Wednesday, 10 November 2010

News into Computer Age

News considered as universal human need and it has been around for thousands of years. Traditionally, we define “NEWS” as, a report of recent events or previously unknown information that is of broad interest to the intended audience. Different scholars unanimously approved the basic characteristics of news as timeliness, impact, proximity, controversy, prominence, currency and oddity with the promise of objectivity and fairness.

From oral patterns to printed culture journalism has a vital history with different mode of practices. Digital technologies (e.g. Computer, Web and Mobile) are changing how we consume the news as simply a text message and ‘tweet’ could be the future of news. Technological revolution guided the journalism in constant convergence as it refers to “some combination of technologies, products, staffs and geography among the previously distinct provinces of print, television and online media.” (Singer, 2004: 3)

Convergence is reshaping the landscape of journalism in a variety of ways, mainly in four perspectives: technological, management, communicative and professional, as Pavlik puts it, “newsroom structures, journalistic practices and news content are all evolving.” (2004: 28)


The demand of multi-professionalism has become a trap for journalists in current era as the practices of Churnalism, Mobile Journalism, Citizen Journalism and Network Journalism are some of the features of public participation. “As an explanation of why most news outlets reflect the worldview of the rich and powerful, fewer journalists producing more copy, plus more PRs offering more instant ‘stories‘, sounds banal. PR, far more than journalism, shapes the news agenda.” (Wilby, ‘Campbell's media critique is only half the story,’ The Guardian, February 4, 2008)
Another concept of Vortextuality as defined by Prof. Whannel (2010) has been created around us because of the globalization of the media that creates a ‘vortex’ effect where a single title is centralized and numbers of media institutions just revolve around making the same story. The Iraq war, sudden death of Michael Jackson, 9/11 and World Cup Football are significant examples of Vortextuality.
Computer advancement has built a realm of 24/7 hasty news with the danger of misleading impressions. While, apart from the spinning games, ethics are bound with a simple word of ‘truth’.

References:

--Pavlik, J. V. (2004) “A Sea-Change in Journalism: Convergence, Journalists, their Audiences and Sources”. Convergence. 10 (4). p. 21-29. [online]. Available from: http://con.sagepub.com/content/10/4/21.full.pdf+html [Accessed on:08-11-2010]
--Singer, J. B. (2004). "Strange Bedfellows? The Diffusion of Convergence in Four News Organizations". Journalism Studies. 5 (1).p. 3-18.

--Whannel, G. (2010) ‘News, Celebrity and Vortextuality : A study of the media coverage of the Michael Jackson verdict’.Cultural Politics.6(1).p.65-84

Images:

2. Churnalism
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_f3lgBGJ8W3c/TAfy7A-DUbI/AAAAAAAAA7o/PWG_QwoK7LI/s1600/churnalism.jpg [Accessed on:09-11-2010]
3. We the Media

http://newmedia.andrewgruen.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/wemediacover.jpg [Accessed on:09-11-2010]

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