Why Making News Today is Harder

How the journalism profession has changed in the digital age.

Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

Its a fact, traditional journalism is still loosing traction in favor of the ever expending digital world we live in. Even when Newspapers think they are doing a great job posting their articles on the internet, they are in someways struggling to reach the vast majority of audiences. A little over 20 years later they still find themselves behind most digital media platforms in the communication race. Why is that? Lets Discuss.

#Information Travels Faster through other channels

News now travels at lighting speed through social media platforms such as twitter, Reddit and Facebook. In the old days, journalism benefited from the quality of the information in their print papers. Today the reader’s attention is on their handheld devices and the publication that gets them to stop scrolling and read their article first wins regardless of the quality of the information.

How fast are articles published? If an athlete breaks a record at 8:00 PM eastern, you can be sure most of the publications would have an article out by 8:30 PM reciting the exploit.

Every publication wants to be the first to break the news, not the first to bring you the most complete information.
We are swimming in information quantity not quality.

#Blogging Surge

The blogger mentality is also competing with mainstream journalism as we know it. Digital media demanded the need for engagement and when users started engaging on topic they were passionate about in essay form, a few gained some following.

Blogging serves its purpose. In fact with the abundance of information online, bloggers give their audience an expended version of the headlines posts we are now so accustomed to.

While the news is preoccupied with what is happening today, bloggers provide their readers with content on the topics they are mostly interested in.

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

#A Change in Strategy

The Internet has changed the strategy of the news industry. It has already caused them to consider re-branding by changing their names. Newspaper companies now refer to themselves as Media Companies, Agencies or Networks.

The internet is growing very rapidly and old school journalism is still playing catch up. This is partly because the Newspaper industry never innovated and most blatantly was stubborn to the idea of embracing the internet during its infancy. The majority of news articles are now read online, yet some news agencies still print monthly reviews or magazines requiring subscription.

#Financial Crisis

All the reasons we enumerated above are at the root of the financial crisis of Journalism in general. Every year the budget cuts and layoffs are putting a massive dent in the legacy of a great profession because of decreasing advertising revenues. People are spending more time surfing a crowded web cutting into revenue for the newspaper industry.

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

#Recent Example

At the wake of a collapsing economy in 2008, the topics mostly discussed on the internet were of a political and financial nature. Yet, the time spent by 18 to 25 years old on the internet increased while the reported percentage of young people who received news from the internet decreased. An argument can be made for the youth when considering the striking numbers of click-and-bait articles online that seem to ruin the surfing experience.

The presence of various social media with short excerpts of the news discourage the need to get the whole story on a news site.

#Final Thoughts

Despite the difficulties, journalism has been a very important part of modern civilization with strong political and societal influence. The profession is seeing hard times right now, but will find a way to adapt to the new state of the internet. Ultimately the best tactic for journalists is to build a strong social media following and provide outstanding content without diluting the information. And that is a hard thing to do.

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