The face of traditional print media is changing rapidly. In their current form, print publications can no longer keep up with the 24 hour news cycle. If a story breaks during the evening the merciless and fast paced news cycle will deem a front cover ‘news break’ the next day as futile. The story that breaks via social media demands greater insight and a new angle by the time you have your morning coffee the following day. Therefore, traditional print publications have to re-think the way in which they break stories, interact with their readers and establish a credible online presence.
At first glance the move from print to online journalism may predict a grim future for journalists and newsrooms. But the move to online platforms also ushers in a new era of story telling and contentedness. The tools that journalist use to gather information, tell stories and break the news are becoming more accessible and interactive to readers and audiences across the globe.
There will always be a need and a desire for good journalism, whether that be for print or digital platforms.
With new and innovative ways of sharing news and information it is sometimes best to stop and demand quality rather than quantity. Markham Nolan, a journalist, explains in this Ted Talk how journalist and the public can filter through online information to distinguish fact from fiction.
Social media platforms allow people to become citizen journalists in their own right. Online citizen journalism empowers ordinary people to break the news, share their lives with the world, and hold those in power accountable.
This story of police brutality broke after someone recorded it and posted it on Facebook and YouTube.
This serves as an interesting info-graphic on the power and influence of social media in the USA. It also provides some insights into the way people consume content and news. Many South African newspapers that come from a traditional print background are harnessing Facebook and Twitter to connect with their readers.
Although the journalistic principles and ethics remain the same whether one writes for online or print, there are some key differences in style and outcome.
– Online journalism is more interactive than print. Readers can interact with the each other as well as the journalist in real time instead of having to send their letters in to be published in the letters column. Online journalism is also interactive through the use of video and other multimedia mediums along with the copy.
– Online journalism is more accessible and can be updated faster. Readers can get a live blow by blow account as the events unfold and stories can be updated on websites and blogs as they develop. This also means that journalist are expected to get it first AND get it right!
– Online journalism keeps it short and sweet.