The Changing Media Landscape

“The disruption of the traditional business model has led many in journalism, especially those who have worked at newspapers, to questions the future for journalism. Don’t be one of them.” Mark Briggs offers this quote to point out that the changing technological landscape isn’t bad for journalists, its great!

In regards to the changing media landscape, and how traditional journalism is changing and evolving to meet today’s technological standards, Mark Briggs offers his perspective of hope. In his book Journalism Next he argues that journalism is a constantly evolving medium and that today’s changes are very reflective of the journalism from the early 1900’s, when there were many small news papers with very few reporters as each one. Journalism reached it’s height in the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s, but is now facing change again, and will always experience cycles.

Journalism intermingling with technology and using technology as a tool is only in its infancy. “The future of journalism can and will be better than its past,” Briggs records Richard Gingras saying. Gingras was the former CEO of Salon.com and now works as head of news products at Google. Gingras offers wise words to help make sense of the rough transition traditional journalism has had with technology, “There’s a large amount of transformation to get from here to there. The culture of innovation is not a luxury…it must be part of an organization’s DNA.”

Setting aside the worries that plague traditional journalism, the tools that are available for journalists to deliver to their readers continues to grow everyday. Snapchat is now considered a serious medium to deliver news everyday, along with Twitter, Vine, Periscope and Facebook Live. Unfortunately, from this author’s perspective, Periscope has yet to be used in the manner that it could be and it is a tool that is currently very undervalued in the journalism world.

YouTube is a way to deliver news to viewers so they can watch it on their own time. Another thoughtful use of current technology is Reuters TV, available as a mobile app, or on their website Reuters.tv, where viewers can choose how long they want their video to be (anywhere from five minutes to 30 minutes), and download the video to their device for offline viewing later. Original reporting still taking place with tradition journalism methods, but being delivered in an updated and modern way.

BuzzFeed of course has also garnered a lot of attention, being that they were the first full mobile news service to find a way to make profit and reach thousands of readers everyday. Their model is quite interesting, with their profits coming from click bate headlines and listicles that are quite entertaining to read. Some listicles are complete advertising schemes written in a cute manner to reach big audiences. But while some traditional journalists feared this was a great undermining of original reporting and journalism standards, BuzzFeed has taken their successful business model and started an investigative unit, and allows them to follow other efforts that are more traditional methods of reporting. An excellent article that I read can be found here:  https://www.buzzfeed.com/michelledean/dee-dee-wanted-her-daughter-to-be-sick-gypsy-wanted-her-mom?utm_term=.koAbJXBmB#.wnEa36dDd.

To come to a close, Mark Briggs has inspired me to believe that journalism isn’t dying (as many in the industry argue is happening), that the integrity of information that was once delivered via newspapers, television or radio is just now  being published on new mediums and there is much more work to do. In its infancy, there will be experimentation, winners (BuzzFeed) and losers. This is only just the beginning.

 

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