The future of journalism

4 05 2011

Things like Coke in a bottle, fresh milk delivered to your front porch, and a young boy screaming at the top of his lungs for you to read all about it, are now part of a nostalgic America. The very essence of what these details meant to each one of us at one time or another are now but only memories of a slower, more intimate time in American Culture, including the latter: The newspaper and news delivery business; in particular, the business and future of journalism.

“Traditional news is struggling and continues to struggle, say Mark Flatten investigative reporter for the Goldwater Institute.  You don’t go to one news source anymore, now, you can find your news anywhere in the world.”

Flatten, who has 20 years of investigative writing experience at the Arizona Capitol has won numerous awards for his stories on political corruption and scandal says investigative reporting is very time consuming, expensive, and labor intensive and continues to say that more people are getting their news from the internet.

According to Tim Vetscher, reporter for ABC15 in Phoenix, Arizona says that the trend for news broadcast is not the same as it used to be, where one reporter would go out on an assignment and work along a cameraman and producer.

AP photo by Ross D. Franklin

“Things have changed, says Vetscher, now, you go out to get a story, interview people, shoot the video, and bring it back to the station where you write your script and edit the news piece without any other help.”

Vetscher says that the new role of the journalists is to know many things, not just one thing.

“You need to know how to use a camera, how to write, and how to edit, this is the new Multi Media Journalist.”

An article in the Washington Post regarding the future of Journalism says that more people received more of their news on-line in 2010 than any other sources according to survey data from the Pew Research Center and that on-line news consumers still headed towards traditional news sources such as the New York Times and CNN.

“There is value on the Internet as far as content, says Flatten, but it’s not being monitored. And most news sources don’t have a proper business model to sustain this type of media, although it is very dynamic, free and accessible, but it’s true, the traditional news model is collapsing quietly.”

Flatten also says, Rick Edmonds, media business analyst at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Peter adds that some traditional journalist are being funded by non-profit organizations to write as reporters. Organizations such as ProPublica, and Voice of San Diego are helping most journalists find a home says Edmonds.

Vetscher states that even though he is doing more work to produce a viable news story in broadcast form, there isn’t much leverage when it comes to asking for a raise.

Mark Cooper, reporter for the Huffington Post, wrote in a 2009 article regarding the future of journalism that one of the most important aspects in traditional newspapers is still “good” journalism, which is a public good and is valuable to readers.

“Advertisement is also in the toilet, says Flatten, when it comes to print media, there was a 43% decrease in 2007 and 2008 and 13,000 less newspaper jobs in 2009.”

Cooper also writes that revenue from advertisement has been declining rapidly.

Ben Norris, journalist and freelance writer says that marketing for journalism is quickly becoming one of the tools for the future of journalism.

“You must be a business person in order for you to succeed as a journalist, today’s journalist needs to wear different hats, especially when it comes to selling your stories.

Vetscher says that today’s journalist has to have access to different media platforms, such as tweeter and video. He says that having a resume on-line with a reel showing your experience in different types of stories is almost a necessity.

“Traditional newsrooms are empty, says Flatten, its the lowest since the 1950’s, but it’s true, the traditional news model is collapsing quietly.

Sidebar:

5 reasons there’s a bright future for journalism:

1. More access to more journalism worldwide.

2. Aggregation and personalization satisfies readers.

3. Digital delivery offers more ways to reach people.

4. There are more fact-checkers than ever in the history of journalism.

5. Collaborative investigations between pro and amateur journalists.

Courtesy of Mediashift

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