Embrace the Internet Race

According to many journalists, the apocalypse is nigh. No one will ever get a job and the devil has been reincarnated in the form of Internet Explorer. In actuality, if anything, the internet has improved journalism and its main objective, to inform.

A survey of 350 European journalists agree with me. In fact, 40% of the surveyed journalists believe that between 2007-2009 the quality of journalism has improved and around a mere 20% think it had declined. This is potentially due to the more varied nature of the medium and also the ability to research online. Beyond this, since the alleged internet Armageddon, 84% of these journalists are just as happy, if not happier, with their job.

Reuters’ Chris Ahearn pithily said that in the Internet Age, journalism “will thrive as creators and publishers embrace the collaborative power of new technologies, retool production and distribution strategies and we stop trying to do everything ourselves.” This is the concept of linking to other sites (^see how well I did that), using a range of tools to portray a story and providing more revenue options.

New York University Professor Jay Rosen agrees with the sentiment that the internet reveals a myriad of new ways to express news. This is why online journalism is superior to tradition print journalism. “It gives new tools to anyone who wants them, such as search, online databases, the ease of making charts, Skype interviews and so on.”

This is vastly evident in the case of the current reporting surrounding the disappearance of Gillian Meagher. CCTV footage has recently emerged, which shows the moments before she went missing. Coverage by The Age shows how an assortment of tools can better express a story. It is unfathomable that through traditional print media, such a comprehensive story could have been produced. This is a testament to the idea that online journalism is better able to inform readers. Specifically, this article is prefaced by a video of the CCTV footage, which would not have been possible to articulate in print form. It also includes a number of photos, that due to space limitations in newspapers, may not have been produced. Thus, the reader is fully informed through this piece. One of these photos was sourced from Facebook, which would not have been available without the internet.

This is just one example that embodies the improvement in journalism since the internet has become ubiquitous. So journalists should stop with their damning statements and instead embrace the internet and the opportunities it provides.

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