Sunday, September 23, 2012

Journalism in Crisis

For years, newspapers have been one of Americas’ primary source of global, national, and local news. We rely on them for the information that we needed to understand what is happening in our world. But today, newspapers across the country, including in the north east region, are in crisis. Declining circulation and advertising revenue have led to staff cuts, less content, and even bankruptcy, putting in question the ability of the newspaper industry to continue providing vital information to the public.
It’s no secret that journalism has had to step down from the pedestal it was once on. In a way this descent has been, in part, a result of its own doing and in part because it has failed to keep up with the times. While technology has progressed, journalism has to a certain extent been unable to re-invent itself in the digital sphere and has simultaneously been unable to sustain itself in the analog sphere.

Journalism is being given tough competition by sites such as Twitter and Facebook, where traditional forms of news reporting do not matter anymore. What traditional media outlets can't do anymore, is cover breaking news. That is one of the fundamental problems facing journalism today. With reporting become by the second as opposed to daily, consumer’s habits have changed and unfortunately newspapers haven’t been able to keep up. But we are forgetting that there's a difference between information and knowledge, If a bomb goes off in Afghanistan, people can read about it instantly on Twitter but they won't be able to know what it means. Where did it come from? Who did it? What's happening over there? That is what journalism can do.

A new survey released as part of this year’s annual State of the News Media Report probes news consumption and habits on different digital devices, including how news consumers use social media. This report explores in more detail the findings as they relate to social media and news. It explores not only the extent to which social media are used to access news, but also how news behavior on Facebook compares with that on Twitter, and who these social media news consumers are.

Overall, the survey confirms that Facebook and Twitter are now pathways to news, but their role may not be as large as some have suggested. The population that uses these networks for news at all is still relatively small, especially the part that does so very often. Moreover, these social media news consumers have not given up other methods of getting news, such going directly to websites, using apps or through search. In other words, social media are additional paths to news, not replacements for more traditional ones.

In my opinion, for traditional journalism to survive, they need to evolve. They need to become more integrated into the internet or anywhere viewers are going to spend most of their time. People have become reliant on the internet and tasks being generally easier. They will not go out of there way to follow other news sources when it is already in their face on social networks. In the years to come, I expect to see a revolution of traditional journalism but hopefully in the right direction

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