As society changed and brought about new things and innovative technology, the modern day forms of journalism began to change for us as consumers. As a child in elementary and middle school, I ate breakfast, read the newspaper and watched Sportscenter on ESPN every morning. These were the media platforms that I used to find information and to stay informed about what took place in society. For my parents, they did not always have the idea of watching television to the capacity that I was able to. They relied heavily on newspapers to stay informed about what took place in society.
With that said, journalism was changing while I was a child. I did not realize it at the time. After gaining more access to information, studying journalism during my undergraduate years and participating in different internships, journalism has changed tremendously. After reading the articles mentioned above, the state of journalism is much different now. The traditional media platforms — newspaper, radio, broadcast — still exist today but the Internet changed their roles and how they operate in society.
In addition to traditional media platforms taking more of a digital format, growing up, I did not truly understand the power of advertising. When I read the newspaper, I read advertisements that took up a great amount of space in places where I thought more news could have been included. I did not understand the importance of advertising and how the advertising business affected the way people received information. As newspapers and other traditional media formats began their transition of becoming more digital in nature, advertising began to take on a digital approach. Thus, today, the state of journalism is very different.
Why is that? Instead of always reading articles that fully kept people informed about society, advertising helped “pay for journalism to attract readers and viewers to news media” and “gave the illusion that journalism was a commercial business”(McChesney, 95). Journalism, according to McChesney, should be done for the good of society. This is very true. As journalists, we must continue to do our jobs to the highest regard, adapt to digital platforms of which we operate and push more for the “people” to keep them connected. The media industry is indeed commercial but to keep the trust of people in society, journalists must adapt and deal with the challenges in the industry today (e.g. advertising and digital innovation).
Whether it be social media pages, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or online websites with aggregated news stories from around the web, digital platforms have altered the way journalists produce the news. Instead of typical news stories and broadcast news, other jobs have emerged to allow people to find out information without waiting for the evening news or articles in a newspaper. Jobs like a producer for digital media content allow journalists to produce “small, important pieces of information” from traditional stories to keep people informed by the minute. Meaning, the work of a traditional journalist is now broken up to small pieces of information, almost like advertisements, to lure readers or viewers into reading a full article or watching the newscast at a particular hour of the day.
Thus, if you thought advertising would not change as technology allowed for news to take more of a digital approach, you were wrong. As technology continues to make an impact on journalism, there will be more jobs and opportunities for aggregation and curation of information from news stories. It is how the media outlets operate now. People are all over the web searching for information. Personally, aggregation of news is not a bad concept but it is an overload of information. When I scroll down my Facebook page or Twitter feed, seeing different posts that include a picture, a small piece of information plus a quote to catch my attention from millions of outlets is overwhelming. Nevertheless, this is what people want to see.
Moving forward, the ways that journalism is produced will continue to change. As journalists, however, it is important that we adapt to these changes and use new technology to better tell the stories in an interesting way.
The state of journalism is different today than it was 30 years ago. We have less people to do traditional media jobs but more digital technology to meet the needs of today’s society. As journalists, we must serve and work for the people.