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article imageOp-Ed: Journalism thrives off the Internet

By Syra Sharif     Feb 28, 2014 in Business
Ask anyone today whether they think journalism is dead and their answer will depend on what medium they prefer to find their news. Most people today likely get much of their news online.
The traditional newspaper journalism may be on its way out, but that does not mean that journalism is at its deathbed. In fact, all the media platforms we may think are just for social purposes can be used quite effectively to tell a story or aid in finding sources. It’s about using those sources to tell a story.
It takes the right people to believe that digital journalism is what will save the field. Marc Andreessen, the investor who believed that bitcoin would reshape global finance, says we are on the verge of an internet powered resurge in journalism, according to a report in Wired by Ryan Tate. Different experts in the field of journalism would likely agree that journalism trends are shifting more towards digital thought. The Poynter Institute is a good resource, offering great insight into harnessing the tools in social media when it comes to reporting.
The key to writing a good story is knowing the audience. This can be hard to pinpoint, especially if one is writing for a varied audience on a news site. As Andreessen points out though, people are investing in news companies because it is worth their time. For example Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar pledged $250 million to a news startup led by journalist Glen Greenwald, and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes bought The New Republic. Another trend is journalists breaking away from companies to form their own startups. Examples of this include Glen Greenwald (see above) and Bill Keller. Keller, a former executive editor and columnist of The New York Times recently left to be the editor of a non-profit news company focused on criminal justice. In this way, journalists are able to write and edit the news which suits them. It almost brings an appeal back to freelance journalism, but in a way that focuses more on quality rather than quantity.
It is almost impossible to be a journalist in today’s world without being online. From someone who has written for both print and digital mediums, I don’t think journalism is going anywhere anytime soon. It’s about understanding what medium works for you and how to make sure that you are using it the best that you can.
There still might be those at newspapers who are not sure how to break into the digital landscape. It’s easy to say that one has a Twitter and Facebook, but it can be harder to get followers if you are not active. I believe Tyler Loveless summed it up pretty well in his December op-ed in Digital Journal, in that the statistics might be low but ultimately the field is evolving more than anything else. Being someone who follows the news cycle and reports on trends in the media, I can’t think of a better time to be in journalism.
You can read all the articles telling you how best to use social media or worse telling you that journalism is dead, but you probably will not understand what that means until you are in that position yourself. Some might say I’m crazy for going into a field where the job outlook is fairly low, but I’m not looking at that. It’s about thinking about the story and reaching out to others to find personal enrichment in the world of journalism.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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