Stay Calm.

Posted: April 20, 2011 by Leanne Osmond in #10 State of the Media

The State of the media never once crossed my mind when I was getting ready to move to New Brunswick for university. I wanted to be a journalist and that was that. When I got here, all of a sudden I was surrounded by several “state of the media” discussions and I was left thinking I was headed for a career in a dying industry.

Luckily, I was wrong. It’s true that the media landscape is changing, but not necessarily for the worst.  The last few years have been particularly hard on the industry but as shown in the Pew Research Centre’s Project for Excellence in Journalism report, things are slowly on the up and up.

While the internet created many hardships for news organizations, especially news papers, they’re gradually learning to utilize the internet in ways that benefit. Some newspapers have developed online business models and have recently shown some revenue growth. While it isn’t much, some growth is better than no growth at all. Like the article said, it’s as though the industry has to catch up – and I think it does. Media is behind the times when it comes to using the web and multimedia, but we’re getting there, and that’s all that really matters.

Pew’s research discovered that people are spending more time with the news than ever before. Of all things, this is a clear sign that news is in high demand, but the medium most in demand is online. While I still love being able to physically hold a newspaper, the reality is they are on the way out. That’s pretty sad, but it’s also pretty exciting. The majority of my graduating class will more than likely be producing some kind of media for a website, and to me that seems optimistic.

What’s surprising to me is the amount of people using mobile devices for news. I guess it doesn’t entirely surprise me – I know internet access is one of the many perks to having a smart phone, but just the concept as a whole I surprising to me. The idea that one could read an entire newspaper on their iPhone or iPad anywhere at any time, is revolutionary.

The major problem, as always, is money. How can you justify giving your content away for free when you have hard-working journalists creating it? With that said, how can you justify charging money for your content when all one has to do is look elsewhere to find a similar article for free? Slowly I think this problem will be resolved, at least to a certain extent – somewhere down the line someone will develop an online news business model that works (relatively speaking), and while it won’t be the golden age of journalism, maybe it’ll be…platinum?

I don’t think the news industry is dead; it’s just going through some changes. It happened before – the invention of radio was a dramatic new change to the world of news consumption, same with television. Online media is just another phase in the grand scheme of things, and it’s arguably here to stay.

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