Is Journalism Really Dying?

Many critics of online journalism and Web 2.o claim that the nature of true strong journalism is decreasing.  With all the junk out on the web, credible sources can be hard to find.  They also think the fast- paced, blog style of writing and resources does not provide the reader with quality information, and nothing is ever as good as the old way.

However, there is hope in our new technologies to suggest that the industry can be saved.

In fact, online newsrooms can enhance journalism.  Since companies are going public with all their important information, journalists do not need to pull teeth for financial reports or even be at formal press releases.  They can simply watch the video online, and at their own leisure.

Journalists are making good use of their online resources, thanks to Web 2.o technologies.  According to PRCoach.com, journalists agree that their field is benefiting from the new practices.  The use of social media is also affecting the future of the profession.  The use of social media is high among journalists, at around 70%.  This increases communication between the companies and the people that report on them.  Journalists read corporate blogs, watch videos, listen to podcasts and ‘follow’ or friend the companies they research on Twitter or Facebook.  This interactivity is different from past practices, and creates a better flow of key information.

Journalists know they cannot do it all alone.  There is evidence to suggest companies are working with journalists to provide them with the tools they need to do their job correctly.  Justin Pettigrew and Bryan Reber did a study on how Fortune 500 companies utilize online press rooms.  They looked specifically at the easy-to-use features on the websites.  A good feature is contact information. 58% of the sites contained PR contacts.  This makes it easy for journalist to have further communication with a company, and create a stronger personal relationship.   The press rooms also had a key factor, frequent updates.  92% contain press releases within the last 30 days.  This tool gives journalists the most current news, as well past information to learn more.  45% of these sites contained a press release search engine, to make looking through archives quick and easy.

There is obvious evidence that all of this information can only help true journalism.  An interesting thing I hope to research next week is the high use of Twitter among journalists.  I want to further develop ideas on this topic, and see the advantages/disadvantages of the microblog.  Stay tuned!

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  1. #1 by Melissa Williams on October 10, 2010 - 7:58 PM

    Christine, such an interesting post. I am with you and believe that this will give journalists a plethora of information that was once impossible to get. Question for you. Since the corporations themselves are writing the news that objective journalists will use isn’t there a high-chance that the news will be biased and skewed to the corporations benefit? Wouldn’t that damage the credibility of all future news? Let me know what you think if you come across any research!

    • #2 by Christine Berghorn on October 10, 2010 - 8:07 PM

      Thanks! Awesome blog post idea. That thought never did cross my mind, since a lot of the sites seem credible. But seeming credible is not always right. Since it is bound to be biased, this does create a bit of an issue. I will definitely look into that and let you know what I find

  2. #3 by Angela Marino on October 10, 2010 - 8:11 PM

    I completely agree with you Christine, journalism is not dead it just is growing with the new internet abilities. CNN has a 24 hour program on television and to couple that they have a youtube page http://www.youtube.com/show?p=B18HzH2Tys8 with more that 190 videos and hundreds of views. The size of your audience grows when you place your content in different ways to be viewed. Everything is so immediate now that waiting to announce a story not online would be suicide for your news company.

  3. #4 by Lindsay Callahan on October 10, 2010 - 9:24 PM

    I agree that journalists should continue to embrace the use of social media communications to enhance their ability to serve the public and deliver the news. Once measured, journalists can better assess the effects that tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogging can provide for their business. Check out this mom-blog post by CurrentMom.com explaining the top 3 reasons that social media efforts can help journalism.

  4. #5 by Christine Berghorn on October 10, 2010 - 9:49 PM

    Thanks Lindsay. That’s a good resource

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