Print Dies, Journalism Lives On

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Technology is rapidly advancing, and everyone must evolve with it. Just as radio stars became film stars when television was invented, journalists today must adapt from print to digital.

This article, titled "Journalism not dead, just evolving as a medium" explains that newspaper companies are making drastic changes to approach this situation.

Since 2000, print circulations have decreased by 26 percent. At the International Newsroom Summit last week, newspaper executives discussed ways to remain profitable as the decline in print continues.

Sulzberger, chairman of New York Times, stated, "We will stop printing The New York Times sometime in the future, date TBD." This article, about the conference discussed the economics of these shifts. It informs that starting in 2011, New York Times will still allow readers to access some information free, but will start charging those who use the site heavily.

As news moves from paper to the web, the number of publications charging for their online content will skyrocket. Users may be unwilling to pay for information that's free elsewhere, so companies must take caution to assure that they're accomodating their customers online.

With sites such as Flickr and Twitter and devices like the Kindle and iPad, it's possible for journalists to share news from anywhere, and for readers to access it anywhere and anytime. This instant interaction creates endless benefits for journalists.

As the article author puts it, "Though physical newspapers might soon be doomed to the fate of sheepskin scrolls, journalism itself survives as a highly marketable, in-demand
commodity." The transition from print to digital is inevitable. I believe it will be a long and complicated road, but journalism will continue strong if this evolution is handled strategically.


Social Now Does More Than Socialize

We all know that Twitter and Facebook link people to the world of communication as to what is going on out there. They are more geared toward playing games and talking with people, but now are being used to support crises response efforts by FEMA, DHS, fire, and police departments. An example of this is in 2009 two girls were trapped in a storm sewer and used their phones to updated the status of their condition and their friends notified the authorities so they could receive help.

Facebook is inexpensive which makes it easier for groups to get involved with this program and everyone is already on Facebook now so why not add more people and ones that can provide help. It is also flexible which entitles there to be all different types of apps. besides just games and other social things. In emergencies Facebook can be used to notify families of what is going on. However, it could also result in identify left or robbery of people by hacking into their information. Along with this people are now turning to e-mail and forms of social media to report emergencies in stead of dialing 9-1-1 because they feel they will get through quick. That is not the case because most data centers can't accept date from the social medias.

It's crazy to think that we used to have to use verbal communication in cases of crises or emergency and now we can just use our phones and tweet what is going on or post a status if there is a problem. Our world has changed so much and will continue doing so.


Less is More...But is it Really?

There are many things that differentiate news blogs from newspapers. The main difference is many news sites do not have enough money to hire a news room full of professional reporters due to the lack of advertising or investors, which leads to less experienced and fewer journalists working for the online site. Bloggers typically consist of newly graduated journalists and interns who will work for less money.

So how is a news site affected by this?

With fewer Journalists fewer stories are covered. News sites can still succeed with limited reporters with limitations on full-bodied news. To keep up with the times it is common to see newspapers that have an online version along with their printed version. By doing this they have the availability to post breaking news along with printing a weeks worth of full-bodied news. It is a well known fact that the printed newspaper makes less money today than it had in the previous years but it still makes more money than most news websites. 

Will the printed newspaper die out? I think eventually yes, but we must walk before we run and embrace ourselves for the era of printed and online papers until online news sites can find a way to become more profitable than the printed newspaper.


Keeping News Coverage Safe

About two months ago when Pastor Terry Jones announced he planned to burn the Quran, the Muslim holy book, on September 11, 2010 the news sparked an international turmoil.

As the 'Burn a Quran Day' came closer in the calendar, tensions grew and caused alarm in the media.

While there was uncertainty about whether the Quran burning was going to occur or not, news agencies and television networks were already thinking about proper ways to report this event. Some news agencies, like the Associated Press, viewed this event as "provocative and offensive," therefore declined to distribute images, audio or detailed descriptions of burning Qurans.

Similarly, CNN reported that a host for a popular Pakistan TV channel "didn't dare to report the news because if he did, not a single American would be safe in Pakistan."

It seemed like the reporting of burning Qurans through mainstream media would not have helped in any way, but it would help further spread hate and discrimination against Muslims.

Pastor Terry Jones, leader of the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida, planned the commemorative event to mark the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. "Despite pressure from The White House, religious leaders, and others to call it off," Pastor Jones was determined to carry-on with his plans.

The Quran burning was eventually called off by Pastor Jones himself.

The fact that some news agencies and television networks agreed not to release any offensive, discriminative, or disgusting content is something to be proud about.

Nowadays, news agencies try to get better rankings and notoriety among others by releasing the most shocking news. In such a sensitive case as the Quran burning, keeping news coverage under certain limitations, I believe, says much about a conscientious news organization and its journalistic values.


The Times and Social News

It appears that The New York Times is getting more involved with the growing phenomenon of social news. According to the article entitled "Betaworks and The Times Plan a Social News Service" by Jenna Wortham, The Times is partnering with Betaworks to create a new social news site called

In the ever expanding world of online social media and news it would seem fitting that a journalism institution such as The Times would be getting involved with social news. My feeling is that as much as The Times may or may not want to, they have to get on board with online social news. Sites like Twitter have forever changed the landscape of journalism by creating this instant source for breaking news that, in some ways, has helped kill off print newspapers: see Seattle Post-Intellingencer and Rocky Mountain News.

This collaboration between Betaworks, who are the creators of TweetDeck and, and The New York Times has been in the works for the past six months according to the article by Wortham. Not many details have been released about the site to this point which keeps the mystery intact.

When you direct yourself to the site there is nothing more than a placeholder as a web page. However judging by the name of the site, one can only imagine the possibilities it may provide to the media consumer.

Initially it is said that will debut as an IPad application and a web version may be introduced at a later date.

You may ask what does this do for newspapers and social media moving forward? It seems to this blogger that is only another exciting tool that is coming available to journalists and the public in general. It remains to be seen what effect this venture and others of its kind will ultimately have on the newspaper industry. However with newspapers getting into the fold, it would seem that they are doing their best to change and evolve with today's ever changing society.


The Abandoned RSS Feed

As media evolves, journalists must also retrieve information in new, innovative ways. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook are becoming more widely used in the journalism world. Unfortunately, for RSS feeds this means major competition and Twitter is winning.

IAC was forced to shut down its RSS feed, Bloglines, on Friday, September 10th, after owning the information service for only five years.

According to the article "The Death of the RSS Reader" by Joseph Tartakoff, "Bloglines’ shut down was likely inevitable whether IAC had taken better care of it or not, as people have shifted away from RSS readers over the last two years."

Of course it is well known to where the shift has been made. Journalists are moving to Twitter and Facebook because of their accuracy and immediacy for updates in news.

Journalists are able to track down the information they need as well as distribute it as they see fit. This is, in essence, what it means to be a journalist. With real-time news feeds, it is easier for people in every part of the world to share their news.

The reason for dying RSS feeds is not that they are innaccurate or out-of-date, but rather that they provide only news tracking options and lack the highly important news sharing capabilities.

"Recent moves with Google Reader seem to indicate that it too believes that it needs to be more than a straight RSS reader to be successful," Tartakoff said. "Users can now “follow” people who publicly share items via Google Reader and also flag items that they “like.”

By adding these features, Google Reader has made itself more interactive for the consumer and provided means for sharing the news that one would typically find on the site.

In essence, the RSS feed has not been left behind because customers are unsatisfied with the news it brings, it is merely a lack of attention to journalists' increasing needs.


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