Modern Journalism

4 Apr

As many in the journalism industry already know, traditional print media is being shuffled out the door to make room for a new kind of journalism.  Newspapers are being run into the ground by the Internet.  Any journalist who doesn’t acknowledge this happening is simply in denial.  The key to newspapers’ survival is to embrace this new era, rather than run from it.  The Internet is taking over every aspect of our lives, from where we get our news, to where we buy our clothes.  If professional journalists want any chance of saving the historic industry, they have to act now.

Newspaper publications across the country have begun to figure out that print versions of its newspapers just aren’t enough.  In order to keep or increase readership and revenue, online versions of newspapers are becoming necessary.  All of the largest institutions, including the NY TImes and The Washington Post, not only have online versions but apps for mobile devices as well.  These newspapers are branching out, in hopes of reaching a wider audience through technology.  People who have never read the NY Times in the past now have the capability of reading it from home, or on the go from a phone. This concept of accessibility has remarkable potential for the media industry, if only it is willing to make some changes and leave the ways of the past behind.

For traditionalists, the past may be hard to let go of.  As former Los Angeles Times writer Erin Weinger said, “Journalism has remained so unchanged … that journalists didn’t feel they had to change.”  Weigner makes a great point.  Journalism has remained virtually static for 200 years, with only minor changes here and there.  It has never experienced change of this magnitude.  Weigner furthers her point by adding, “Leads can be found everywhere now, from places you’d never deem credible in the past.  But, five years ago, if you said you were citing a stranger on the Internet you’d [probably] get yelled at by an editor.”

The Internet will continue to reshape and redefine the journalism industry.  If print newspapers don’t embrace it now, they will find that the competition is too much to handle.  Penn State’s student-run online newspaper Onward State is a great example.  Completely separate from the print edition of the university newspaper, Onward State has established a name for itself on campus, and provides readers with live updates via Twitter.  Readers are also able to comment on stories and give suggestions of their own using Twitter.  This is something that the university’s print newspaper, The Collegian, can’t do.  Slowly but surely, the Internet is replacing the hard copy version of the traditional newspaper.

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