It’s no secret that Traditional media (print or old media if you’d like) is dying out and that New media or online media is taking over. But does the migration of journalism into the World Wide Web imply that Traditional media is awaiting its extinction? Well, according to journalism expert Tony Rogers, ‘Newspapers Aren’t Dead – Not Yet‘ and I agree.
A lot of the content that’s in newspapers usually isn’t available for online publications – there has to be a distinct difference, something that makes you buy the paper the next day. When you pay for something, you will make sure you get your money’s worth. The same rule applies for when you buy a newspaper, you won’t stop reading in the middle of the sentence because you will not have the full story and your money will be wasted.
Specialists and beat reporters add value to stories and they should not have to be without a job as veteran newsman Bob Schieffer says.He also speaks about how certain issues will go unnoticed when ‘So many papers now can’t afford to have a beat reporter. For example, many papers don’t have a city hall reporter any more. They send somebody to cover the city council meetings, but to cover city hall, you have to be there every day and you have to know the overall story, not just report whatever happens on a particular day.‘ It’s economically viable to use fewer people to get the job done, but will they do the job properly? It’s a question of quality over quantity.
Use, Media Declining Attention
As news is available online, people have become insatiable. News stories have cycles that are dominated by hashtags to show your support or to express your disgust. The motto is ‘Online First’, you have to break the story via social media first to get people talking about what is happening.
All of this leads to Declining Media Attention because social media makes it easier for us to share news. Within minutes of something happening, we will have a first-hand account of the event and visuals to accompany the story. Once we have that, it’s not necessary to read the story again tomorrow – what’s the point? There’s an online comments section where we are able to comment and dissect the content (and each other) to give us the context of the story. Organizations use Open-source journalism to ensure that the story never dies …News now has a 24-hour cycle where we had to wait for certain editions of the day before we were informed of what was happening. And according to some, our attention span is now less than that of a goldfish! (Read Michael Brenner and Megan Easterbrook-Smith as they discuss our attention span).
This YouTube video starring Dr Derina Holtzhausen of the Oklahoma State University, sums up what the future of journalism looks like. Journalists are dependent on social media for news stories and if we want the practice of Journalism to stay alive, we have to keep our finger on the pulse. And most importantly, a story is not new for very long, so you have to always be looking for new stories or different angles.