Five ways journalism is changing

by Leah Silver
Oct 30, 2018 in Journalism Basics

Today's journalism is changing faster than you can tweet about it.

What are the biggest changes facing journalism today?

To find answers, social media and marketing platform MyPRGenie conducted a free webinar based on the book “The Death & Life of American Journalism” by Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols.

The on-demand webinar, which you can watch here is presented by Julia Hood, president of the Arthur Page Society and sponsored by and hosted by the CEO of MyPRGenie, Miranda Tan.

Here are five insights IJNet found to be the biggest contributors to a shift in journalism:

• Emphasis on immediate news. The idea of reporting the news first has put a lot of stress on journalists, meaning that if it takes 20 minutes to report on an event, the journalist is too late, at least according to webinar panelist Dan Patterson, digital media manager for ABC Radio News. As a result, publishers, editors and CEOs of news organizations encourage reporters to deliver a story first hand, eliminating a lot of the editing and publishing process.

• The workers. Newsrooms today, according to webinar panelist Joe Skeel, the executive director of the Society of Professional Journalists, are trading in high-salary, more experienced journalists for younger, more flexible journalists with great multimedia skills but zero institutional knowledge or experience in the field. News organizations have also cut back on the number of people working inside the newsroom by 30% since 2000.

• The relationship between journalist and reader. News reporting used to be similar to a soliloquy or monologue; but now there are so many news outlets and digital platforms, audiences expect news publications to write about new topics and present new perspectives. As a result, Patterson believes that journalists are starting to have conversations with their readers. They are forced to build relationships with people from around the world by asking provoking questions that they can talk with their audience and not at them.

• Loyalty to a news organization. According to Skeel, readers used to have a strong relationship or loyalty to a particular news publication, but it has become the norm for today’s readers to develop an individual relationship with their favorite journalist or reporter. A journalists’ loyalty has changed too: While they used to identify themselves with their place of employment, journalists now identify themselves as individuals and by the types of things they do and report on.

• The rise of social media. While newspapers are falling, social media outlets are blossoming. According to webinar panelist Steve Buttry, the new director of community engagement and social media for the Journal Register, journalists utilize social media to post questions, track down sources and learn more about a particular topic through search engines that different social media outlets provide. Readers, on the other hand, use social media to obtain daily news reports and comment about various news events.

To wrap up the webinar Patterson noted that "the death of journalism is greatly exaggerated as people are inherently curious, social and lazy, which means that we want the path of least resistance between people, other people and information."