While many see the impact of the internet on journalism as a threat to traditional news media, it is simply a restructuring of the standard newsroom into a new era in communication. Writer KAYLA PAULEY explores several ways the internet positively affects journalism
The internet drastically shifts the way journalists do their jobs, from changing the way they receive information and story ideas, to altering how they share those stories.
A mere few years ago, all information was expressed in black and white papers or TV channels run by men in suits. Today, with the help of the internet, it’s evolved into a whole other (often intimidating) ball game.
Although countless articles, such as Martin Cohen’s 10 ways the internet is killing journalism, label the internet as the death of journalism, in reality, it’s birthed a new, enriched version of it.
The Internet Enables Journalists to Amplify the Voices of the Community
With one single post online, a journalist has the power to reach thousands, if not more. In fact, YOU magazine boasts a whopping total of two million views per week. Many voices never have that same reach without journalists.
“These people have the voices, but they don’t have the means to get heard,” says Aly Colón, Knight Professor in Journalism Ethics at Washington and Lee University. Journalists, therefore, are the community’s “megaphones” whenever their stories are shared online.
The Internet Can Increase the Accuracy of a Writer’s Content
According to Nicola Watts’s article for Ogilvy, the problem is that the internet ensures the spread of fake content faster than ever before. Whether it be misinformation or disinformation, it strips journalists of their credibility and wreaks havoc in the “real world”, as seen in the 2016 US elections.
Accuracy signals the journalist’s respect for the audience. With sites like AfricaCheck, FactCheck, and Snopes, there’s no excuse to mislead the readers. What’s more, thanks to the internet, journalists can reach out to various sources with the nifty click of a button. As a result, reports are more varied and hold more contextual depth.
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The Web Connects Journalists and Their Readers
At its roots, journalism is storytelling that forms bonds both locally and globally, immersing individuals in an abundance of narratives. As Steph Marsh says in her article for StoryTeller, “by lending an ear and allowing room for honesty and vulnerability, your audience is more likely to connect to your story emotionally.”
The internet now allows journalists to have a direct dialogue with readers through tweets, messages, comments, and email. Whether it’s through beautiful descriptions of the wilderness, laugh-until-you-cry humour columns, or inspirational human profiles, there’s a reduction in the distance between “us” and “them”.
Journalism today is, in a word, dynamic. Even with the moving of journalism from papers and channels to podcasts, blogs and the oh-so-famous Facebook, it’s crucial to understand that the internet is not some monster. Instead, it’s a catalyst in a modern journalist’s career.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Being a young adult means there are few crazy social media trends published writer and avid blogger Kayla Pauley hasn’t lived through. This is exactly why expressing her opinion on them feels like second nature. Already having experience in events planning and being a qualified yoga instructor, she’s constantly finding ways to add value to her current gap year. Either that, or she’s simply cosying up in bed.