History Repeating?

The end of the world as we know it is coming. The internet has taken over. The 24hour news cycle has murdered traditional journalism. It’s history on repeat. As discussed by Tom Rosenstiels’ TED talk The Future of Journalism, the notion that people are turning away from news is not in itself true. He believes that instead, journalism is entering a ‘new enlightenment’. Mediums have adapted. Radio did not kill the newspaper. Television did not kill the radio. Online journalism will not kill traditional journalism.

Today news is on demand. We can get the news we want, when we want it. We are in control of our own learning. Thus Rosenstiel argues that we are to a greater degree than was ever true before, able to determine what we know and how we think about the world around us essentially making us more democratic citizens. Previously we had responsible gatekeepers force feeding us the news they thought we should know. People trusted them because they were a renowned brand with a good track record. The media told us what to think. Today news is on demand – we can get the news we want when we want it. We are in control of our own learning. We are not being told what to think, we are determining it for ourselves.

Overall it seems that the disruption caused by digital technologies in journalism is good for consumers. However it is, evidently, bad for media companies. Media companies are no longer the trusted gatekeepers of fact and fiction. We have become the producers. It cannot be debated that journalism is in a financial state of chaos as a result of the collapse of the advertising model, however it is not all doom and gloom for the future of news as a whole. Rosenstiel argues that ‘this disruption holds they key to journalisms own reformation’. It has happened before and we can do it again, embracing change and adopting technologies that overall enhance the quality of news and journalism has far greater benefits than desperately trying to salvage an industry that is rapidly losing face.

 

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