Keep up with the citizens

What role do you envisage for UGS (user genrated stories) in a media eco sphere predominantly fuelled by social media?

Social media is a way of sharing content with others, if it is a picture of your breakfast, words about loved ones or…. a film caputered of a bank robbing. Especially Twitter and YouTube makes it easy to share with the rest of the world. Just use the hashtag ”Obama” and lots of people will probably see it.

If you are so lucky to get an exclusive film of a crime scene, newspapers are willing to pay a lot of money to get it. But what if you don’t want to sell that movie, just have it on your own YouTube account? Then you will be a news source for a lot of poeple, maybe more visited than any newspaper writing about the same robbery.

Kate Bulkley wrote this in an article on theguardian.com in 2012 on theguardian.com: ”It’s hard to judge the value of amateur eyewitness film shot on a mobile phone and posted on the Internet.”

It might be hard for citizens to know the ethics that should be while posting a video online. That is maybe why it is still important for media outlets to work even harder to get what the readers now wants and expects to find. The sources to news might be less important than ever, but content and availbility still is.

In the same article by Bulkley, Molly Dineen explains to Bulkley that citizen journalism should add to what traditional documentary makers are doing, not take away.”

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PHOTO: http://www.brandwatch.com/2013/09/what-is-citizen-journalism-and-how-does-it-influence-news/

The times they are a-changin’

What’s happening to the old models of journalism?

Torry Pedersen, the CEO of Norway’s most read newspaper, VG, describes online news coverage (Quinn, 2009) as being like a “bubbling brook” while print coverage was like “bottled water”. Both he says, “contain water”. They are two different formats of great journalism, which suggests perhaps there is a need for different platforms with different formats and content and maybe the old models of journalism may still have a place in the new world?

According to Quinn (2009), journalism will thrive when media companies free themselves from print. This allows for a heavy reliance on online resources, allowing for the old model of journalism being print journalism, to be diminished as numbers demonstrate higher success with journalism, which is imperative in order for it to continue.

News can be reached to anyone at any time. Individuals are often seeking new, breaking stories and rapidly.  As Quinn (2009:71) states, “The Internet allows people to seek information from thousands of blogs, aggregators, and social networks” This means that people don’t tend to wait to get home to watch the news. The decrease in this means that if a journalist were not up to date with modern technologies and the use of the internet for news, they are in no way prepared to be successful in journalism.

There’s no “out with the old and in with the new” in journalism, it is just a craft that accepts it must evolve with the times to survive. Stephen Quinn (2009) writes: ”Within two decades news wi will primarily be delivered via wireless devices and online. Print will be a niche product.”

Journalists must adapt in social media, as the readers have already done that”. Torry Pedersen says that in Noway well-known reporters have effectly become a brand.”

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Torry Pedersen, the CEO of Norway’s most read newspaper, VG. (PHOTO: http://www.dn.no/etterBors/2014/08/26/2159/Medier/vil-ikke-at-nrk-skal-vre-nettavis)

Everyone’s business?

How are the various ideals of journalism impacted by the business of journalism?

William Woo (2007), director of the graduate program in Journalism at Stanford University, suggests: “At its core, the functional definition of journalism is much like the functional definition of a duck. If it looks like journalism, acts like journalism, and produces the work of journalism, then it’s journalism, and the people doing it are journalists. Whoever they are.”

To be a journalist you don’t need to have the right education or verification. Actually, a few years ago it was very common that journalists didn’t have any education at all. Today – most people that want to work in the media industry get that education.
I don’t think nothing has really changed…

Journalism is still fundamentally the same; To report a fair and accurate account of the events happening around our community and around the world. Media College (Wavelength Media, 2014) suggests that the following five points make a story newsworthy:

  1. The story’s timing
  2. Significance
  3. Proximity
  4. Prominence
  5. Human interest.

This means, everyone with Internet access and the right device can report like journalists. Just imagine being in the mountains when an avalanche arises. You pick up you smartphone to capture it all. When you get home you post a video to Twitter.
– Is this journalism?

Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at NYU, said at the 2012 Melbourne Writers Festival: “Journalism is anything that expands your horizon.”
If that is what journalism is about, I know a lot of people that are not referencing to themselves as journalists, but still are expanding my horizon everyday (..looking through my Instagram feed for instance).

It’s not hard to understand why working as a journalist has become more stressful than ever.

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(Picture found at goodnewsaday.wordpress.com)

Multimedia journalism = bad journalism?

How does convergence impact journalism?

Which newsaper is the first one to break the news? Who has the most interesting story? Who has the most powerfull picture? And did anyone get it on film?

Journalism is no longer just journalism. A journlist needs more qualities than just a ”sharp pen”. The readers expect more – and that more has to be found on the readers’ smartphone and laptop. This fact makes the days at any newspapers’s office more stressfull than ever. Yesterdays news ar are no longer the only ones laying in the garbage, the last hours news are too. Former editor of ”Ekstra Bladet”, Geir Ruud, said this in 2012: ”What has changed is that we don’t own the news on our own anymore, now we are sharing it with the audience, asking them for it”. He believes that working in convergent news is about changing the news culture to provide a more dynamic and responsive news. (Ivo Bruum, 2013)

Skjermbilde 2014-07-30 kl. 16.11.37(Screen shot, Ekstra Bladet 30.07.14)

For me, it seems like many online newspapers are more interested in getting the most ”clicks” (a good headline is everything) than actually create good journalism, especially in the sports and entertainment sectors (everything seems like a sensation today …doesn’t it?). Producing news is getting more expensive, and there are the ads and clicks that make the income. This pressure can lead to mistakes, on such as ethics, research or as simple as the grammar.

On the other hand; No doubt that the right use of multimedia can turn into sensational  storytelling.
That is what I think journalism is all about.

mostviewd heraldsun (Screen shot, The Herald Sun 30.07.14)

Meeting the expectations of availability

– How common or widespread is the use of multimedia journalism in the media?

Your hand stumbles through the dark and hits “snooze”. Eventually, 30 minutes later you are sitting by the breakfast table catching up on the latest news. Actually you are catching up on all the newspapers’ headlines at the same time. No, you don’t have ten newspapers in front of you – you are using the same little device that also is your alarm clock. Scrolling down your Twitter feed you know exactly what have been happening around the world during the hours you where asleep. Up comes a headline that interests you – you decide to click on it. What you now see is text, videos and several photos. You start to read, but after reading a few lines you jump down to a video and hit “play”

. Skjermbilde 2014-07-21 kl. 17.05.52
(Screen shot via Twitter)

I want it all, I want it now
Today every news medium has a website:
The Age
The Herald Sun
ABC
(And so on…)

And that is an absolute necessarity to keep up with the readers’ expectations. News is not published once a day, but all day (and night). A newspaper is no longer just text and pictures you find in your mailbox every morning, but text, photos, vidoes, links and even the opportunity to add your own feedback. The “old” newspaper is loosing its readers, and the journalists are loosing their jobs because of it. At the same time the readers’ expectations for constant available news just seem to increase – and today’s newspapers know this. Therefore, the art of journalism is changing. As professor in journalism, media and communication, Brian McNiar, writes: “Newspapers are dying, but long live the news”.

(Video: Digital newsreport 2014, by Reuters Institute)