Most experts in all elements of media can agree that the quickening progression of technology is hurting the newspaper industry and hurting the journalists. With the advent of blogging and archiving, a piece of news is accessible as the lick of a button, and everyone is a journalist. But that’s obvious. Most people are aware of the Internet’s power these days. Maybe not the extent of it, but generally speaking, the public understands it’s workings.
For journalists, the “2.0″ provided a swift change to the way they conducted business. Among other things, journalists are expected to have a general understanding of all different elements of media. Put in a resume saying you can write well? Not enough — journalists need to now understand social media, photography, videography, writing for print, writing for screen, writing for script. The list goes on.
A main issue that journalists are reminded of too far often is that now that print material becomes synonymous with web material, what they write is forever accessible. If a mistake was made, it’s there forever (maybe with a correction, but yeah, it’s there).
However, due to awareness and lessons-learned, this happens a lot less in the professional world than most would suspect.
In fact, the technological emergence has proven beneficial to journalists — mainly, the use of social media and data.
With data analysis, and the tools available for use of it, journalists and editors everyone in-between has the ability to “read” how people “read” their work. Tools like Google’s site data, news curve, QueryTree and Chartbeat can all show someone how well a story is doing. Someone can look at a newspapers’ weekly online trends to see what’s being read the most, what’s not doing so well, etc. This is especially good because it gives the paper the ability to give people what they want (and to a degree, what they need). The analysis reading can, in the long run, drive traffic to the website and get more readers.
A similar situation can be said for social media. The tools available can help spread news stories faster than they would ever go before. Say a reporter has a Twitter. These days, 90 percent of news stations’ and papers’ articles provide contact information of the reporter. Long time reporters have many followers on Twitter and even on Facebook. Some broadcast reporters will even have fan pages on Facebook.
Social media created an entire new space for news. As the years go by, more journalists know how to take advantage of “web 2.0″ and social media and the remaining aspects of online journalism. Whether they can keep up is the real challenge.