With print in rapid decline, there is a lot of discussion (and fear) that journalists are going to be out of work.
However, ask anyone working in new media if they would agree with this point. They probably wouldn’t — and I don’t.
Steve Pearlstein, a former columnist at the Washington Post and current professor at George Mason University, talked on this subject at a recent discussion panel at GMU.
“More people are getting more information than ever in the history of mankind,” Pearlstein explained.
This is interesting to think about, but he’s right! Take a look at this graph posted on Twitter’s official blog in 2010.
In January of 2010, Twitter was seeing nearly 50 million tweets per day. It has been nearly two years since this graph was published, so what are the stats today?
200 million tweets per day.
This is hard to even wrap your head around. Imagine even 50 years ago when people depended on radio, a limited television selection and newspapers for all of their information. Sure, there was still word of mouth — but it hadn’t caught up with those technologies yet. Technology has now found a way to take word of mouth to the next level. Anybody can be seen and heard by anybody on the planet and, as a result, information is being passed at rates never experienced before.
Journalism is still figuring out how to adapt to these radical and sudden changes. This spells nothing but opportunity for journalists entering the workforce today. It hasn’t been figured out yet, so it is up to us to figure it out. The next Gutenbergs and Zuckerbergs are out there today.