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Monday, August 3, 2020

Opinion

Journalism isn’t a dying art, it’s a changing one


Contrary to popular belief, journalism isn’t on a decline. Though print journalism is becoming less popular, the field is adapting quickly to the digital age. | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/user: RavikaChand

Contrary to popular belief, journalism isn’t on a decline. The world has entered a digital age, and journalism has transformed into a more advanced system with it. News mediums have configured digital media into their newsrooms, making it more accessible to reach out to a mass audience. There’s no longer just one source of news. Journalism is everywhere.

Journalism has begun to incorporate technology due to the widespread popularity of social media. The University is educating journalism students in the exciting advancements associated with these technological developments.

“There’s no question that in x number of years, there will be no print. What we don’t know is how long it’s going to take. Because if you look back maybe 20 years ago, people would say that after the year 2000 there would be no print newspapers. So we don’t know how long it’s going to take,” said multimedia journalism assistant professor Dr. Dani-Madrid Morales.

Print journalism and newspapers that have been a mainstay throughout the centuries have gradually implemented new technological development over time.

“The digital age of journalism started years ago, and I think more people have come to terms with this new reality. I have enjoyed seeing the new ways that journalists present information, such as creating a virtual reality experience to tell a story,” said communications manager at Jack J. Valenti School of Communication LaRahia Smith.

Digital media positively impacts the way information is communicated. Students have the opportunity to learn about new ways to convey stories based on the progression of digital media in journalism.

“The digital age has not just influenced journalism—it has transformed journalism. A few decades ago, there were two main sources of news: newspapers that came out daily and then television news, which primarily came from a handful of major national news networks,” said associate professor and director of Jack J. Valenti School of Communication Dr. Temple Northup.

This shift toward digital communication significantly impacts the way people interact with media.

“Today, fewer people watch national news programs, newspapers are either gone or have much smaller circulations and people go online for all of their news. This is far more than a small shift but instead a major disruption in how news is delivered and consumed,” Northrup said.

UH is providing students the skills they need to function in a field that is changing in the digital age.

“I support our school’s commitment to providing students with hands-on experience. Outside of the classroom, we frequently partner with organizations like Newsy and NPR (for Next Generation Radio), which train our students for the world of multimedia journalism,” Smith said.

It is easy for an individual to take out their phones and instantly have access to millions of news stories updated daily. It has allowed students to experience an easier transition to this environment of multimedia journalism.

The content is the same, and the general idea that journalists serve as the gatekeepers of society hasn’t changed. The mediums are certainly changing, but the main values of integrity and truth are not.

“What hasn’t changed is the people who are making the news,” Morales said.

Journalism is an idea that will continue to transform but never die away. Altogether the platforms are shifting, the basics of journalism will continue to be upheld.

“Although these changes have happened, from my perspective when we look at training journalism students now, I would say that the fundamentals of good storytelling and what makes a good news story haven’t changed, so a lot of what we teach is the same as what was taught decades ago,” Northup said.

“The reality is that it is impossible to predict what journalists will be doing a decade from now. Regardless of the technology being used, the basic aspects of what makes good journalism will be the same, and so we focus on trying to teach those skills,” Northup said.

Contributing writer Laraib Hashmi is a journalism senior and can be reached at [email protected]

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