Breaking news: the future of journalism will be okay

An older man recently stopped me to congratulate me on a scholarship that I received in January, saying that he recognized my face from an article about the award. His compliment transitioned into a conversation and we discussed topics such as my other accomplishments and where was studying. He then asked me what field I was majoring in, and I replied proudly, “journalism.” He shook his head and said, “How could someone so smart be so stupid?”

He was referring to the future of journalism, which is experiencing a transition. Due to its tenuous state, there are not as many jobs in the field, for example.

Of course, I defended myself, telling him the same thing I tell everyone: Journalism does have a future. It is just changing.

His comment, however, is something that I have heard over and over again.

Major newspapers, such as The New York Times, continue to be published in print as well as embracing the digital age. Photo by Magdalene Michalik.

“The future of journalism looks more innovative and creative than ever before,” said Don Dreyer, mass media professor at Hofstra University.

If we look at the history of mass media, according to Dreyer, journalism has already endured its fair share of transitions, for example from cave art to the printing press or the introduction of broadcast media.

“There will be a continuation of this crafting of a balance between the self made digital journalist and establishment form of journalism,” said Dreyer. “We have the opportunity through the availability of digital resources for discovery on an unprecedented number of writers, thinkers and policy shapers.”

“There will be a continuation of this crafting of a balance between the self made digital journalist and establishment form of journalism,” said Dreyer. “We have the opportunity through the availability of digital resources for discovery on an unprecedented number of writers, thinkers and policy shapers.”

These new digital mediums include social media, blogs and online newspapers. Such would include Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and The New York Times.

Many people, such as this journalism student, get their news online. Photo by Magdalene Michalik.

Many people, such as this journalism student, get their news online. Photo by Magdalene Michalik.

“[Online journalism] has opened the conversation about what is going on in the world,” said Carol Fletcher, journalism professor at Hofstra University. “There have never been as many people reporting before.”

One example of this digital transition is Hofstra University’s student newspaper, The Chronicle. The publication is incorporating social media, like Twitter and Facebook, and publishes an online version in addition to the traditional print version.

“We’re dealing with less print and more progress with things like social media,” said Samantha Neudorf, news editor of The Chronicle. “I don’t think it’s dying. It’s heading towards a new direction which is the digital world.”

Fletcher is, however, concerned about the content of stories in this new medium.  According to Fletcher, since the traditional models of reporting are changing, lengthy, in-depth reports about topics like government corruption, may be deemed not worthy of this expense.

Although nobody can say for sure where the field will be- we all know it will just be different. Isn’t that the exciting part?’

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Will there be a time when all notes will be taken digitally as well? Photo by Magdalene Michalik.

“Journalism has a bright future,” said Fletcher. “Studies have shown that the public of consumption of news has only increased. People have a bigger appetite for the news.”

Next time someone recognizes me and criticizes my career path, I may just say, “You saw me in a newspaper, didn’t you?”

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