Social Trends in Journalism by Kishore Kethineni

     “We are at the beginning of a Golden Age of journalism — but it is not journalism as we have known it. Media futurists have predicted that by 2021, citizens will produce 50 percent of the news peer-to-peer"

Journalism is experiencing the impacts of technological advances around the world today. News gathering, reporting, and distribution are being transformed by new technologies. With the innovations introduced to the business of journalism by technology, journalism practice and education have been impacted as well as the democratic process. Willis & Bowman, (2003) recognized this development in journalism business when it declared that, “We are at the beginning of a Golden Age of journalism”,  and that, journalism has changed from what it used to be. With this development, media futurists are of the view that 50 percent of the news will be produced peer-to-peer (citizen-to-citizen if you like) come 2021 (Willis & Bowman, 2003). With modern technology, there is no doubt that Journalism has changed from what it used to be. Contemporary studies on the impacts of technology on journalism identify a serious threat to the traditional roles of journalists from citizens without formal training in journalism who contribute news items to the mainstream media (Moretzsohn, 2006). With citizen-reporting, any person could hypothetically be a journalist. This is in line with

 Papandrea’s (2007)

 observation that the Internet has expanded the universe of those who can contribute information to public debate. Papandrea’s (2007) added that, “the line between traditional media and citizen journalists continue to blur as both take advantage of all the possibilities the Internet has to offer. Americans increasingly obtain their information and insights into important issues through the Internet and through bloggers in particular. To continue to limit the reporter’s privilege to traditional media outlets and professional journalists would unrealistically ignore how the public obtains its information today” Due to the innovations introduced to the practice of journalism by technology, news reporting and distribution continue to evolve from time to time as new technology and innovations emerge. It therefore becomes imperative for journalism education to keep up with the emerging trends in journalism practice. This has led to a lot of changes and innovations in the curriculum of journalism.

Representation using Pi Diagram.

Technological advances are leading every field of human endeavor in many exciting directions . Perhaps more than any other profession, journalism is experiencing the impacts of technological advances around the world today. News gathering, editing, and distribution are being transformed by new technologies . This is a new development in journalism that is fast transforming the way news is gathered, reported and distributed. The research investigated the emerging trends in journalism (practice and education) and their effects on democracy in Nigeria. The research is a qualitative phenomenological study to tap into the lived experiences of the participants. The study conducted an in-depth and focus group interviews to identify the major trends in journalism practice and education and their effect on democracy in Nigeria. Focus group and in-depth interviews are regarded as the best tools to gather data for qualitative study. Marshall and Ross-man (2006) believe that a face-to-face interaction like the one in focus group and in-depth interviews is needed to vividly capture “thought, feelings, belies and assumption”. Interviews are predominantly used to capture participants lived experience McNamara (1999). Five categories of participants were involved in the in depth interview to provide answers to the research question-ten practicing journalists, ten journalism lecturers and ten student/ graduates of Journalism and ten politicians and ten non-politicians. Five Focus Group interviews were also organized made up ten participants in each group-ten practicing journalists, ten journalism lecturers, ten students/graduates of journalism and ten politicians and ten non-politicians. The five focus groups were spread across the five Geo-political zones in Nigeria as well as the in depth interview. No participant was allowed to participate in more than one focus group and those who participated in the focus group interview were not allowed to participate in the in-depth interview. In all, One hundred participants were involved in both the in-depth and focus group interviews.

Newsrooms go social

Social media has transformed newsrooms, speeding up newsgathering and enabling recourse to wider ranges of sources and material.
The corollary of the ubiquity of Twitter is that journalist’s roles have changed significantly. Twitter never sleeps and neither does the modern journalist, who is scanning updates 24/7, posting and retweeting.
This is often a hostile environment. As journalist and blogger.
Example: Nalin Verma He was a famous journalist in HT and other news Partners
One small error can compound itself instantaneously, thanks to the eager efforts of would-be investigators lurking in the comments section and armed with instant search. Corrections are no longer an afterthought process – they happen in real time for the world to see. This also means that the audience will penalize wrong reporting harshly. So you had better make sure your reporting is ironclad.

Twitter becomes the news reporter?

There are those who suggest that Twitter has had a trivializing effect on journalism. That it is lazy and convenient for journalists to rely on Twitter “outrages” for news.


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