New New Journalism

17 Jan

As newsgathering evolves, journalist must keep up with modern developments but try to maintain a strong code of ethics. Journalists must avoid falling behind the times while keeping the trust of readers.  Publications must maintain this balance as they navigate through the new trend of aggregating stories or the new focus placed on curation journalism.

News aggregation is the process where a journalist takes information from various news outlets and combines the information into one cohesive work.  This approach does a great job of synthesizing important information. Many publications are praising aggregation as a new alternative reporting style. However, aggregation has its critics as well.

In an article by The Independent, Rupert Murdoch said that aggregators would have to pay the price for the content they are using from his news outlets. Conversely, an article on GigaOM.com points out that the critics of aggregation are missing the true nature of aggregation. The article even claims that no one can define over-aggregation. It also claims that as long as a story provides links to the original source, aggregation should be legal.

An article on PBS’s MediaShift, acknowledges that journalist have a hard time determining if aggregation is journalism. Nonetheless, the article encourages readers and journalists alike to take advantage of new aggregation sites such as Storify to keep up with this growing trend. Salon.com hosted a written debate on the subject of plagiarism and aggregation and concluded that it is still a developing idea. The article states that the publication that can most transparently aggregate news, will have the most success.

Another new development in journalism is a focus on curation journalism. According to an article on mindymcadams.com, this form of organizing a publication goes beyond traditional editing. It considers the readers point-of-view. Curation attempts to provide the best selection of information displayed in the best possible manner. An article Nieman Journalism Lab emphasizes the growing importance of curation in the restructuring of the world of journalism. Not only do journalists need to curate information found through social media and reporting, they need to use multiple platforms to get the message of the story out to as many readers as possible.

As with all changes to an established institution, it will take time before journalists can reach a consensus and establish new rules on how aggregation and curation will work. In the meantime, publications will continue to produce content in any way that will grab readers and keep their publications in business. That may means using aggregation and offending other publications. It might mean  hiring new editors that focus on curation. Whatever the case may be journalism will adapt.

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