Journalism through cell phones

Sunday, September 7, 2008

By: Taylor Browning

A major sign of advancement and growth within our world is seen in the development and improvement of technology. Now the problem is, this technology may be dumbing down the general public one click at a time. Cell phones have come a long way from their original function of simply making phone calls. Today more and more mobile companies are now working with news organizations to bring the news right to the consumers, through their cell phone.

The iPhone is a great example for news being brought straight to the cell phone. People are capable of visiting many different websites within minutes and can therefore find the sports scores, traffic alerts and restaurant listings they are looking for. However, this 'to the point news access' over cell phones is what is ultimately hurting journalism because that is all people are looking for, sports scores and word puzzles.

Journalist are adapting to this news medium making shorter, to-the-point articles. It worries me however to think that I am missing out on important news simply because it was too long to fit on a cell phone screen. Every news article is linked to main pages making the fight to provide the news based on catchy headlines, video clips and sound quality. Yes, the linking of stories makes it easier to find what you are looking for, but much of the things you learn from the news is by accidentally hearing it or skimming over a story. If someone wants to know the football score, that is all they will get. There is no opportunity to pass by other information and learn from it.

Although people are getting less information, there are a few good things about receiving news through cell phones. The plus side to the24/7 news medium is that the impact of the news is wider. People in Middle Eastern countries are now able to get the news they wish even though they do not have access to a computer. Also, surfing through links to get stories makes it faster and easier to get ashort text content provided. This sample text is then leading towards more paper subscriptions to magazines and newspapers for those who may not have wanted one before passing through it on their cell phone.

Journalism is now in a world where the consumers have control of the news. Until technology grows to accommodate full length articles on cell phones, the public needs to stick to a more through way of receiving their news. Those buying the newspaper only for the word puzzles and comics can now skip the hassle and go straight to the source, but those looking to receive actual news stories with impact, its a better bet to stick to the newspaper.


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