Reporting is Now a Commodity, but Journalism Isn’t « HighTalk

This is a good thing.  Journalism is a fundamental cornerstone of a strong democracy and an open and progressive society.  The problem, however, is that many people associate journalism only with print news – newspapers and magazines.  With the rapid decline of print there’s a fear that journalism is also in danger.

via Reporting is Now a Commodity, but Journalism Isn’t « HighTalk.


5 thoughts on “Reporting is Now a Commodity, but Journalism Isn’t « HighTalk

  1. Journalism is not in danger! Journalism is in a transitional phase. It is moving from paper to electronic. With digital journalism, research, writing, interviewing, editing and comparing is now easier than before.

    Also, journalists now have the lovely “citizen journalist” to help out with story coverage in areas where the journalist may not be able to reach. Citizen journalists are helping bring criminals to justice, cover tragedies like the earthquake in Haiti and the list goes on.

    Read some of Steve Outing’s articles…

    • I would take just a bit of issue with Angela’s comment. Journalism is in danger, but I’m saying that from b bit different perspective.
      I believe journalism is in danger because of the shrinking size of newsrooms. Over the last three years newsroom staff have taken a huge numbers hit. Many are half the size they were in 2007.
      How does that endanger journalism? It depletes the time the remaining journalists have to devote to their craft because their beats have increased in size (or specialties, or both) and their duties have increased.
      Fewer bodies and less time equates to significantly reduced hours spent producing quality journalism.
      Yes, “citizen journalists” have filled in some gaps. But by and large these are bits-and-pieces reports, not thoroughly researched work.

  2. Coming from someone who has worked in “electronic” journalism for 8 years, I have to agree with journalismfirst. It is in danger. For the reasons he states (which are excellent ones) and for many, many more.
    The switch to “electronic” isn’t even close to the biggest problem. That’s not a bad thing or a good thing, just another thing. The real dangers are the lack of professionalism and the focus on making money.
    Professional journalists have been trained to get multiple confirmed sources, dig for the truth and find the real answers. They’ve also (hopefully) been instilled with some sense of just how important real journalism is. The fourth branch of government. The instrument that destroyed McCarthyism. Your average citizen journalist doesn’t have the time or the training to do these things, and instead you get messes like the Sherrod thing.
    Which leads me to my second point, the focus on making money. Journalism has turned into a business instead of a service. In its most basic form, journalism is a way of disseminating needed information to the public. But in its modern form, it is a way for corporations to spoon feed viewers/readers/listeners what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. Its like feeding a fat kid sugar just to shut him up. It will work, the fat kid will be happy, but its not healthy. It will, in fact, kill him.
    And that’s what modern “journalism” is doing. Its helping to kill our society. More people vote for American Idol than vote for the president. Why? Because its good for the bottom line.
    Journalism needs to take a good long look at itself. It can continue to do what its doing and give up every claim to integrity, or it can push all that aside and reclaim its place in our society. I already know what’s going to happen, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to rail against it.

  3. The problem with “citizen journalists” is that they are untrained. With access to the Web, there is no censor for inaccuracy. As above mentioned, anyone can publish anything, regardless of whether it has been thoroughly researched or not. And by greater extension, most people are not trained to cover news/Journalism from an objective standpoint. The citizen journalist, without training cannot understand this and that is the danger Journalism is in.

    It is not the move to a digital platform that is endangering it. It is what that move represents: lack of censorship, lack of check and balance, lack of accuracy, etc.

    Wadzi Muzwidzwa

  4. I agree, journalism is in danger. I work for a print newspaper and the problems just keep piling on. There’s not much money online, yet all of our copy is put up as soon as it is available. What incentive is there for people to buy newspapers?

    It seems as if print newspapers are for a generation that is slowly going away. The new generations don’t care about the feel of a newspaper. They don’t want to read it while eating breakfast. Heck, I barely do.

    I think the next few years will be incredibly interesting as far as newspapers are concerned and where they will be going.


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