It seems that with the Internet the world of journalism is changing again. With each new technological innovation journalism has had to remake and redefine itself and the rules it goes by. Many exclamations over the death of journalism have been made, but it would be surprising if the world would lose the desire to have a medium in which the public can be informed of matters that are not in its immediate sphere of conscious.
In articles written by Steve Outing for Poynter.org, originally published on December 8 and 14 of 2004 and both updated on March 2 of this year, he explores the values of bloggers, citizen journalists, and traditional journalists. Outing points out that bloggers and professional journalists have much to learn from each other. Bloggers, the importance of having another set of eyes to edit, revise, and check facts—an editor—and journalists, the importance of spontaneity, imperfection and the ability to connect more freely with their audience.
There are benefits to the learned training of journalists, to the specific recipe of writing, and the ability to demand a certain presence in the public eye.
“The only real difference between what [bloggers] do and the work of professional journalists is that most bloggers lack the credentials to gain access to sources as easily as their journalist cousins,” Outing says in his “What Bloggers Can Learn From Journalists” article.
But Outing also points out that bloggers have the ability to access many of the same records that journalists do—open court records are viewable to the general public, not just journalists. And having primary sources helps add a needed credibility to articles and blog posts alike.
“We have owned the printing press for centuries; now the people have the power of the press [through blogs]… They are speaking and it’s our turn to listen and engage them in conversation,” says Jeff Jarvis, president of Advance Internet and blogger, quoted by Outing in his article “What Journalists Can Learn From Bloggers.”
So the question is, what is journalism? Is it the definitive word of print? Is it the carefully delivered words across the radio or images from the television? The internet has allowed the gift of news and information to reach so many more people at an increasingly surprising rate and speed.
With the development of the interwebs that strings us together more tightly now than ever before, at times it can feel as though journalism is being threatened by the vary same freedom that it also thrives for. With each new technology there is a time of treating the unknowns and treating the difficulty of working in a new medium. However, it is far from the death of journalism but perhaps, a new beginning.