11 Mar In journalism, what’s old is new again, mostly
This week our digital communications class discussed something near and dear to me: digital journalism. Ahhh.
The class went over some the challenges and opportunities presented to journalists in these fast-moving times. Among the challenges are deadline pressures and adaption to new technologies. But these have always been challenges journalists have faced since the start of newspapers. It was just based on the technology at the time.
During my undergrad years, we pasted up stories to boards and sent them to the printer. At Long Island Business News, we moved on to ftping files to the printer. Then we were challenged by social media, citizen journalists and overall advancement in technology that allowed an instantaneous flow of information that enabled journalists to bypass the traditional gatekeepers in the form of newspaper editors and TV assignment editors. Blogging for many was considered beneath their standards.
It was a rocky start, for sure, and many people had — and still have — varying opinions on how much information should be shared before it is vetted by the higher-ups. But one thing is certain: there is no going back.
The question we now face is, how do we best leverage the technology available, use crowdsourcing, social media and big data to take journalism to a new, more interactive stage? It’s being done by the big guns such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and Newsday, but is there also opportunity for smaller players to get in the game? For now, the endeavors can be expensive propositions, but if we’ve learned anything over time, it’s that journalists adapt. It might take longer that we’d like, but it will happen.