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Impact of technology on journalism part II: the Internet

Posted by: | November 22, 2011 | No Comment |

Technology and Journalism.

The two words go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Journalism as a whole has been influenced by technology greatly over the past hundreds of years. The biggest enhancement has been the velocity at which news is delivered and distributed. As technology has gotten better and better, the speed of news has gone up exponentially.

In the 1990s a new technological innovation, the Internet, began to creep its way into the business of journalism. It started off slowly, as publications one by one tried moving content online. Now it would be difficult to find someone who does not use the Internet to gather news, whether it is the only medium or not.

The best part of online journalism may be that it can be corrected. In a print paper, if a mistake is made it can’t be fixed until the next issue. Online, a mistake can be corrected seconds, minutes, hours or days later. Because of this self-correction, Wikipedia has become a credible source for information. Almost anything you can think of is on Wikipedia, because anyone can post on it. Some may feel that this citizen journalism is false more often than not. However, Wikipedia allows any user to correct pages and sources are posted at the bottom of the page.

In the past two years, the newest fad has taken the world by storm: tablets and smart phones. Who needs an actual computer when you can check your email, Twitter, read books and magazines, and check up on all your news sources on a pocket sized item? Smart phones fit in your pocket and iPads and other tablets are lighter than most books!



Social Media is now a dominant source of news. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or other blogs, etc.; news is flowing at an accelerated rate of word of mouth. Professor Klein asked in class what media we could not live without; multiple people answered, “Twitter.”

Twitter has become the fastest way for news to travel and in my opinion the best. On Twitter you can follow all of your news sources that can break news in warp-speed with one tweet. A whole article is not needed to report a death, election winner, game winner and so on. Still, an article can easily be linked to the tweet. What better way to get traffic to your website than tweeting the headline and linking to the article?

I receive almost all of my news from Twitter. Of course, not everyone is a credible source on Twitter, but using my own judgment I can further research anything I see on Twitter that is not from a recognizable, credible source. (CNN, Washington Post, ESPN sports writers)

Social media has even inspired new ways to put together stories. Here is the journalism innovation of the year, Storify, in full effect:

<script src=”http://storify.com/king_sharma/journalism-interactive.js”></script><noscript><a href=”http://storify.com/king_sharma/journalism-interactive” target=”_blank”>View the story “Journalism Interactive” on Storify</a>]</noscript>


Storify takes different social medias and creates one story. This was on the first ever Journalism Interactive conference in late October. The fact that we now have that conference shows how much technology is impacting the field.


Even amidst all the changes, it is important to understand that new mediums DO NOT totally wipe out old ones.


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