New technology, same old journalism

16 Apr

Even in this new era of online journalism, what surprises me the most is that 84 percent of Brits get their news via television. Americans definitely use more online media, and more and more techniques are needed to improve it.

I have been told countless times by my teachers to “acquire all the skills,” as BBC business editor Robert Peston said. If I applied for a reporting job at a newspaper, not only would I have to have superb writing skills; I would have to have experience with shooting video and other forms of multimedia as well. Since many people submit multimedia to news websites all the time, it has become pretty acceptable for anyone to become a journalist. In addition, blogs have become quite popular in journalism as well, and reporter-focused ones like Peston’s Picks let the journalists focus even more on their own stories while allowing them to have some bias. Clearly, hard news isn’t the go-to writing form anymore.

As important as leaning these skills is, there is still a difficult task to be accomplished: getting readers hooked on your content. Jonathan Stray does a great job of describing what newspapers must do to make their websites more interesting. Articles should definitely have more links in them. These are part of why Wikipedia is so addicting and enjoyable. More importantly, having links on your page will keep your viewers reading, and they’re not likely to get bored and go to another site. Probably the most effective device would be a personalized newspaper, in which readers could pick which stories they want to read. Hopefully there will be more developments on this in the future.

Of course, since Stray’s post, many changes have been made to news websites. Now, sites do not just have videos and slideshows; there is a larger capacity for sharing and sparking discussion. Even though I still don’t spend too much time on news websites, they do have enough interactive features now to keep me pretty interested and wanting to read more of a story.

Although how we receive our news may have changed,  news values, like ethics and great storytelling, remain the same.