It is evident that with the rise of the Internet, print publications are decreasing rapidly. This shift from print to digital media can be seen here at ACU in the prevalence of ebooks and the change in courses within the JMC department. Today’s students are learning how to live tweet, write blogs, and design webpages. I recently read an intriguing research paper on the topic of digitizing within the industry by Christopher Harper, an award-winning journalist with a career spanning 30 years and experience with the Associated Press, Newsweek, and ABC News. Harper sparked my interest on the topic of moving into the digital era within the JMC industry.
How Online Journalism Changes Things
The research paper by Harper listed 3 ways that online journalism will forever alter media:
- More power to readers
- Multimedia possibilities (text, audio, video)
- Anyone can create content
Here’s a video depicting The Guardian Australia’s editor-in-chief that offers specific examples of how the power has gone from the writer to the reader thanks to the Internet.
Why You Should Embrace Digital Media
It is finally becoming the norm for news sources and companies to produce web content with the same – if not more – frequency than print media. The example of the Canadian Council for Advancement in Education’s presentation on the concept shows the importance and motivations behind moving toward online journalism. The NY Times recently reported that most large advertisers are now focusing efforts in the digital field. Audiences are moving online and as the digital generation grows up, this will continue.
The Cons of Online Content
While there are many advantages to being online in the journalism realm, there are a few negative side effects. Newsweek chose to cancel their print edition in 2012, but brought print back a year later. They aren’t the only publication to hold onto its print audience. Older crowds still prefer print and some studies argue that digital media could shorten attention spans. Your specific audience must be considered when deciding to focus on digital media or print, but ultimately, the majority of content is moving to the Internet and changing the status quo.