News- In The Time of Digital Age
Journalism originated as the reportage of current events, specifically in printed form, i.e. newspapers. However, propelled by the massive growth in technology and electronic communication over the past decade, its scope has expanded and its definition has evolved into an all-encompassing domain of information. The current stage on that evolutionary ladder — following print, radio and television — is digital journalism, the most widely used and popular driver of news consumption in today’s world. Let us look at the various aspects of news in the digital era.
1. Digital age has created many challenges for every profession
In the case of journalism, the introduction of information technology has altered considerably various aspects of the profession. The high-tech revolution has significantly altered the way the public obtains its news and information, and has deprived the mass media of its traditional monopoly.
2. New technological dependence for information has benefits
Instant notifications of news and emails allow people to be aware of what is going on in the world in only a few seconds. With communication being an important part of any culture, the way in which information is spread has to adapt to fit the way people live.
3. At the touch of a button, online news is available everywhere
Over the past quarter century, dramatic technological advances in the production, manipulation, and dissemination of images have transformed the practices of journalism, entertainment, and advertising as well as the visual environment itself. In an age of ubiquitous information, news junkies have never had it so good. At the touch of a button, online news is available everywhere, from the Times of India on the web to online versions of the Hindustan Times. With massive changes in the media environment and its technologies, interrogating the nature of news journalism is one of the most urgent tasks we face in defining the public interest today.
4. Arrival of the digital revolution
The arrival of the digital revolution—the evolution of the Internet, the emergence of new forms of media, and the rise of online social networks—has reshaped the media landscape and made the press of 2011 something that many could not have imagined. From digital retouching to wholesale deception, the media world is now beset by an unprecedented range of professional challenges. Not only because of the different media that arise, but the new dynamics of work. Every day the new devices and tools are added in exponential growth that sometimes appears to cause an excess of choices and opportunities that journalists and audiences don’t know yet. The challenge is to optimize fully the potential of the Internet and digital media without compromising civil liberties.
5. Digital technologies have charted revolutionary changes in journalism
Digital technologies have charted revolutionary changes in journalism and fundamentally altered the nature and function of media in our society, reinventing age-old practices of public communication and at times circumventing traditional media and challenging its privileged role as gatekeepers of news and entertainment. Digital technologies have expanded quickly, permeating society with new formats and possibilities of communication. Hypertext, multimedia, hypermedia have become part of the routine of the vast majority of professionals and require schools to change their ways of teaching and learning.
Many challenges of print media
Increases in newsprint prices, the depreciation of the rupee and the government’s new customs duty on newsprint all add more pressure. But the fundamental shift is this: in India, as in everywhere else, everyone with access seems to generally prefer digital, mobile, and platform media to print.
Those under 35 years, 56% identified online as their main source and just 16% print – easily overtaken by the 28% who identified social media marketing platforms like Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube as their main source of news.
Reaching those already over 35 may be lucrative for years to come, but reaching those under 35 is the key to Indian newspaper’s future. They make up two-thirds of India’s population, and they will have to be reached online first. A well-known and trusted newspaper brand can help with this. But print won’t be the medium to reach them.
So, it is increasingly urgent that Indian newspapers find their place in this digital media environment. While print is still profitable (and still expected to grow for Hindi and regional language titles, at least for another few years), this could change quickly.
Print journalism has made a shift toward more-subjective reporting:
A typical characteristics of print reporting in the pre-20s period were context- and event-based reporting and use of titles and official positions. Whereas in the post-20s, there is a meaningful shift away from such language and toward unpacking social and policy issues through character-centered stories.
Television news has made stronger shifts to subjectivity, conversation and argument:
Similar to print journalism, television news has shifted from straight reporting that dealt with complex issues and grounded news in the abstract concepts and values of shared public matters to a more subjective, conversational, argumentative style of news presentation. When comparing broadcast news with prime-time cable programming in the period after 2000, an even more dramatic difference is apparent, with prime-time cable programming being more subjective, abstract, and directive.
Online journalism features subjective references:
Online journalism is more personal and direct than print journalism. It narrates key social and policy issues through very personal frames and subjective references.
Now, let’s discuss the reasons why news in the digital age is the future.
Digital media gives you quick updates:
Digital newspapers always remain updated throughout the day. Besides, digital platforms share engaging stories, which are generally not found in a paper-based newspaper.
To search a Job:
The use of mobile phones and laptops has become ubiquitous than ever. Due to the digital newspaper, readers can search for the latest jobs available in the industry.
To retain a habit:
A large number of people check their smartphones as soon as they wake up. The addiction to smartphones is such that it feels incomplete without surfing the Internet.
Getting information in anywhere in the world:
During the daily commute to the office, reading a newspaper is a great way for introverts to avoid conversations with people. Most of the people do not like carrying paper-based newspapers all the way to their offices. But you can easily get all the information about the world in your phone!
(The author works with Hindustan Times and the views expressed are personal)
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