A Reuters’ article about a study conducted by University of Maryland’s journalism professor Susan Moeller showed that students are addicted to the internet. Compare flashing colorful images onscreen to printed words on recycled paper — Traditional newspapers can’t compete with new media. We’ve become a nation with ADD symptoms. Sure, we can sit still in front of the computer, but we probably have at lease five screens open at once. Facebook. Myspace. YouTube. Gmail. Bing. It’s like what Tom Rosentiel said about the audience being polygamists. We can’t commit to one social media, not to mention a single news outlet.

And the lure of not being in any committed monogamist relationships? Its fun. Like digital journalism. Even for online journalists, they have more freedom to express themselves. You can write blogs in first person. You can express political and religious thoughts and opinions. You can defame someone and not have to worry about libel (not that I would do that). And you don’t have to stick to one medium. Maybe some stories are better told through visual images. Others through video. And sometimes you can capture so much more feelings and emotions with images than any secondary description. I like that I can be present in a blog but also completely take myself out of a video. With videos, I like it for the subjects to tell the story and not distract it with my own narration.

However, the thing with blogs is that everyone can be a journalist now. I don’t even know what journalism/journalists mean anymore. Does having a degree in journalism make one a journalist? What about a job at a well-known news organization? Or a Youtube channel that has one million hits? Or a blog with 50 comments? Or what if I blog every hour? With new media, the line between journalists and readers is being blurred. Now readers can create their own content and don’t need journalists anymore. You can get published and reach the masses without a middle man. All you need is a computer and internet.

Coming into journalism school I was very adamant about sticking to print. But all the sites and articles we’ve analyzed made me realize how much journalism is evolving. Soon no one will be reading print news anymore. Mussenden once said something like, if no one reads an article does it exist? Or is it like the tree in the forest that supposedly fell? I’ve been learning to do things I used to be uncomfortable with and I’m finding that it’s not that bad. Like setting up a twitter account. Or YouTube. Or blogging. Or looking at HTML codes.

Journalism isn’t just about feeding information to the public anymore. It’s about communication — about getting comments and replying to them. The audience can choose what information they want and how they want it. And they can also give information to journalists, something that wasn’t available before.

Advertisements