The 21st Century Endangered Species

•May 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

“For people who still love print, who like to hold it, feel it, rustle it, tear stuff out, do their I. F. Stone thing, it’s important to remember that people are living longer. That’s the most hopeful thing you can say about print journalism, that old people are living longer.” (Phil Bronstein, San Francisco Chronicle editor at large)

 

     The word is out… young people are not reading newspapers. That’s typically been an older person thing and now that the state of the newspaper industry is up in the air, there may not be newspaper print available by the time the new generation reaches their old age! Why don’t many 20yr olds rely on print for their news? One culprit… the internet. This generation grew up with the advent of the World Wide Web and have taken it and run with it. Newspapers didn’t stand a chance with them. It’s like comparing the mental math ability of the person who was taught on the abacus to the person who had a calculator at his/her disposal.

      I’m ashamed to admit that I am guilty as well. When was the last time I read a newspaper? I certainly haven’t picked up one this year. Shameful. What’s even more pitiful is that I am not alone. Just out of curiosity I asked ten of my peers (age 21-28) if they had read a single newspaper at all this year, sadly only 2 of the 10 had and they did so for a specific reason, not for leisure.

      Phil Bronstein of the San Francisco Chronicle remarked that it is the older generation that may have been keeping the newspaper industry on life support for these past few years. If that is true, then has the countdown begun for its extinction? How can newspapers appeal to the younger generations who just aren’t interested in what they’re selling?

     This is a question that is surely being pondered across newsrooms today. They see the great divide and are no doubt scrambling to keep their ships afloat. If the internet is one of the causes for this problem, then it stands to reason that it should be factored into the solution as well. Fighting fire with fire. This is the direction that many newspapers are already going in. As with most things, technology is the catalyst for bigger things in the future, though better has yet to be determined.

      (Written in response to this New York Times article by Maureen Dowd: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/opinion/26dowd.html?scp=33&sq=journalism&st=cse )

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Perfecting the Soup: A Recipe for Tomorrow’s Journalists

•May 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

     With the ever-changing climate of news media, it has become necessary for the journalism curriculum to be revised. In order to service the journalists of tomorrow, schools are beginning to understand that some of yesterday’s lessons just don’t cut it. How are the reporters of new and old different from each other? How are they the same? These are some of the questions being asked by mass communication professionals.  

     For the past five months I have been learning about the need for a “multimedia journalist,” a journalist who is able to produce news in a variety of forms.  This approach is supposed to help bridge the gap between traditional news reporting methods and the opportunities afforded by the internet. Today’s journalists are definitely expected to be better-rounded in their skill set and do more than just write their news story.

     In a recent New York Times article written by Brian Stelter, how journalism schools are responding to the multimedia approach was discussed.  One contributor, Tom Fiedler, a dean of the College of Communication at Boston University argues that it is still important to teach the basics of journalism no matter how a story will be packaged for the public. He says, “We want to teach our students to make a great soup. What they serve it in matters little.” In a mad dash to keep up with the times and get news out to an audience that wants it at their fingertips, today’s journalists have the task of balancing quality with quantity.

     It will be interesting to see how the new generations of journalists tackle the issues faced now in reporting the news. I’m sure it will take a fresh eye to look at the problems from different angles in order to come up with the best solutions. No one is denying that previous methods are getting outdated. The question now is what new methods will yield the best results and make for the tastiest soup.

     Check out Stelter’s article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/education/edlife/journ-t.html?scp=27&sq=journalism&st=cse

A Time for Change: Learning to Love the Web

•May 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

     With many newspapers going out of print or deciding to make the switch to an online version only, there are questions raised about how media publishers can profit from the web. We are currently in a recession, but even before the recession officially hit, the demise of the newspaper industry was in the works. Huge losses have hit newsrooms hard which resulted in massive layoffs and sometimes the closing of a newspaper office altogether. How can they make money when readership has been on a steady decline for their product? A viable answer is to turn to the internet.

      The gift… and sometimes curse, of the online world is that information is available at your fingertips instantaneously. However, very little money has changed hands when it comes to this type of medium. Perhaps much thought wasn’t given to profiting from the web during its inception, when other forms of media were doing well with their own profits. However now that the tables have turned and the internet may be considered media’s saving grace, all eyes are on capitalizing from this market.

      In an April 8th article by Zachary M. Seward, an interview was conducted with executive editor of the online Wall Street Journal, Alan Murray. Murray provided his five tips for charging content on the internet. One of the key areas that Murray points out is that in order to be successful, newspapers have to focus on niche markets. Murray is barking up the right tree with that one. This seems to be the direction to go in across the board in many areas of planning for the future of newspapers. Gone are the days of mass producing content for one type of audience because that audience has become more diverse these days. Newspapers must adapt to the changing times and changing face of their readers and find ways to appeal to a variety of viewers. It’s time for newspapers to build new groups of loyal followers since those they have come to know and love are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

      To read the article by Seward in its entirety, please visit: http://www.niemanlab.org/2009/04/five-tips-on-charging-for-content-from-alan-murray-of-wsjcom/

Hello world!

•January 27, 2009 • 1 Comment

Introducing Keyana M. Jones!

I am a graduate student at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.  I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Organizational and Corporate Communication.

This web log was created for a Multimedia Journalism class. Please feel free to stay a while and check out some of my blog entries.

Thanks!

~KMJ~