The Internet and it's Effect on Journalism?
A news topic which is rather close to my heart personally is that concerning journalism. From a young age I always knew that writing as a hobby would be something I would turn into a career. Now working for a Brick technology web design as the Editor it has sparked a question:
Has the internet had a positive or negative effect on journalism?
With the advancements in technology more and more people are choosing to consume their news online or through smart phones and other mobile devices and this is happening every single day. In this respect it is good as a journalist to have news placed into the online world but the focus of broadcasting and print companies has switched to their online content.
For broadcasting and print companies their online news content is what keeps them going. They have become involved in blogs and even social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. It is blogs and social networking which has played a huge part most recently in the news industry.
There are many implications to the effect which the internet has had on journalism and some are extremely positive but others have proved to cause harm. One of the more positive effects it has had is that it actually is one of the easiest ways of having content distributed on a grand scale. It is the chosen way for companies to reach a larger, more diverse but also a targeted audience should they wish.
Another positive implication of online news is that it can be updated extremely fast and the web design changed quite easily. Any “breaking news” can be announced almost instantly without having to wait for papers and other publications to be printed, delivered and then actually bought and read. Journalists now have smartphones, tables, iPad and other devices so they can provide reports of exciting, thrilling, traumatising, devastating and any other news within minutes. Many journalists are choosing to Tweet whilst on the move to keep people up to date.
It does go further though because by placing news online it means that people can engage, they can leave comments and start a discussion with other people about an article. Previously people would have to write in to the editors or phone and this is obviously a lengthy process when you could just post a comment.
Social networking as mentioned has proved to be massive, general public are sometimes managing to Tweet or Comment before a journalist has even had the time to report on the news themselves. Celebrities know this and some choose to break news to their fans before journalists get a hold of their “exclusive stories”.
There has been a decline in newspaper sales, many companies are choosing not to even print them anymore and just have online content. University students now are being taught that newspapers pretty soon could be a rare thing. In order to cut costs online content could be the solution but with many journalists who simply cannot keep up those who have done have had to become multi-skilled. They need to know how to record, edit, upload and publish their own reports live online; they need to know basic media production.
One of the main issues probably and the main reason as to why online news is proving more effective than a newspaper or other printed items is probably because it is free. Consumers can go to a website like The Lancashire Evening Telegraph and read through all the news rather than going to the shop and paying 35p for a telegraph.
In answer to the question of whether or not the internet has had a positive or negative effect on the industry some would be obliged to answer yes. A topic close to my heart many are worried that the rise in people reporting news before journalists, social networking and other online journalism will cause a loss of print journalist jobs. However, we all have the same goal in mind – to provide the public with the must up to date, ground breaking news and if placing news online is a way of doing this then we should be happy that the goal is achieved.
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