The Future of Journalism

By Carolyn VanBrocklin

I spend a sunny afternoon in Washington, D.C.

I spend a sunny afternoon in Washington, D.C.

The future of journalism seems a little bleak; if you are a pessimist, that is. While the journalism industry, particularly print, is having some trouble, journalism will always be a presence. There will always be some demand for news from people who are interested in world events.

Today, journalism is evolving to adapt to the changes and uses of technology. Currently, the news is moving to the internet with the prevalence of Web 2.0 as an important instigator of this trend. With the internet and Web 2.0, journalism is forced to evolve or die out.

One of the interesting and enjoyable things about the switch to a web-based format is the way newspapers are presenting their news. With the variety of online tools, newspapers can offer photographs, videos, and various interactive features that enhance the news experience and add to the story. This use of technology adds dimension and interest as long as it is used wisely to tell the story.

This increased use of other forms of media is interesting to me. I have enjoyed learning how to use different computer programs and quality camera equipment that possibly would not have been taught with a focus on traditional print journalism. I like the added dimension one can add to one’s own work with original pictures and video that have been captured. I think this will make me a more multifaceted journalist and ultimately improve my work.

The internet is leading to some interesting trends with how the news is presented. The use of blogs in professional news is becoming increasingly prevalent. In addition, many people with internet access are creating blogs, with which they can report on their own interests. The use of blogs means that anyone can become an amateur journalist.

While researching various points of view on the future of journalism, I found a list entitled “10 Reasons There’s a Bright Future for Journalism” in a blog, interestingly enough. One of the points was that many voices can now be part of the conversation. This is evident through the use of blogs, where anyone can share their opinion, and even through comments after newspaper articles. The bloggers have an increased influence on the news, and this means that they can bring their own points of view to life and make them important to readers.

In a recent March 9th post on his blog BuzzMachine, Jeff Jarvis discussed the role of journalism students in “the new news marketplace.” He wrote that students should be able to help out the local news outlets, which is what we are being pushed to do in this class. Jarvis thinks that this could be a market where students could compete to have the best clips that cover an assignment, which would help coverage and different news outlets would be able to share the information that students cover.

While Elon’s School of Communications sometimes works with the Burlington Times-News, these ties could definitely be strengthened. This could be a development in the future of journalism that would be an interesting bridge between students and professional journalists who work together to bring more news to a larger audience.

As a journalism student, I think his idea is something that should be practiced between all communications programs and the local paper. It is a great way for students to learn and get real news practice, and the local news outlets would benefit as well by having a greater amount of news coverage.

The future of journalism is something that is on many people’s minds in the Communications department here at Elon. As for me, I am content to see where it all goes. I am just going to have faith that something good will come out of this confusion, and continue to learn all that I can in the meantime. I do not mind rolling with the changes; it will be a good learning experience.

(Post updated March 15th 2009 by Carolyn VanBrocklin)

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One Response

  1. Hey Carolyn,

    I like the banner photo you have at the top, because it is relaxing and beautiful. It doesn’t look very newsy; it’s up to you what you want to put up there. Pam Richter is one of your classmates who found a newsroom-style photo to slot in up there. Camile DeMere also has a newsier shot that’s blurred in an arty way.

    You did a good job on writing BRIEF paragraphs of no more than one to three sentences in length. Your spacing is good and you are allowing your readers to “breathe” – great!

    You wrote some good content, and you provide one link. You should try for more. You could improve this and give it more value to an audience if you would include more specific mentions of a few other authoritative voices on the topic of the future of journalism and provide links to them. It’s up to you who you’d like to refer people to, but when you get the chance, if you want to you could add in mentions of and direct links to some top writers on this topic – some places to start looking around for those voices are Jeff Jarvis, Jay Rosen, Dan Gillmore, J.D. Lasica and some of the people those online writers link to regularly.

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