Home > Uncategorized > The Hidden potential for traditional media online

The Hidden potential for traditional media online

The internet … a wondrous world filled with endless bites of knowledge … the black-hole gulping down the news industry.

The running commentary for the past few years has consisted of the desperate cries of newspapers as advertising revenue decreases many newsrooms have shrunk of disappeared completely. But, statistics reveal that this is not because people are not reading the news, rather they have begun to interact with the news. No longer exploring current affairs through print many now do so through online news sources, social media and phone applications.

The internet age is changing our way of thinking and interacting with the media. Eliminating boarders. Audiences are no longer engaging with the neatly framed worlds of print, broadcast and radio. The lines have become blurred and media has converged. Online news now often utilises one or more of these mediums. It streams across platforms: Facebook, Delicious, Tumblr. Allowing audiences to interact, commenting on the issues. And now through blogging and various organisations such as the Huffington Post, produce the news. The popularity of social media as a news source has led to Facebook Chief Technical Officer, Bret Taylor, suggesting Facebook will revolutionise the news as it has done with online gaming. Increasing the social aspect of our news consumption (Stop the presses: Facebook CTO says news next in social revolution 2011).

As in all times of great change there is fear. News organisations struggle to raise the advertising revenue online, needed to produce the content they provide. Attempting to engage with the audience in a similar manner to their print counterpart as seen in the New York Time’s first unsuccessful attempt at a paywall.

Despite the fears of media outlets this is also a time of opportunity for traditional media. Joshua Benton (2011) of the Nieman Journalism Lab notes the changing media ecosystem has the potential to offer an overhaul in how we experience ‘live events’, through the integration of social media and traditional platforms. This allows news outlets to traverse the grounds of traditional news publication whilst simultaneously utilising online platforms, in particular social media.

He also notes the importance of changing the visual face of traditional online news, taking a page out of the world of phone apps whose layout and design seem to attract the attention of readers for longer (Benton 2011).

Reputable media sources may also have the potential to become more akin to an aggregator providing content as well as advertising and linking to popular and credible news stories on other sites (Benton 2011).

The internet not only provides opportunities for established media outlets. As Jeremy Adam Smith (2011) explores in his article ‘How we are financing meaningful journalism’, many freelance journalists view this time optimistically. Opening up many more ways for them to find exposure to a public, creating and publishing content. Many major freelance projects, Smith (2011) notes, are funded through grants and donations.

‘The results also add to the growing pile of evidence that journalism is becoming a form of social entrepreneurship – an endeavour that combines commercial and nonprofit methods to achieve social change’ (Smith 2011).

Small, localised, online news organisations are also able to garner a public following and through donations provide credible journalism for those who deem it an essential facet of modern society. New Matilda provides an Australian example of a publicly funded credible news source.

There are valid concerns regarding the shift of news output from traditional news platforms to online. Namely the ability  to fund the production of well researched and accurate stories. Despite, these concerns the online world provides endless opportunities for news outlets to expand their news production covering numerous angles and traversing several different media platforms; i.e. using video and print in one article. The internet also allows for the nurturing of smaller specialised news sources and provides the public with numerous portholes to access their information.

References 

Benton, J 2011, Eight trends for Journalism in 2011: A Nieman Lab talk in Toronto, Nieman Journalism Lab, accessed April 10th 2011, <http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/02/eight-trends-for-journalism-in-2011-a-nieman-lab-talk-in-toronto/&gt;

Rosenstiel, T 2011, ‘5 myths about the future of journalism’, The Washington Post, 7 April, accessed April 10th 2011, <http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-the-future-of-journalism/2011/04/05/AF5UxiuC_story.html&gt;

Sabbagh, D 2011, ‘Ariana Huffington and Tim Armstrong: King and Queen of content’, The Guardian (UK), 24 March, accessed April 10th 2011, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/mar/24/arianna-huffington-tim-armstrong-aol&gt;

Smith, J. A. 2011, How we’re financing meaningful journalism, Knight Garage: Re-engineering journalism @ Stanford, accessed April 10th 2011, <http://knightgarage.stanford.edu/2011/03/how-were-financing-meaningful-journalism/&gt;

Stop the presses: Facebook CTO says news next in social revolution 2011, BBC News, accessed April 10th 2011, <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12406171&gt;

Timmer, J 2011, Accurate and credible new tweets? Automated system finds them, arstechnica, accessed April 10th 2011, 
<http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/03/accurate-and-credible-news-tweets-automated-system-finds-them.ars&gt;

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