Article summary: The Influence of the Web

In Honours blog on June 1, 2009 at 4:29 am

“The Influence of the Web” Journalism.org, 2008

This article explores the way the internet is altering the way journalism operates. Medias response to these changes and overall attitudes to the internet.

“Together with the impact of steadily increasing financial pressures, the growing influence of the web is the second major factor driving the change of newsroom culture.” (pg. 1)

“Editor’s responses indicated, often with a sense of surprise, that the growth of newspaper websites has also had a positive impact on the content of the newspaper itself. Interviews and survey results strongly indicated that—contrary to early conventional wisdom—the print and website versions of today’s daily newspapers can be complementary and mutually strengthening.” (pg. 1)

“…57% of those surveyed say “web technology offers the potential for greater-than-ever journalism and will be the savior of what we once thought of as newspaper newsrooms.” By contrast, just 4% expressed worry that the web’s pressure on immediacy might undermine the accuracy and values of journalism.” (pg.1)

“Filing first for the web is a given. Editors also noted that exclusive material is no longer kept off the web as it was just a few years ago to protect the print edition impact. Today, it is posted immediately.” (pg. 2)

“After beginning as a feature of citizen journalism, the blog—the word is short for Web Log—has quickly become a highly successful feature of mainstream institutional journalism. The blog’s more relaxed, informal format, coupled with the ability of readers to respond quickly to a staffer’s blog entries, have accelerated and broadened the flow of information and reduced the distance between the newspaper and its readers.” (pg. 5)

” Blogs, Mo Jos, Micro-Sites, Early Teams, and more, are evidence of an important change underway in newsrooms across the country, one in which a growing number of publishers and editors, having concluded the era of print newspaper domination has ended, now believe the future of their newsroom depends on how well they can do two things:

(1) Establish themselves as strong, relevant web content providers for a generation of online news consumers; and

(2) Maintain relevant, compelling content for the newspaper’s print edition that remains the industry’s primary, albeit diminished, cash cow.” (pg. 6)

This is all very different to the picture painted by the 2008 paper, “Participatory Journalism Practices in the Media and Beyond”. This shows that journalists are aware of the shift to the internet that is happening to media, and people’s desire to become involved in news-making. And they appear to not be too apprehensive about it, some are even embracing the changes.

Considering these were both published quite close together they have quite diferent conclusions.  The other paper did qualify their results by sayin that things had changed and more research needed to be done.


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