Mass media movement and information transfer are some of the many matters affected by media technology’s rapid development. This radical transformation denotes that, at some point, journalism has changed. But does this point to an improvement or the declination of honesty?
Journalism is society’s fourth estate.
If there’s any facet playing the most critical role in providing people with accurate and prompt information that can significantly influence their lives, it would be journalism. Although it doesn’t necessarily make the world stop spinning, it’s a piece of society worth every value. How it’s delivered, and the portion journalists pick to deliver can impact the movement in communities and people’s behaviors.
Given its worth in people’s lives, there’s no doubt how it’s also susceptible to being taken advantage of. Competition arises among producers seeking similar information to the same audience but with more compensation than the others. The more this competition occurs, the higher these producers feel the need to develop and evolve their broadcasting means. Not to mention, the need to consider people’s demands also exists to ensure success in the industry.
It’s an ever-changing game of cats and mice, as these producers aim to defeat the other while conquering the changes in their audience’s demands. Hence, it’s no doubt journalism has changed. But how it has changed is the question requiring discussion.
How Journalism Has Changed Over Time
In Jack Hawn’s book Blind Journey A Journalist’s Memoirs, readers are taken along the author’s 43-year writing career. If people want to take a good look at how journalism has changed, this book has all the answers. The author highlights the highs and lows he’s experienced over the years working in the field, enumerating some of his defining moments as a journalist. While it’s a memoir, the book primarily shines a light on common misconceptions people have about public information and mass media. It also tackles some changes people may have observed in the journalism industry.
Change is the only constant in the world. And for an industry that’s fast-paced and dependent on the world’s dynamism, change is only expected to happen within its system.
This is what Jack Hawn aims to pinpoint in his book. With over four decades in his profession, he may have subtly shared how journalism had been molded and remolded. As he talks about the skills he has learned and unlearned to support himself in the industry, Hawn also explains how journalism has changed over time.
Journalism Faces an Increased Competition for Attention
A long time ago, news traveled to people. The only way they receive information is if others share it with them. People didn’t have the option to pick among the available news back then. They may turn down hearing about a particular matter, but they can’t be picky about it if they genuinely want to hear something.
Now, news is abundantly available. People have the means to access news in bulk, allowing them to choose what to consume. In today’s society, journalism has changed, given journalists and producers don’t only compete among themselves. Instead, they have other social media platforms and various media materials to fight for their audience’s attention. Hence, how they deliver news has changed over time depending on what catches people’s attention faster.
However, what this demand led to isn’t the birth of a more entertaining news source. Journalists didn’t dazzle news with what’s eye-catchy. Most of the time, this created sensationalized and over-the-top exaggerated information that people get intrigued by the most. Journalism has changed people’s attention, but this might have only contributed to how outrageous most news delivery has become.
Journalism Often Takes Sides and Brings People With It
One of the most apparent changes in journalism is its politicization. Although journalists are expected to detail every movement of society, they shouldn’t be seen as expressing biases, especially for consequential matters. However, as controversy has gradually become a selling point in the industry, some journalists have ridden its waves. Political polarization shows how journalism has changed over time.
Political news has been and will always be a combative matter. And as a highly polarizing matter, journalism back then guaranteed a non-partisan or non-biased means of sharing political news. However, people might already observe some changes, as in how some parts of the media openly express distaste regarding specific political figures and connected news.
With journalism’s evident influence on people, openly taking sides on political matters might be a backward move. Often, producers know about their influence and take advantage of their substantial following. This is among the other adverse changes reflected in journalism today.
Journalism, Filled With Fake News and Lack of Fact-Checking?
Given it’s among people’s top sources of timely information, honesty in journalism is crucial. However, with how accessible the internet is to everyone, it has become challenging to know which information is factual and which isn’t. The prevalence of social media in everyone’s routine also doesn’t help with how easy it has become to spread news without knowing its authenticity.
As long as it sounds interesting and “seems legit,” people can share information with others without hesitation. With journalists’ need for “eye-catching” statements to take advantage of, the more outrageous the news, the higher their chances of outranking the others. Hence, it’s no wonder how frequent or easy it has become to encounter fake news. Obviously, this intensification of fake news doesn’t benefit anyone but the producers.
If anything, this factor proves that simply because journalism has changed, it doesn’t always have a positive effect on its receiver.