Well folks, here it is again, the cryer resounding out over the internet concerning the logical conclusion and fear that newspapers and all that they stand for will soon be gone from this world.
As is addressed in The death of the news, reading the daily printed newspaper is simply a way of life, a morning ritual for many. However, more and more of the younger generations are gleaning their news from online sources rather than printed ones. So now we come to the main arena: more and more people are crying out for the internet's version of news while the opposition plays a mother's role in saying "You might want quick and dirty details without reporting, but you need a healthy dose of traditional journalism to make you grow up strong."
News as increasingly older generations once knew it is ligitimately changing, shifting, and might eventually disappear. (Lets hope it'll never be so severe as that.) "What is really threatened by the decline of newspapers and the related rise of online media is reporting -- on-the-ground reporting by trained journalists who know the subject, have developed sources on all sides, strive for objectivity and are working with editors who check their facts, steer them in the right direction and are a further check against unwarranted assumptions, sloppy thinking and reporting, and conscious or unconscious bias." (Gary Kamiya)
I must say that I agree with this trend based upon my own experiences with a college student paper. Do not missunderstand, I do not believe that this shift away from reporting pertains to everyone, but I have realized a general wish for people to soley write more on what they want to write on as opposed to seeking out traditional news stories, sources, etc. It's simply easier to write more on what you know and are comfortable with rather than going out and attempting to track down all of your college-related sources (which is sometimes like nailing jello to the wall). The decline in objectivity goes hand in hand with this as well. You're more likely to be passionately biased on a subject that you truly love (or abhore) if you're writing an opinion piece, but more and more of that passion is creeping into the news medium. It can be unquestionably hard to remain objective in today's world where we are consistently presented with different opinions everywhere we look.
The internet is perfect for giving everyone a voice, but not everyone realizes that news isn't really supposed to have a voice, only the facts should speak out to the reader, not the reporter/writer. The internet media forum is also great for giving people the stories that they really want to read, but what about those other stories that people might like and never see because they aren't specifically seeking them out? I know that unless I'm searching for a particular subject/article online, then I'm much less likely to stumble across a story that will pique my interest (and hopefully give my mental facalties something to ruminate over).
Unfortunately, if newspapers, or more acurately the investigative, face-to-face news that informs us on exactly what our government (and sometimes others) are up to, then who's going to tell us? I know we'd all like to believe that what governments tell their people is the absolute truth, but history is the only example we need to hold up to know that it's not true. I was once taught that papers free from the government's control serve as a sort of watchdog for the people; a lot like Orwell's "Big Brother is watching you," except the papers are keeping an eye on the government for the people and not the other way around. So if papers go the way of the dodo bird...how long will it take for those in power to seize control of the internet, something so fluid to begin with, and let people only see/read/hear what they want them to see/read/hear? I do believe that a cold shiver just ran down my back.
So it's obvious by the mere length of this blog that I've an opinion and am absolutely biased on this subject. However, I fully recognize the limits and potential progress pertinent to both newspapers and online media sources. No one knows for sure what'll happen tomorrow or the next day, week, month, year after that. Maybe the future of reporting will lie solely in the hands of responsible bloggers? All I can write now is that I'll be up for the challenge should it arise and that I can only hope that millions more will be as well. Who knows? Maybe someone will create an online guideline for "traditional" journalism and how it operates in the "new age?"