Journalism is the production and distribution of reports on current or past events. The word journalism applies to the occupation, as well as citizen journalists who gather and publish information. Journalistic media include print, television, radio, Internet, and, in the past, newsreels. Concepts of the appropriate role for journalism vary between countries. In some nations, the news media are controlled by government intervention and are not fully independent. In others, the news media are independent of the government but instead operate as private industry motivated by profit. In addition to the varying nature of how media organizations are run and funded, countries may have differing implementations of laws handling the freedom of speech and libel cases. The proliferation of the Internet and smartphones has brought significant changes to the media landscape since the turn of the 21st century. This has created a shift in the consumption of print media channels, as people increasingly consume news through e-readers, smartphones, and other personal electronic devices, as opposed to the more traditional formats of newspapers, magazines, or television news channels. News organizations are challenged to fully monetize their digital wing, as well as improvise on the context in which they publish in print. Newspapers have seen print revenues sink at a faster pace than the rate of growth for digital revenues. Journalistic conventions vary by country. In the United States, journalism is produced by media organizations or by individuals. Bloggers are often, but not always, journalists. The Federal Trade Commission requires that bloggers who write about products received as promotional gifts to disclose that they received the products for free. This is intended to eliminate conflicts of interest and protect consumers. In the US, many credible news organizations are incorporated entities; have an editorial board, and exhibit separate editorial and advertising departments. Many credible news organizations, or their employees, often belong to and abide by the ethics of professional organizations such as the American Society of News Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters And Editors, Inc., or the Online News Association. Many news organizations also have their own codes of ethics that guide journalists’ professional publications. For instance, The New York Times code of standards and ethics is considered particularly rigorous. When crafting news stories, regardless of the medium, fairness and bias are issues of concern to journalists. Some stories are intended to represent the author’s own opinion; others are more neutral or feature balanced points-of-view. In a print newspaper, information is organized into sections and the distinction between opinionated and neutral stories is often clear. Online, many of these distinctions break down. Readers should pay careful attention to headings and other design elements to ensure that they understand the journalist’s intent. Opinion pieces are generally written by regular columnists or appear in a section titled “Op-ed”, while feature stories, breaking news, and hard news stories typically make efforts to remove opinion from the copy. According to Robert McChesney, healthy journalism in a democratic country must provide an opinion of people in power and who wish to be in power, must include a range of opinions and must regard the informational needs of all people. Many debates centre on whether journalists are “supposed” to be “objective” and “neutral”; arguments include the fact that journalists produce news out of and as part of a particular social context, and that they are guided by professional codes of ethics and do their best to represent all legitimate points of view. Additionally, the ability to render a subject’s complex and fluid narrative with sufficient accuracy is sometimes challenged by the time available to spend with subjects, the affordances or constraints of the medium used to tell the story, and the evolving nature of people’s identities. There are several forms of journalism with diverse audiences. Thus, journalism is said to serve the role of a “fourth estate”, acting as a watchdog on the workings of the government. A single publication (such as a newspaper) contains many forms of journalism, each of which may be presented in different formats. Each section of a newspaper, magazine, or website may cater to a different audience. The rise of social media has drastically changed the nature of journalistic reporting, giving rise to so-called citizen journalists. In a 2014 study of journalists in the United States, 40% of participants claimed they rely on social media as a source, with over 20% depending on microblogs to collect facts. From this, the conclusion can be drawn that breaking news nowadays often stems from user-generated content, including videos and pictures posted online in social media. However, though 69.2% of the surveyed journalists agreed that social media allowed them to connect to their audience, only 30% thought it had a positive influence on news credibility. Consequently, this has resulted in arguments to reconsider journalism as a process distributed among many authors, including the socially mediating public, rather than as individual products and articles written by dedicated journalists. Because of these changes, the credibility ratings of news outlets has reached an all-time low. A 2014 study revealed that only 22% of Americans reported a “great deal” or “quite a lot of confidence” in either television news or newspapers. While publications reporting the news to the general public in a standardized fashion only began to appear in the 17th century and later, governments as early as Han dynasty China made use of regularly published news bulletins. Similar publications were established in the Republic of Venice in the 16th century. These bulletins, however, were intended only for government officials, and thus were not journalistic news publications in the modern sense of the term. As mass-printing technologies like the printing press spread, newspapers were established to provide increasingly literate audiences with the news. The first references to privately owned newspaper publishers in China date to the late Ming dynasty in 1582. Johann Carolus’s Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien, published in 1605 in Strassburg, is often recognized as the first newspaper in Europe. The first successful English daily, the Daily Courant, was published from 1702 to 1735. While journalistic enterprises were started as private ventures in some regions, such as The Holy Roman Empire and the British Empire, other countries such as France and Prussia kept tighter control of the press, treating it primarily as an outlet for government propaganda and subjecting it to uniform censorship. Other governments, such as the Russian Empire, were even more distrusting of the journalistic press and effectively banned journalistic publications until the mid-19th century. As newspaper publication became a more and more established practice, publishers would increase publication to a weekly or daily rate. Newspapers were more heavily concentrated in cities that were centres of trade, such as Amsterdam, London, and Berlin. The first newspapers in Latin America would be established in the mid-to-late 19th century. Newspapers played a significant role in mobilizing popular support in favor of the liberal revolutions of the late 18th and 19th centuries. In the American Colonies, newspapers motivated people to revolt against British rule by publishing grievances against the British crown and republishing pamphlets by revolutionaries such as Thomas Paine, while loyalist publications motivated support against the American Revolution. News publications in the United States would remain proudly and publicly partisan throughout the 19th century. In France, political newspapers sprang up during the French Revolution, with L’Ami du peuple, edited by Jean-Paul Marat, playing a particularly famous role in arguing for the rights of the revolutionary lower classes. Napoleon would reintroduce strict censorship laws in 1800, but after his reign print publications would flourish and play an important role in political culture. As part of the Revolutions of 1848, radical liberal publications such as the Rheinische Zeitung, Pesti Hírlap, and Morgenbladet would motivate people toward deposing the aristocratic governments of Central Europe. Other liberal publications played a more moderate role: The Russian Bulletin praised Alexander II of Russia’s liberal reforms in the late 19th century, and supported increased political and economic freedoms for peasants as well as the establishment of a parliamentary system in Russia. Farther to the left, socialist and communist newspapers had wide followings in France, Russia and Germany despite being outlawed by the government.