By MELANIE MARTINEZ
As the world constantly changes, as do technology and society, and the press has had to adapt to these changes that have taken place throughout history.
Whether it was the invention of the telegraph or advanced presses, environmental upheaval such as war, or governmental and societal pressures, history has illustrated the world’s constant state of change. The media has always played a prevalent role in all parts of society, and these changes have affected it. But rather than die out or become extinct, the craft of journalism has altered and modified itself to fit the fluctuating times.
And the future holds no exception.
Whenever I tell others that I’m a journalism major, a look of concern and pity washes over their faces.
“Are you sure about that sweetie?” they say. “You know, journalism is a dying career nowadays.”
Those who make these comments view journalism through a keyhole. They see journalism as strictly meaning the production of newspapers and – who reads the news anymore? Everything’s online, right?
Right! But you shouldn’t have doubted journalism’s ability to mold and change and grow alongside a society that is becoming increasingly digital.
George Brock, former managing editor of The Times and current head of the Department of Journalism at City University in London, wrote a book (officially published Sept. 28 of this year) titled Out of Print: Newspapers, Journalism and the Business of News in the Digital Age.
In it, he says that “journalism is being adapted, rethought and reconstructed in thousands of ways….”
And he lists reasons journalism will adapt to survive in the Digital Age.
One is the natural fact that people like to read words from paper. And luckily, the Internet harbors potential business models for all readable platforms — magazines, newspapers, and books. Daily newspapers have been affected because the Internet produces information in real-time, but magazines and books still remain a valued source to readers.
Which leads to the second reason — humans are creatures of habit. Those who read the news will still read the news. Newspapers have lost prevalence and may still continue to lose it but complete extinction seems rare. Avid newspaper readers will be more likely to choose website and apps that best mimic the newspaper layout, and it turns out that newspaper readers are also enthusiastic about the newspapers’ online versions.
Brock explains, “The DNA of printed journalism will altar over time, but at a slow and evolutionary pace…. News publishers must adapt their strategies to the temperament of the audience they have or they want, because members of their audience can switch so easily.”
Another reason is the fact that yes, the Internet is quick to post and comment, but newspapers – whether printed or online – know where the story is. They specialize in catering to specific interests and pointing out different details that gets the public listening.
Also catering to readers is journalism’s ability to sift through the heavy flow of information that pours out from online and organizing it in a way that is easy and accessible.
“The world’s information flow creates a demand: it is up to journalism to supply it,” writes Brock.
Perhaps Brock’s most exemplary reason that journalism will survive and evolve is its many existing precedents of already doing so, as I spoke of earlier. Journalism has renewed itself countless times, and Brock asserts that “journalism cannot survive without adapting again.”
As long as publishers and journalists understand that their work can be redesigned and modified, journalism will continue to change along with our ever-changing world.
This information from George Brock was taken from an article on www.pressgazette.co.uk, which excerpted Brock’s book.
To read the full article visit http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/content/george-brock-why-im-optmistic-journalism-will-adapt-survive-challenges-21st-century or pick up Brock’s book, Out of Print: Newspapers, Journalism, and the Business of News in the Digital Age.