Written by: Jakob Wood
It’s intimidating as an aspiring journalist knowing that the field you’re entering is a dying art.
Christina Patterson of the Huffington Post calls Newspaper “a rich man’s hobby”, not because the wealthy are the ones writing, but because journalism isn’t (and for a long time hasn’t been) a reliable line of employment.
Papers are like any other business: they need to make money to survive.
It is the job of a journalist to write intriguing material that not only informs the readers but has them coming back to learn more. If readers aren’t returning, the blame falls upon the writers. Executives of a periodical firm can replace their staff as many times as they want, but the problem isn’t in the writers; people aren’t interested in printed news anymore.
With every technological advance, newspapers become less prevalent in the world of news and instant media coverage. Papers have managed to share territory with newscast shows and radio stations throughout the years, but the rise of social media just might put an end to printed news.
Before the internet, before the television, the public relied on newspapers to provide information to the masses. But times have changed, and so have resources. There isn’t a high demand for newspapers because people can easily access the same amount of information online for free.
Blogging is a prevalent factor in the downfall of journalism.
Because newspapers use money to run their business, they need to make a profit on the periodicals they produce. However, for bloggers, the Internet is open territory. They don’t have to spend money to run the Internet, therefore most bloggers don’t charge their readers.
Newspapers have attempted to go digital, but online periodicals don’t benefit newspaper firms like printed news. No need to waste time, money, and space on a stack of papers when online information is free and portable.
Newspapers used to make large profits off of advertisements. Once the internet came along, the social food chain was disrupted. Websites like Craigslist provided a new, inexpensive source for ads, causing advertisers to pull away from periodicals, taking with them a large chunk of newspaper profit. This was simply an earlier wave of Internet takeover, and a glimpse at what was to come for the field of journalism.
The catch to online media is unreliability. Journalists are obligated to do thorough research and fact check their work. This established reputation is superior to online bloggers who can post whatever they want, factual or not. Social media is a big game of telephone which is why some people still rely on papers. That seems to be what keeps journalism breathing.
Journalists are in a tough position. Sure, there may be work available now, but for how much longer? No matter how hard writers push the importance of periodicals, publications will eventually cease. However, that doesn’t mean journalism is incapable of evolving.