Journalism Isn’t Dead

Read the other articles in the series:
Notebooks Aren’t Dead
Blogging Isn’t Dead

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Ah, the classic image of journalism: whether it looks like the Sunday morning paper or TV news to you, people have been relying on paid formats for their daily catchup for seemingly centuries. But with the rise of social media platforms and blogs being read as if they were dedicated news sources, is the “original” paper-or-TV form of journalism dead?

In my opinion, the real question isn’t “did the internet kill journalism”, but rather “did the people kill journalism”. Publications, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, have expanded their business to not only reach home delivery customers, but to the massive amount of information consumers on the web. Although these institutions have some of the highest quality and most accurate articles in their category, a huge turn-off for people is the limit of articles one can read. Ten articles a month. If somebody would want to “digest” more of their columns, they would be required to get past a “paywall” of at least $3.75 a week, excluding discounts. Because of this limitation, the rising number of internet “binge-readers” flock to blogs and other unconventional forms of “news” sources, where they can read as much as they want at any time.

Many of the websites people substitute for the traditional Times are focused on a singular topic. Cars, sports, technology, you name it. Despite the fact that these outlets definitely aren’t as widespread or established as, for example, the Washington Post (founded in 1877), they share much in common with conventional news. A very large number of these websites are only updated on particular days (like the ESSAYER), and many of them pay their writers and editors if they aren’t run by an individual. Of course, plenty of modern sources people go to for “journalism” can barely even come close to being described as such. Buzzfeed, Gawker, the list goes on and on. The Internet gives the power of publishing to anyone that wants to get themselves out there.

That necessarily isn’t all bad, however. Satirical sites like the Onion and video journalism hosted on Liveleak and others would be either extremely uncommon or completely impossible without the Web. If anything, the Web helped journalism become more prevalent in today’s society. So if the Internet didn’t kill it, how did the people? The short answer: they didn’t. The long answer: every publication mentioned above; Gawker, LiveLeak, and others have all been shaped by the new generation of people who want new information anytime, anywhere. Heck, LiveLeak’s own slogan is “Redefining the Media”. The new look of journalism and news altogether is drastically different than what it was even just five or ten years ago, but that in no way means the medium is dead. It is simply evolving.

Nicholas Lucchetto, The ESSAYER

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