"For news organizations, distinguishing between high-quality information of public value and agenda-driven news has become an increasingly complicated task, made no easier in an era of economic churn."
The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism presented their "State of the News Media 2013: An Annual Report on American Journalism", which focused on the changing times of journalism and how emerging platforms are currently utilized.
Many facts and statistics were provided in regards to how technology and digital media has shifted the way we obtain the news. Many magazines and newspapers such as Time Magazine and The Chicago Defender have gone down in circulation due to the new wave of more convenient markets such as mobile apps and social networking sites. These technological resources have knocked down the traditional ways of journalism and even the credibility behind the stories in some cases. They are more opinionated than news-worthy, which creates a bias. For instance, they noted in the study how campaign reporters for the 2012 elections acted more as "megaphones rather than as investigators", making it more about a popularity contest and less about the content of the issues that each candidate valued.
What I found most interesting and somewhat sad is the use of social media by African-Americans. They use the internet less than the overall population, however they have the highest totals on Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram which signifies the lack of personal, face-to-face communication. We have so many connections, friends and followers online but fail to interact in person which saddens me not only as a communication major, but as an African-American woman. We face so many internal issues within our culture and we wonder where it all stems from.
Overall, the study was very informative, interesting and opened my eyes to a lot of what is going on in our forever changing society. However, it lacked how the transition to everything digital had any positive results. It really made me worry that as a student aspiring to be a journalist, I am entering into a field of mayhem and broken dreams. I know as a journalist I am not going to be a billionaire but just knowing I am getting paid for what I love is enough for me.
Based off this study solely let me know that as a journalist of this era and generation, we must learn to be more than just reporters and investigators. We must learn to adjust to these recent changes and remain authentic and true to the traditions of past journalism. We must be innovative, create new trends and be a jack-of-all-trades in media, technology and traditional writing and reporting.
In my own publication, Scope Magazine, convergence was always my top priority in marketing and getting the news out to our target audience. I know as college students, technology plays a very significant role and makes it easier to access articles and stories. But I continue to pay homage to the traditional print publications that I have adored over the years by printing mine as well. Online is strictly for convenience but I still value having print magazines and newspapers as keepsakes of benchmarks in the news and media. That is why magazines such as Rolling Stone re-release certain classic issues from the past because they know that there are still pre-technology audiences out there who can still appreciate reliving through that certain decade or period of time in which that issue was produced.