Chapter 3 of Ken Doctor’s book Newsonomics, discusses the changes that both print and broadcast media outlets are being forced to make as we enter the “Digital News Decade.” The Internet has changed the very face of media and news distribution, leaving newspapers and broadcast stations to adapt and incorporate the benefits of the Web into their publications. Additionally, the vast number of media outlets and the ease with which their stories and content can be accessed and distributed has led to national and metropolitan news becoming saturated. This is why hyper-local news publications such as West Seattle Blog and MinnPost (mentioned in Doctor’s book) have become a popular alternative to the traditional newspaper.
While reading this excerpt I could not help but relate the content discussed to my experiences working as a staff writer for the Chicago-centric online publication, Gapers Block. As a music writer I have come to fully realize how much the Internet has revolutionized the field of reporting. Instead of providing the reader with an outside resource or trying to describe a band’s sound I can simply provide a direct link to the band’s website and imbed a song or video clip into my published piece.
Because I have more experience with print journalism I found Doctor’s discussions of the revolutions in the field of broadcast that the Internet has brought about to be more enlightening. A half-hour evening newscast now extends past its time parameters. Viewers/listeners can now access extended content and updates made to stories after their original airing. With the incorporation of websites, the content limits for news outlets are essentially nonexistent. However, herein lies one of the major problems with this new-age journalism: Media patrons are so accustomed to being able to access news information for free that the distributors/publishers are being forced to find new ways to generate profits for their work.
Despite the challenges that journalists face today in an ever-changing work environment, I am hopeful in that the new face of media does not symbolize the end of journalism, but rather new opportunities and outlets for journalists.