Over the past several years, the journalism industry has seen many changes and these changes are proving to be large contributing factors to the gradual decline of traditional journalism. The most evident change in journalism has been the drastic transition to digital media as technology gradually immerses itself into every aspect of our everyday lives. In recent years, more and more news outlets have made an effort to reach out to wider audiences through the use of technology.
Societal changes and the need for quicker news have also contributed to the changes in the industry. As more audiences turn their attention to digital outlets for news, traditional news outlets, particularly newspapers, have suffered. In this day and age, newspapers are no longer timely.
With the use of technology as a source of news, audiences are able to have their information at their disposal at any time of the day with the click of a few buttons, proving to be a desirable method of obtaining news. People today do not want to take the time to buy a newspaper and flip through pages of long articles in order to extract information about news that has already occurred.
With the aid of cell phone applications for nearly every news outlet in the market, audiences can filter the news they read based upon a variety of factors ranging from interest and political affiliation to geographic location and time period. The applications and websites immediately available on cell phones and tablets have made print news somewhat obsolete.
It is also no secret that people today have short attention spans. News readers only want to focus on one specific thing for a small period of time before they move on to the next. With digital media readers are able to skim through articles, easily flip from one page to another and conduct key word searches for the specific topic they are looking for. People no longer take the time to read every article they come across word for word, and social networking outlets, Twitter in particular, has further convinced the news media that the attention spans of their audiences are only getting shorter from one generation to the next.
Unfortunately, a lack of interest in news and the world today is partly to blame for changes in journalism and the decrease of traditional news audiences.
Today’s generation is not as political as past generations. Today’s audiences prefer to receive their news in a way that moves further and further from tradition, and the media is partly to blame for its sensationalizing of news. The media influences our perception of news more and more each day with its attempt to make everything fun and entertainment worthy.
For example, The Today Show, which previously covered more important, newsworthy stories in the past, has seen itself lower its standards to those of other day time talk shows with its increasing coverage of fluff pieces including celebrity news and pop culture. Although there is nothing wrong with shows such as The Colbert Report and television personalities such as Jon Stewart, these sources of media are influencing audiences and the way they think and choose to receive their news.
With a changing society and increasingly technological times, the minds of today’s audience are beginning to move toward a perception of tradition news as archaic. As the industry changes, those working in the industry must also adjust to transitioning times. It is no longer enough for aspiring journalists to simply have their articles published in print. They must also familiarize themselves with the new world of journalism which now includes reaching out to a broader spectrum of readers via technological methods. Today’s journalists need digital skills in addition to strong reporting and writing skills.
As the job market slims, only the strong will survive, so only the journalists with the ability to adapt in order to reach a broad audience will be afforded a job in a newsroom.
Although the changes in the world of journalism are not favorable to some, particularly those who prefer traditional news, it is important to note that the change in journalism is a representation of changing times. We now live in a world where people put a significant value on speed and convenience. We want things now and we want them done quickly, and the use of digital media has proven to be an effective method to provide the public with a more preferable way to receive their news.