Changes to the world of journalism

7 Feb

The world of journalism is changing quickly and if journalists want to remain relevant there is a lot of reevaluating  needed. Everything from the way the newsroom is set up to the way reporters gather news is in need of an overhaul.

The current media system often rewards high-ranking officials at the cost of the average employee. This system is leading reporters to question the current news corporation organization, and leading the New York Times to consider occupying the newsroom. While papers struggle to gain readership and employ reporters, the executives are getting lavish bonuses. A reorganization of the way news is created would help make sure that those collecting and producing quality stories are able to continue to do so.

One area where readership is holding steady is at the local level, a study shows. Less local papers need to hone in on the advantage these local papers have secured.  Larger papers can appeal on a more local level by covering specific events their readers are interested in learning about. So though the journalism world is changing, looking back to the world of  local journalism could help larger papers grow.

The way reporters get their information is changing as well. In the process of learning to use and taking advantage of social media for news telling, reporters have found themselves in some difficult situations. Keeping personal opinions personal has become a much larger issue than simply banning bumper stickers. Therefore, news companies need to develop a social networking policy as protection. Many organizations have already established such policies and you can find list of them on many sites. Poyner  points out the importance of managing your comments section and friends lists. Keeping the comment section clean of any false or inappropriate comments keeps discussions on track.  Journalists must remember that they are always representing their news organization while using social media.

Another change in the way journalism functions is actually a change in the readers. Journalists are not the only ones taking advantage of social media tools. More everyday armature journalists are digging up information and gaining access to stories that traditional journalists would not have thought to cover. Readers are shucking their role as a passive audience and they want the traditional news world to know it. Journalists must take heed of their new information-savvy audiences and adapt to the forms of information they are using. Podcasts and blogs can be found on many newspaper websites now, and this trend should continue if journalists want to remain on the forefront of news reporting.

Just as the way people access information is changing and growing, the number of stories is increasing as well. In this mass of information, content farms have filled the role the source of information that is quickly posted and easy to find. The quality of these sites is debated, but no matter how the journalism world feels about them, they are around to stay. Journalists must learn to compete with the content farm sites which are purposely crafted to be found on search engines. More traditional news sites can use the same methods as these sites to be search engine optimized, or SEO. The basic way to use SEO is to determine key search words and include the most critical information in the headline. However, it is becoming more in-depth everyday as Google and other search engines grow and change the way they work. SEO is becoming so common that some companies  are even developing to work as search engine marketers.

Traditional news sources must keep up with the ever-changing news landscape. Knowing the developments in the world of digital news gathering as well as looking into what works elsewhere will help journalists to report the best news they can.

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