Journalism: The Final Frontier

1 May

When I stepped into Steve Fox’s classroom in January, I wasn’t convinced journalism was dead. I wasn’t convinced it was alive and kicking, either. I knew a few things concretely:

  • Newspapers are dead and dying: I have some friends who have been working for the Chicago Tribune for most their careers. They have been watching mighty fall at their paper for the last five or so years.
  • Facebook is growing exponentially and taking a big chunk of the web’s traffic with it.
  • Print media, for the most part, has become obsolete.

I knew I liked the internet, I liked Facebook, I had recently had a sparked interest in Twitter. I didn’t know how all of those things were tools. I didn’t know that blogging was more than a fad that had died in the early 2000’s. I didn’t know that web journalism was as immense and diverse as it is.

I have learned in the last semester that newspapers may be on their death bed, but journalism is going through a renaissance. The internet has opened new doors that allow journalists to evolve the medium in creative and innovative ways.

The adoption of video and audio, beyond the worlds of broadcast, have changed the way people receive the news on the go. NPR  still publishes their radio stories primarily on the air, but they also offer them on the web and through their mobile application. Because of the new venues for publication, reporters are forced to learn multiple skills. A radio reporter now has to record sound, take photos, and shoot video.

As print news leaves, more and more news sites flood the internet. They are able to attract global niche audiences. They’re no longer confined by their small geographical circulation or limited publishing resources. As the amount of diverse content grows, audiences are able to expand and and explore many different outlets.

Blogging has made it possible for the people that were formerly confined to the role of reader, viewer, or listener to become the newsmakers. The blogosphere has given voices to millions of previously unheard people. Those voices flood the internet with opinions and content, giving readers unlimited options of what to read and how to read it.

Social media constantly changes the medium of how news is delivered. Twitter has become an invaluable tool for journalists. It enables writers to feed readers headlines throughout their days, without picking up a newspaper or opening a news site.

Twitter has also revolutionized the accessibility of the average reader to the reporters themselves. If Andy Carvin tweets something I am very familiar with and I see a problem with, I can respond by tweeting at him. I can immediately send reporters corrections, and if they are valid, the reporter will retweet me and fix his mistake.

Journalism is adapting and evolving at a break-neck pace. It is constantly exploring new mediums and voices. With this new-found tech flexibility, I think journalism will continue to live on in creative and innovating ways.

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One Response to “Journalism: The Final Frontier”

  1. stevejfox May 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    Remy — Well-said! It was nice having you in class. Good luck moving forward.

    Steve

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