The changing face of journalism

The pace of digital change has swept journalism up along the way. Dailies are in decline as social media takes on a news role. But how did we get from press being king to scrolling through apps for the day’s events?

We all know that journalism is changing. Readership levels of newspapers are down and pretty much everyone gets the footie scores on Twitter. In fact, aside from my 86-year-old grandad, Cyril, I don’t know many people who actually still buy a daily paper, every day.

However, this does not mean that people are no longer consuming news. This blog will be looking at the many new emerging forms of journalism that are allowing people worldwide to access stories at the touch of a button, on the go, and on a variety of platforms.

Newspaper? No thanks

According to the National Readership Survey (NRS), via Mediatel, the circulation of Daily National Newspapers was down 4.13% in 2015. You can find countless articles online that present the falling number of readers within print journalism. I like Roy Greenslade’s piece in The Guardian (online).

“It is simply a matter of time before it becomes unprofitable to continue publishing newsprint papers.” Roy Greenslade, The Guardian.

What seems to be taking print’s place is mobile. I am going to be publishing a post devoted to the power of the app for news brands shortly, but what you need to know is that people are increasingly using their phones to access news stories. In fact, according to the NRS, On average mobile adds a further 118% audience reach to individual newsbrand footprints.

Apps suit today’s busy world. Quick to download, quick to open and quick to access. With lots of people commuting, apps also allow those travelling in and out of work a chance to scroll through often personalised news feeds.

The Digital Age

Today’s society is full of “millenials” or “digital natives” (that’s the young, hip, twenty-somethings who tweet and swipe and slide into DMs). Unlike the generations before us, we have grown up surrounded by technology. My nan will often ask me “how do you text so fast?” It simply comes down to the fact that I have grown up with this media.

This makes young people a perfect target for new media that can be consumed anywhere and at any time, usually on your phone. Students in particular often don’t have the time or money to purchase an actual paper, or sit down and watch the 6 o’clock news. Therefore, news outlets are getting digital savvy and creating content for the vast numbers of online users.

The importance of social media

Without a doubt, the main way journalism is changing is the emergence of social media. I will be posting blog posts later which outline certain sites and their impact on reporting the news, but the big ones include Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

Instagram is also handy and is used a lot by news outlets when reporting shocking celebrity images (yes I am talking about the Daily Mail’s “sidebar of shame”).

So what is all the fuss about? Well let’s look at Facebook. Pretty much everyone I know is on it, including my dad. Some stats from Facebook’s “Company Info” page confirms this:

  • 1.18 billion daily active users on average for September 2016
  • 1.09 billion mobile daily active users on average for September 2016
  • 1.79 billion monthly active users as of September 30, 2016
  • 1.66 billion mobile monthly active users as of September 30, 2016

It is clear to see how influential a site like Facebook can be to report news worldwide to billions of users every day. Social media and mobile apps are changing the way audiences consume and find news. This blog will be looking a little deeper into emerging forms of journalism, and exploring why this shift is happening. The blog will touch on my own experiences with micro-blogging, image-sharing to tell stories and also the legal challenges facing journalists in today’s digital news world.

@bournemouthuni student, blogging about the changing face of journalism.

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