Journalism in a changing world
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By Esan Femi Williams
Journalism keeps changing as advancements take place in the media space every day.
It’s a complex world to navigate, and there is indeed an art to journalism.
It is not by accident that technology is interfacing and changing the pattern of modern-day journalism.
A scholar, Marshall Mcluhan, in 1962, said in his technological determinism theory that, in future, technology will dominate the world, and that it will turn the whole world to an integrated global village, which is already happening today.
Through mobile phones and tablets with the help of the internet, one can easily communicate with the world within the shortest possible time, as against what obtained in the past.
Moreover, as the world keeps experiencing a surge in its population, audience information needs increased, hence, the need for beat reporting. This brought about great improvement and interest in the world of journalism.
Newspaper, the foremost agent of mass media was launched centuries ago from Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press into the new world.
Printing, however, became more expensive with the advancement of the internet. Interestingly, online subscriptions have become the new normal. News is now being received in a different and more convenient way.
The evolution of the internet indeed saw the world through another phase of journalism practice, as it brought about what is termed ‘Information Explosion.’ Everyone claims to be journalists, creating blogs, posting both sense and nonsense in the media space, hence, posing a great threat to journalistic authenticity and success.
Meanwhile, the internet has led journalism into the digital age, giving readers online subscription options, real-time notifications, and stories tailored towards their information needs.
Both the print and broadcast media, having noticed the paradigm shift in audience interest, now incorporate their contents on the online space for audience consumption, thereby nearly drifting from the old form of journalism practice.
However, so many people still get their news from local television and radio channels; and not from smartphones or the internet.
The internet doesn’t seem to cease bombarding us with endless amounts of content any time soon. Nonetheless, the tenets of journalism will remain unwavering, as long as journalists continue to prioritise them. It is therefore, my desire that against the backdrop of societal changes and revolution, true and free press should stand, with journalists constantly upholding the ethics of the profession.
No doubt, the future of journalism is technology, hence the need for every practising and aspiring journalist to be technologically-inclined and versatile.
- Williams is a 400-Level Mass Communication student of Federal University Oye-Ekiti.