and media.

The foremost important role of communicators and journalists is to make available information and evidence to inform the public about issues that matter to them in the most neutral way possible. They provide facts for the public to form judgment and decisions. In some cases, they facilitate accurate processing and analysis of such facts in a professional and ethical way.

In this way, their functions follow naturally: to collect and document information, facts and opinions, and present them for public analysis and deepening to the root of reality. To communicate is to deliver truth and facts. Professional communicators and journalists are at the service of truth. They gather news, facts, and information that are critical to public life and well-being. The functions include being present where the news is happening and having the ability to record what is happening accurately with available technology.

The competencies of communicators and journalists are along their delivery of roles and functions. They need to have listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Listening and reading are data- and information-gathering skills necessary for accurate writing and speaking. But writing and speaking skills are necessary for communication as tools. Poor writing and speaking skills can distort the message regardless of the good intentions of the communicator.