Challenges to Journalism

Challenges to Journalism

We live in the Information Age and in the middle of the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) revolution. While all established professions are challenged by the changes, perhaps the profession of Journalism, is the most visible face of the change. 

Is modern journalism in the midst of a revolution?

We live in the Information Age and in the middle of the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) revolution. While all established professions are challenged by the changes, perhaps the profession of Journalism, is the most visible face of the change. Compared to just a few years ago, journalists now have new means to collect information, collate them in vast digital libraries, analyze the information with powerful tools, interpret results in multiple dimensions and disseminate the news virtually at the speed of light. We can understand that the industry will take time to stabilize but there are serious challenges in the path to progress. We choose to highlight four of them.

The Challenge of Fake News?

President Donald Trump recently said that ‘fake news’ is the enemy of the people and that reporters should not be able to use anonymous sources. The US Presidential campaign 2016, has been called the most vicious in American history. Both the Republicans and Democrats resorted to smear campaigns, traditionally considered below the belt. Such campaigns do more to malign the opponent rather than impress the public, on merit. In many cases, ‘Fake News’ and ‘Alternative Reality’, succeeded in misinforming more easily influenced minds. How can the institution of journalism re-embrace itself to truth, impartiality and pluralism?

Why did Psephology Fail?

In 2016, BREXIT, the Columbian Referendum, the US Presidential Election and the Italian Referendum all produced unexpected results. In fact, it may well be remembered as the year of unexpected political outcomes. Just before Election Day (08 Nov 16), many reputed media houses had predicted a clear victory for Hillary Clinton. Did Psephology actually fail?

In new age media, does ‘Experience’ take Priority Over ‘Content’?

With the advent of professional management into journalism, the paradigm, ‘the Customer is King’, has special relevance. It is perhaps now more important to give the customer a ‘news experience’ that is memorable, than mere ‘content’. While pure news maybe boring, how do we ensure credibility & balance, is not sacrificed for sensationalism and eyeball viewership?

How will Journalism Adapt to Technology?

Today a journalist has to adapt to working on multiple formats; print, web, social media, blogs. To the customer, video content is more attractive than print content; and mobile platforms are more convenient than paper and even television. How will the industry adapt to such fast-pace changes? Is there a need for journalists to re-train and re-skill?

Assessment

With the ICT revolution, there is a need for adaptation and change. While Journalism maybe the visible face, manufacturing, health-care, transportation Blue and White collar services are all in the process of adaption. In 2013, Paul Noor published a book called, ‘Change or Perish’. His words could not have been more prophetic.

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