Tag Archives: future of journalism

Journalists as their own brand

A recent article by Nicco Mele and John Wihbey discussed how the idea of “big media” sites will change over time and eventually change for, presumably, the better for the future of the journalism industry. 

One aspect of the Mele and Wihbey article that I found most interesting is the idea of turning a traditional news site into many individual blogs. In a way this is like unbundling the very core of a news site, but instead of unbundling content you unbundle the actual writers. The idea is for the news organization to aid their writers with the tools and technology they need, but at the same time they will cut them loose to manage and report on their own blog, essentially creating their own brand that caters to their specific readership or fanbase.

I think an interesting approach would be for these writers to post videos created on their own personal YouTube account to their blog, answering and interacting with their audience. This kind of reporting would allow people to see a more personable side of the writers they follow. It would also help build a loyal and devoted consumer base that would probably be more likely to donate, subscribe, or contribute to whatever source of advertising model the blogs run off of.

Of course this comes with the dangerous territory of not having a traditional editorial team policing each and every story that goes online. However, as mentioned in the article, the Internet tends to do most of the fact checking online these days, and any errors would surely be swiftly corrected and updated by any ethical journalist. As journalism moves towards a future dominated by social media, individual blog websites paint a much clearer picture of who a writer is and helps us understand the importance of their writing when given the ability to be fully immersed in their work on one single website. 

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Putting the future of journalism in the hands of the people

I recently attended a talk that Michael Rosunblum, owner of RosunblumTV, gave at Stony Brook University in New York. He discussed his thoughts on the future of journalism and how the future is not looking good for people who are seeking jobs in the industry in a traditional sense.

He argued that in order to find success in the industry, people need to take matters into their own hands by becoming independent workers who can shoot, edit and find stories on their own. By doing so this will allow for independently owned new sites that also opens up the possibility of selling products and keeping most of the profit. For those who do not have the skills needed to create an independent site that runs off of product revenue, Rosunblum still stressed the importance of abandoning traditional ideals of what it is like to work in the broadcast side of journalism and to embrace the notion of journalism being driven by the millions of people who have access to smart phones.

He explained how the news industry needs to start embracing community driven, user submitted, content like videos and pictures. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are not set for surviving in the future, according to Rosunblum, simply because the business model of sites like these do not concentrate on long-term profitability. Sites like eBay and Amazon have set themselves up for surviving the future, so it is up to the journalism industry to learn how to adopt a marketing strategy just like a product driven site such as Amazon.

Regarding the thought of the future of journalism ditching traditional reporters in exchange for community driven videos and content, I still personally believe that informed news consumers will still actively seek out reliable and credible news sources when it comes to broadcast news. It is quite an assumption to say that the future of broadcast journalism will be made up of millions of self-trained video journalists. It is not, however, a far stretch to assume that a few years from now a large majority of the video we see used in professional broadcast or video journalism in general is going to be shot by amateurs holding a smartphone, or dare I say — Google Glass.

Plenty of news worthy events happen all around us in the blink of an eye. Let’s use the recent Boston Marathon bombing as an example. Almost all of the footage we have from that event is through the use of pedestrian smartphones, something that would have never been possible but only 15 or so years ago.

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