A dissertation – like discussion in one blog post. Obviously this will not be in-depth however it is an interesting topic to discuss. When comparing journalists ‘before the Internet’ to today’s online journalist, no body would blame you for thinking that: ‘ Patch reporters in the true sense of the word are a dying breed. Gone are those who are known by everyone who is anyone in their local area with a finger firmly on the community’s pulse…’(Guardian-Ross Hawkes) however because of the rise of social medias in recent years it no longer seems as clear cut.

Think of it this way: before social medias, many journalists were dedicated to certain areas – it was very hard to be connected to more then one community or specialty especially while meeting deadlines. Social Media on the other hand opens up the journalist to the world immediately. Interacting with the audience is becoming a bigger priority and through comments, personal chat boxes and more a journalist can connect with more people easily.  This does not mean journalists are cut off from their community because they are looking at a screen but rather it is the new way that both journalists AND the audience want to communicate in – the easier and quicker is the ideal especially if its from the comfort of home and profesional journalists still cannot do everything from a computer screen, it is just a tool in their arsenal.

The audience themselves have also changed because of social medias – it has made them more demanding. Whether it is a new-generation ‘trend’ or not the public now expect fully written, reliable articles to be written immediately after the event or products release. Being treated to the immediacy of today’s news has made them come to expect it as norm from journalists – putting more pressure to keep up with expectations. All of these points have to be considered before guessing that a journalist is no longer in touch with their audience or at the same time saying journalists are fully connected to their audience.

Opinions on these matters are assumptions, not facts. Including the fact that social medias allow journalists to do things in their own personalized way (therefore with different levels of interactivity per journalist) it has also extended their  reach to more people without having to actually see them face-to-face. Some could argue this dehumanizes journalism to just clicks instead of people (views) but it is also undeniable that thousands more people will see an article online compared to on print. It saves one the trip of collecting a newspaper and makes it easier to share a story you liked with friends and family while also giving the option to actually interact with the article through discussions, add information or using a rating systems (like the common ‘like’ button).

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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