In my post, My Beef with Benton’s Curve, I adamantly argued that “natural reporting” was nothing new. Dan Gillmor makes a similar point in the first chapter of his cleverly named book, We the Media. Before offering up a brief history of journalism in America, he reminds readers that new media, “did not emerge fully formed or from a vacuum.” In many ways, this chapter provides the context that I felt was so sorely missing from Roy Peter Clark’s article, From Blog to Narrative.
I agree with Gillmor that traditional journalism will not “wither in the face” of new media. Traditional journalism isn’t being killed by the new media, it’s just being transformed.
For example, the biggest news story of the week was the rescue of Chilean miners who had been trapped a half mile underground for over two months. This captured the world’s attention and people from across the globe tuned in to see the miners being rescued. Although many people watched the events on television, scores of people took to the internet, watching the footage as it was broadcast live online.
The difference between watching something like this on TV and watching it online is how viewers interact with one another. Unlike TV viewers, those watching it on the internet can communicate with anyone who’s online. They can easily interact with people on the other side of the continent or the other side of the world. They aren’t just watching the news, they’re participating in it.
This led me to do a little internet browsing. I wanted to find out how many traditional media outlets have blogs. I was surprised to find that each one that I researched has not one, but many blogs, listed on their website – The Seattle Times, ABC News, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately, I think this may have given me more questions than answers. Aren’t these bloggers just journalists in disguise? Doesn’t reading a blog on CNN’s website defeat the purpose of reading a blog in the first place? I have to say, it left me a little confused.
The one thing that was clear after this week’s readings, though, is that journalism is changing, or rather adapting, to the new ways in which people are consuming and participating in the news. That is what new media is all about – an interactive online community.
1. How do you prefer to get your daily dose of news and how have your preferences changed over time?
2. If you prefer to get your news online, which websites or blogs do you frequent and why?