Has digital technology changed the approaches of traditional journalism? I think most of us can agree that this is the case. The shift to the digital era has caused some stir in the journalism community. Many journalists only see the negatives to this change and call the Social Media Revolution the kiss of death but, as Benjamin Franklin says, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Journalists need to learn to implement these technologies in this Digital Era in order to succeed.
Blogging and social media are probably the two biggest platforms to monitor, in the world of journalism. I think we can anticipate changes in journalism as changes in these platforms continue. We are in an era of constant connectivity and in 2012 Pew Research states that 77% of US Adults own a computer. 44% of adults own or use a smartphone. These are devices that give us the power to get information when we want it, and we normally want it right away.
If these platforms are utilize correctly, then we are going to see a new era in journalism. This field has already changed in a plethora of ways, but now it faces a digital push. Reporting news quickly, is easier now than it has ever been before. With platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and now Snapchat, it has been more competitive on who can get the news out there first. I think one downfall we can anticipate, because of social media, is that the increase in competition has affected the quality of news reports. Huffington Post has been known to update articles online once they gather all the correct information.
Another trend I think we can anticipate, and will have to work through, is that society wants more input in what news they listen to. This has hurt the field of investigative journalism because demand is pulling in another direction. “The viewer wants to be entertained. The faces on the screen are not chosen for their opinions, but for their entertainment value.”
Journalism is becoming more and more independent. It is no longer the voice for a news organization. According to Pew Research, “people have less faith in the news now because of political bias [in news organizations].” But now there is an era of more freelancers who have the opportunity to voice their own thoughts and opinions, and I believe this will be the era where journalism will be viewed as more trustworthy.
“Discover [on Snapchat] reveals that the more media changes, the more it stays the same.” These new platforms are going to be an extension of old media, but we are still crossing into a new era of journalism in the Digital Age.