The Role of Journalism

14 May

Technology has created a very different medium for journalists. As newspapers go out, more and more people are able to write what they feel through blogs and other sources.

The Internet has done quite a number on convoluting sources and is a place where it becomes difficult to sort out who is really credible.

Many people use the old media sources in the new media, such as New York Times Twitter page. I think this is a good way to receive news because it is still run by a source who edits and focuses on news.

However, many times people base the credibility on page views and how many hits a website gets. I understand this is a good indicator of what people are reading, but I do not think it is the way to judge journalists. I think many people use it for entertainment purposes and interesting gadgets or books, but I do not think blogs are the best source of real news.

Quality journalism:

1. Reports the facts

2. Identifies the correct sources

3. Focuses on what people really need to know

I think a lot of these ideologies have gotten lost in technology. By basing it on popularity, it is more for entertainment purposes. It seems like another wave of sensationalist journalism is taking over instead of the hard hitting facts. The younger generations receive “news,” but I think it is less about what is important. Sites like gawker attmpt to aggregate all disciplines, but this can make it confusing to sort through.

Society is undergoing a major shift in how we use journalism. I believe there will always be a need for true journalism, whether or not it is “popular” is not important. Newspapers and newspaper sites should stick to news, and not be as worried about attracting traffic. Now of course I understand how difficult this is with advertisers basing on clicks.

In the article, “The Economics of Online News” said there were two ways newspapers were trying to still gain revenue: “full subscriptions and pay-per article fees, often referred to as micropayments or aggregated microaccounting.” This is difficult when much of the information is out there for free, so paying for something becomes something the average consumer does not feel the need to do. I think we need to give newspapers another chance and pay for real news, because it is better than what you will find from random bloggers who believe they are the expert based on page views.

I do not know the solution, but hopefully it will start sorting itself out in the near future, as it is still a very fresh medium.

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