Diaries Magazine

The Future of Journalism

By Pearlmacek

It depends on who you speak to these days when it comes to the future of journalism-  some will tell you that it is all over, that everyone is a journalist, especially with the advent of iPhones and social media networks like Twitter.

Other, more optimistic individuals will tell you that we are now entering a new and exciting time for journalism. In this case, I prefer to take the more optimistic route and believe that yes, journalism as we know it is changing, but it most certainly isn’t dying.

One thing we can all agree on, however, is that now a huge number of people in the  modernized world read their news in a digitalized form.know it is changing, but it most certainly isn’t dying.

This isn’t the first time that the profession has been forced to change course: there have been constant twists in the road that have allowed only the most flexible news organizations and journalists to survive. Take the introduction of television and radio to the playing field, for example. People could now get their news through multiple mediums and hence, newspapers worried that they would cease to exist.

Indeed, it seems that television and radio perhaps triggered the slow demise of newspapers, but now end is ever more tangible with the World Wide Web.

The Internet, along with its creations like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to name but a few showed just how important they could be for transmitting journalistic information, when, during the Arab Spring, the citizens of the countries involved, were able to show the rest of the world what was occurring in their towns and neighborhoods. Professional journalists too, understand the importance of such websites and social networks. They can now send a story out into the world within seconds, reaching people in some of the most remote areas of the world.

Yet some may view this new concept of immediate transmission of information in a somewhat more negative manner- Some journalists worry that they will soon be without a job. Thanks to the Internet and all its nifty ways of disseminating information throughout the world, persons with no professional training in journalism can become famous for his or her writings, rants, or observations posted on the Web.

However, we cannot overlook that there is a huge difference between the “information” we see on the Web, and the “news” that we read in order to be better informed.

To put it simply, a journalist is a trained professional who researches stories and then breaks them down (without “dumbing them down”), for the audience.

A good journalist should never include, nor ever imply, his or her point of view in the stories that they write. Instead, they should simply state the facts in order to allow the reader to make up his or her own mind about a particular news piece.

Unfortunately, many Blogs written by non-journalists are mistakenly confused for quality news when they are in fact opinion pieces. Anybody can have a blog (including me) or a twitter account and write about what they see happening around them, but it takes a professional journalist to guarantee ethical and balanced reporting on a news topic.

This new technology that we have at our fingertips does have a damaging effect to our own credibility as journalists; With so many sources of information available, we must be extremely careful in extracting information from what we read on the Internet. It is important that we don’t fall into a state of lethargic journalism where we never leave our desks in order to do some serious, investigative work.

Even when journalists do go out into the field to report, they sometimes fall prey to the easiness by which news can be transmitted: take what happened in Connecticut a couple of days ago, 27 people died at a local school. As soon as the press got wind of the event, there were all sorts of erroneous reports that filled Cyberspace and the television news networks. Because information can be accessed so quickly thanks to the Internet and cellphones, many “facts” about the tragedy were taken for truths and transmitted on various news websites and on television before they were one hundred percent verified. It seems that we have become blinded in the race of who can get their news out quicker as opposed to who can bring all the facts to the table.

We can be assured that there will always be a need to have professional journalists around but can the profession still be considered a profitable one? Well, of course it can be.

It has in the past and so it will continue to be in the future.  For some years now, news organizations have gotten their money from the things or even the people they promote either in their newspapers, on the radio and on television. Whether you agree or disagree with the morality of such a notion, is beside the point. Advertising and marketing still make the world go round and will continue to for awhile using whatever  popular mediums of communication at that specific moment.

Journalism has to always be at the forefront of technology or else we lose out big time-Our survival depends on our flexibility. The industry has gone through some serious changes in the past and thrived, so it can do it again. What people want is an unbiased looking glass through which to see the world around them. Good journalism provides that and so there will always be a job available for the professional and ethical journalist.

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