The Future of Journalism

03/03/2010

The over-used and under-examined claim that Journalism is dead is one that I find both disheartening and extremely closed minded. In a day and age where nearly anything is possible, many are claiming that our free speech publications will no longer exist? So where is Journalism going if it isn’t dying?

Journalism isn’t dying, it is merely taking on a new shape; adapting to the ever-changing environment that we have created.

The Internet.

The first of two major issues in the industry is that with the emergence of limitless internet connection, blossoming social networks and an affinity for instant gratification among nearly every demographic, micro-blogging sites like Twitter, photo hosting sites like Flickr and Twitpic and hosts like WordPress are giving everyday citizens the ability to become citizen journalists.

Citizen Journalism is creating a new temperature for the industry; information is unbiased and honest, but the quality cannot be controlled. Because information is more readily available, and consumers are finding it to be convenient and unbiased, our traditional news sources are losing the following they once had.

The second major issue is we see today is that more and more people are finding their news on the Internet, but most of the papers are making money from their print advertisements. This, being completely ineffective, means the print newspapers will have to adapt to online endeavors and subsequently charge a fee for their offerings as well as make money from direct-targeted online advertisements. In order for it to be effective and efficient, however, each of the newspapers would have to implement this business model simultaneously and without wavering from the newly-set standard.

Just as technology gains momentum and adapts to our needs,

professions and skills must also adapt.

While picking up a bulky 4-section newspaper may not be completely convenient in our fast-paced lifestyles, it is the duty of learned Journalists to make moves to adapt to the needs of their readers.

Patrick Thornton, blog writer of The Future of Journalism, states very wisely that If you’re not willing to work on the Web, do more than write, get your hands dirty with code, blog, be a social media pro, etc, than journalism isn’t for you. Those currently working for publications should be hyper focused on making the same content available online as it happens in order to adapt to the changes in modern Journalism.

So, while most think Journalism is “dying,” I challenge you to explore the idea that yes, there are significant differences in the way we dole out news, but the change is both necessary and exciting. We need to take the future of journalism into consideration and initiate a renaissance of sorts. A rebirth of Journalism.