Journalism 2.0: The Gate's in Place, but the Fence is Gone

By RJI on May 4, 2007 0 Comments

by Katherine Noyes - TechNewsWorld, http://www.technewsworld.com/story/57193.html

In a May 3, 2007 article on the TechNewsWorld website, Katherine Noyes interviewed various journalism practicioners, teachers, and observers about the role the internet has played in revolutionizing the industry, and where they see journalism going in the future. Noyes spoke with CCJ Executive Director Jeffrey Dvorkin, Columbia University School of Journalism professor Sreenath Sreenivasan, Bowling Green State University professor Jim Foust, and Poynter Institute director of interactive learning Howard Finberg for the article.

Noyes writes:

Ask any journalist today how the Internet has changed journalism, and the most likely reply will be, "how hasn't it?"

"The question is so basic now, it's like asking how the telephone changed the world," Sreenath Sreenivasan, associate professor of professional practice at the Columbia University School of Journalism, told TechNewsWorld.

"The Internet has changed journalism in every conceivable way," Sreenivasan said. "It's changed the journalists, the audience, the advertisers -- the whole ecosystem. It's had the single biggest impact on journalism since the telephone."

Indeed, journalists of past generations would scarcely recognize the profession today. Most journalistic research is done on the Web; interviews are frequently set up, if not conducted, over e-mail; and telephone interviews have become the norm. Many reporters never leave the office all day.

Virtually every newspaper, magazine, TV and radio station now has an online component, while Internet news aggregators serve up selections from all across the Web. Meanwhile, the rise of blogs and citizen journalism have created a world in which anyone can create their own journalism -- and get it heard by an audience of millions.

At the same time -- and perhaps in part as a result -- traditional news outlets are struggling. Audiences are shrinking and profits are drying up. Many are cutting their editorial staffs in response, or asking reporters to become "backpack journalists" who can do everything -- shoot video, take photographs, write stories, the works.

In short, it's a time of monumental change -- and stress -- on the field of journalism..."

...The Internet has given journalists huge opportunities to cover more stories and to cover them in a different way than traditional media have done," Jeffrey Dvorkin, executive director for the Committee of Concerned Journalists, told TechNewsWorld. "The problem," Dvorkin added, "is that Internet journalism has so far not lived up to its potential. It's more about opinion and a certain amount of 'gotcha' journalism -- gossip and innuendo..."

Click here to read Noyes' article in its entirety on the TechNewsWorld website.