When was the last time you read anything out of a newspaper, or even bought or picked up a newspaper for that matter? I can’t even remember the last time I saw a newspaper outside of a coffee shop. How many physical magazines do you receive a month? The world is changing, and printed media is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
I would say that on a daily basis, less then 10% of the media and news that I’m consuming is not online, and if you were honest with yourself, you probably do too. Digital journalism has started to completely take over and change the way people see and interact with the news. Apple has even added a news app to their newest iPhone update, making it even easier to see all of the news you want to read in one place.
Social media has also changed how we see and share news. Of the 210 million active Facebook users in America and Canada, 26.7% share an article or blog everyday. That is an insane amount of media and articles that are being consumed daily.
Now, I don’t think all of this online news is good. Living in a digital world brings up problems with simple writing and grammar skills that are not as heavily regulated online. One of the sources I both love and hate is Buzzfeed. They have single handedly changed the way people view articles that has dumbed down information and changed the way we interact with articles. I would say that personally, 80% of all of the Buzzfeed articles I have ever seen have been titled something like: “Top 10 ways to _____.” or my personally favorite, “You’ll never believe what happened next ____.”
Let me talk about these two things separately. First, lets start with the obscene amount of lists. In our ever changing society’s need to get information as fast as possible, a lot of journalistic sources have thrown out the traditional writing style into making anything and everything they can a large list. This is a much quicker way for users to interact with articles, but also putting normal writing at risk. I’m even guilty sometimes of picking a listed article over a written article because I think it will take up less time to read. Some of these can be a lot of fun, and give awesome recipe ideas, but it has also caused us to have shorter and shorter attention spans, and be OK with lower qualities of writing.
Although lists can be great sometimes, the types of articles that make me cringe are what we in the media industry call clickbait. These are the articles that say things like, “You’ll never believe what happened next,” or really any clickbait that has to do with a political figure. This is not good journalism, and I can personally say that most of the time, we do know what happens next, or we honestly don’t care. Articles like these also taint the name of digital journalism, and we see them so much, they have become the norm for how news sources try to market articles.
Despite all of the bad online articles, digital journalism has also changed how we view news in a good way. The inclusion of so many different places to get news means we can get much better overall information from multiple news sources and not just rely on one source. It has also made it a lot faster to get a lot of news to the masses as quickly as possible, employing Twitter to even do it within seconds of the event. Online and digital journalism is still relatively in its early stages, but already so many benefits and opportunities are coming because of it.
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