Discussing the pro’s and con’s of online journalism

Social Media, everyone in the world has to have connections to any social media outlet out in the virtual world! Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkIN, and many many others are part of the daily lifestyle of people across the world. People take social media to their homes, work affairs, lunch dates, family trips, with one device rather it be a cell phone, tablet, or anything that surf the web. As of the year 2011 there were reports of 93% of the world population engaged in social media. One could think if majority is on social media, reporting what’s happening in each of their separate worlds, or adventures; what can a journalist report, and to whom? The job of a journalist just got even harder to maintain. Not only do journalists have to keep up an era of legacy journalism, but they have to do it in a way that will fit into today’s society and culture. Can the journalist keep up?

Journalists are essentially information gathers: They get information, process it and then present it in an appropriate form (Online Journalism: Foust, 3). There are several advantages of the Internet over other media, which includes: Audience control that give users more power to choose the information they want. Another advantage includes time and place access that reaches users at a variety of times and places. Non-linearity is a key advantage that involves the internet being more essential over other media; this allows stories without a predefined linear order.  Internet gives space to retrieve massive amounts of information due to easily equip of storage online, which also makes storage unlimited. Immediacy is another advantage of the Internet over other media; it allows information to be published instantaneously. Internet allows multimedia capability that allows journalist to make a news story interesting with the inclusion of text, graphics, audio, video, and other forms of media inserted into one single story, or piece of news. One bounce back effect of online journalism is the audience participation that provides for a greater level of audience involvement of the journalistic product.

Look at what journalist consist of in today's society!
Courtesy of Aquariancore "Online Journalism and Breaking the rules"

There are many challenges of online journalism; one major challenge is citizen journalism. With so many advances of technology it gives space and opportunity to give the golden ticket of journalism scholarship to anyone out in the world to part take in. Citizen journalism is a two-way communication tool produced by members of the audience; this type of citizen journalistic practice can be made from blogs, podcasts, social media, etc. if possible. Selling advertising is another challenge for online journalism, because no one has found a stable way to make revenue via online for news media. Web analytics software is used by organizations and can track measurements, but it hasn’t been a success for the business side of online journalism. As legacy journalism continue to downward, online journalism is slowly climbing upward, but no one knows how successful it could be as time progress in the future.

Different digital “news” models

News aggregators are sites that do not report news or information itself, but rather gather news and links from other sources. For example, HuffingtonPost.com is an online news aggregator that produces news stories but within it provides links, editorials, video clips, and other media outlets to get a story told. Hyper local sites are news models that focus on very narrow geographical areas (like a suburb, a small town, or a rural county), which could be demised in proper journalistic style. For example, WDEE-TV.com serves the Washtenaw, Mich. area in reporting local news happening in that county or surrounding areas. Blogs is another news model consists of a web page that is made up of individual entries, posts that are presented sometimes in opinion based or factual but not necessarily in a journalistic matter. For example, YpsiNews.com reports on news and opinions in and around Ypsilanti, Michigan. The site also pioneers video recording for City of Ypsilanti government and community meetings.

Carmen Lamb is a journalism student at Eastern Michigan University. You may contact her at clamb6@emich.edu