The digitization of journalism

27 Mar

Journalism is changing not only due to big new social media or new techniques to gather new, but simply because stories are being posted online.  The ability to go back into a story an changes, enhance and expand is relatively new. Journalists are still learning all of the ways that they can take the digitization of their stories and use it to the advantage of the publication and their readers.

Posting a story online before it is printed is becoming common practice. There are many advantages to doing so. It allows for reader feedback so the publication can know what issues to focus on. It also allows for more details to come in either from readers or official sources, before a story is set in the unforgiving permanent ink.  Creating and focusing on easily sharable and linkable digital versions of stories increases views, popularity and the ever important ad revenue.

However, it is not just the posting of stories online that is going digital. The whole news cycle from story idea to leads and finally to the finished product is being posted for the world to see by some news organizations.  This method of gathering news gives readers an understanding of how the story developed and the transparency helps readers trust that the publication is giving them the full story.  It also makes it easier for the reporters to make sure they are writing about the issues that matter the most to their audience. Some journalists worry though, that reporters are becoming more dependent on readers than the readers are on the content journalists post. Journalist must be careful to attribute the work that comes from readers through these transparent techniques but remain a valuable source of information at the same time.

One tip to keep the quality of the digital stories on par with the rest of the publication is to take a page out of Sports Illustrated. The magazine has a very successful digital edition that is equal to their print publication because the print and digital edition are created by the same people, not separated in to digital and print sectors.

Some publications are even instituting digital first policies that require their journalists and editors to create content primarily and originally for the web. Though the Atlantic, a publication known for crediting this policy for their success, has had rough times, the forward-thinking digital first policy kept the Atlantic ahead of the curve.

This idea that posting online is becoming the original form that news will be posted in, is leading some to question the format of the traditional news article.  Journalists should realize that the article was a form of writing invented for the newspaper and that a new shorter, more linked and more easily shared story format is developing.  Taking advantage of new story formats will help generate an audience that can share and market a story for the publication.

More and more,

large media outlets are learning this lesson and taking advantage of the story sharing social media sources available to them. Anyone not willing to adapt will get left behind and major media organizations are taking heed of that.  However, not just big companies are adapting to take advantage of the changing news landscape. With a few simple tricks, anyone can optimize their blog or webpage or Twitter to attract views and develop an audience.

So, the face of journalism is always changing and as digital news becomes peoples main source of information, it is also becoming organizations main focus. Over time new advances will emerge and the journalism industry needs to continue to roll with the punches to stay relevant.

Dropbox link to compiled story: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/57121047/Afghan%2BPoll%2BCompiled.doc

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One Response to “The digitization of journalism”

  1. Ronald R. Rodgers March 31, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    Good, except for the many editing problems here – a lack of focus?

    gather new, ??

    The ability to go back into a story an changes, enhance ??

    More and more,
    large media outlets are learning this lesson and taking advantage of the story ??

    So, the face of journalism is always changing and as digital news becomes peoples main source of information, it is also becoming organizations main focus. TWO POSSESSIVES??

    WONDERING WHY YOU PUT LINK TO COMPILED STORY ON BLOG AND NOT ON CASE STUDY?

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