Journalism is not dying from digital age, only medium changed.
While people mourn the death of journalism, we firmly believed the digital tools murdered it. Those tools are Twitter, Facebook, Google news, Mobile Apps; the list is endless. Everyone, it seems, owns a platform, a publishing system, and now everyone is able to announce or broadcast what’s going on. It is feared that online platforms might diminish the authoritative level of the journalists.
I see a glimmer of hope for journalism in digital age. Last month, I attended a panel discussion at NYU where George Brock, the author of Out the Print, said digital media puts journalism in a better position than ever. It has been declining in journalism, but it is only true for paper medium. The quick dropping down is really in newspaper, which sold fewer than 300,000 copies while the website attract 31 million traffic. The industry has been in decline since long before Internet came along. What we see now is the quantity of newspaper drooping, but the journalism has been being transformed into other mediums and it is actually being lifted up.
Thinking about YouTube, it did not even exist 5 years ago. Social media is being heavily invested since then. We are so overwhelmed by the mega-size information in digital age. However, journalists are now able to access much more sources, which was never happened before. Going way back to the past, journalist is nothing else but used by politicians to beat opponent. Thanks, Fox News makes it valid today. It was all about political interests, purely.
Along with the emerging of digital media, the journalism job is growing and news organization is rising, allowing online website generate more traffic. The accessible sources from social media are so diversified and realistic. It has shaped and changed the way of how journalists conduct and research. Besides, it even made easier for people to challenge power, to question and to give a voice.
Interactive feature in news reporting is a trend. It sounds trendy and looks attractive. However, wouldn’t it cause distractions and increase complexity in news reporting. Is interaction feature will replace the role of storytelling role in journalism. Would readers be too fetishized the interactive features? For reporter, instead of writing extractive story, they invest lot of time in making a “engaging” motion graphic. It may be true that interaction feature keeping readers attention. Are journalist too eager to please readers?
Another good example of interaction feature is Google News. People can create news filter, which allow the only selected topic being shown. You read what you are interested in. It is fair. But you never know what news you don’t need to read. I mean you never know what you don’t want to know, and Google News cuts them out ahead. Would it hurt diversity in news and eliminate choices for readers before they actually have the choices.
Applause. Applause. The new era is coming. As long as journalists rethink and reposition on a global scale, digital media has much more to offer. George Brock encourages young journalists produce “engaging” content with interaction features. Overall, Mr. Brock gives a fair evaluation to journalism in digital age. It is not Journalism dying. It is Newspaper. It is not about content, it’s about medium changing.