Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Future

Here we are. After four of five years at the University of Oklahoma and the past few years in this journalism program we are all on the cusp of graduating and becoming real life journalists. With our choice of jobs available, there is really no reason for the blog looking into future of industry and potential career paths and opportunities.
Anyone who has spent any time in a journalism classroom recently knows that times are tough and the industry is changing rapidly. So, what does that mean for us, the recent journalism grads looking to get their feet wet? Luckily, there are a few options for us.
It seems as if the future of the industry could be wrapped up in social media. The two social mediums that jump to mind immediately are Twitter and Facebook. In my experiences, students have come across these two platforms a time or two. As evident by class discussion this morning (11/17), students are clearly passionate about their Facebook. Imagine how passionate they would be with a job on the line.
The students that are about to enter the workforce have been part of this social media revolution, so they could be key in fixing the current business model that is currently crippling the industry.
The American Journalism Review says that while social media may be a stepping stone in fixing mainstream media, they also suggest that it is going to take more than these outlets to save the industry. The author of the article states it this way. “Today, journalists romance new communities by blogging and posting updates and stories on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. “(Emmett 2009)
Another aspect of the future of the industry can be seen in that quotation, blogging.
Now, while I’m not sure this blog thing will catch on, others seem to believe that it is a part of the industry to stay. Of course, I’m joking about the blogs not catching on, but it has changed the industry.
Blogging, which was once considered the red-headed step child of journalism, has come into its own and is now a very large and important part of the business.
Blogging allows journalists, and even citizens who want to pretend to be journalists the opportunity to set our own agenda. As Bradshaw puts it in his article, “In generating story ideas, blogging journalists don’t need someone to tell them who the readers are and what they want: They already know, because the readers are on their blogs, telling them who they are and what they’re curious about. In this new blogging relationship, editors are the middlemen being cut out.” (Bradshaw 2008)
Blogging journalists can now break news faster than ever before and with the emphasis journalism schools have placed not only on blogging, but speed, this provides an excellent opportunity for journalists just entering the field.
Journalism will never die. It is a never changing entity that will adapt to the current climate. This being said, the business is different than it was 10 or 15 years ago, but there are opportunities waiting out there in this industry waiting for us.


  1. I agree that journalism is constantly changing. And like Tom said, this means our future as journalists is not a sure one. (But I suppose nothing in this life is sure.) We don't know exactly where the industry is headed or what this means for us as we enter the field in the coming months.
    I also agree that journalism won't die out completely. As we've discussed in class, it's a necessary part of a democracy and keeps our society functioning.
    And yes, social networking and the Internet are playing a major role in these changes. But I don't think it's going to overtake our current media forms. Yes, the Internet in general will probably play a much larger role. But the thing about social networking is that it is constantly changing. Like we mentioned in class, our kids probably won't even know what Facebook is. With this constant evolution, it's hard for journalists to place much faith in these social networking tools. I think it's more important for journalists to learn how to adapt to the changing social networking options and be able to incorporate them into our current media forms. Having the ability to learn and adapt is going to save the journalists of the future.

  2. I like what you have to say. I think that journalism is safe, but the job market sucks. I know i am actively pursuing careers outside of journalism due to this issue. I would have to say i am unsure about blogs and Facebook, Like everything else these sources as new outlets will have their doubters, but i am sure in the ever changing multimedia culture they would be able to survive. I think that news outlets really need to capitolize on Facebook and twitter. Our generation know what's going on more through these sights than the news. I have friends who never watch the news but find out everything through status updates on peoples Facebook accounts. This will be an interesting thing to watch as we move into the future of journalism.

  3. Journalism is always going to be constantly changing. Like Tom said, it has drastically changed from 10-15 years ago, and chances are it will be completely different 10-15 years from now. While journalism will always be around the way we will be presenting it will be different for sure. As of right now social networking could just be a fad and the flavor of the month, who knows what the future holds and the way we exchange information with one another. A couple years ago myspace.com was the place to be on the internet, now who gets on it? Kids in middle school? Who is to say that in five years Facebook and Twitter become obsolete in the industry? I cannot even begin to explain how happy I am to graduate in December, and while I know that the multimedia skills I have learned here at OU will help me get my foot in the door, in a couple years I will most likely be forced to learn something new otherwise I will be out of a job. Times or ever changing and you either get with it or get lost.

  4. Journalism will change, it will adapt, and it will develop in tune with the changing times. It may take it a while to figure out just what the best way to go about doing that is, but ultimately this profession cannot be elimintaed form thie society. I agree with your post. Facebook and Twitter can be excellent sources for news stories. While I don't really prefer the rapid, one-sentence statuses of Twitter, I have on several occasions used Facebook groups as sources for stories when reporting for OU Nightly. But I still try to stray away from those as much as possible. Blogging and Journalism threaten each other often, but they can also work together. After all, journalists use blogs to help them crowd-source, and journalists serve as the models for the bloggers. They all want to be players, after all. Further analysis of this relationship between the two leads to some pretty interesting findings. It's worth further research.

  5. I agree with Nick that I am not sure I like the often one-sentence nature of Twitter. But social networking sites are extremely valuable tools for communicating with potential sources and monitoring online statuses for potential story ideas.

    I think it is only a matter of time before something comes along to replace Facebook and Twitter. And undoubtedly journalists will flock to them and incorporate them into their stories in broadcast, print and online. It seems like a lot of emphasis is being put on staying up with online trends and fads to seem relevant and "cool" rather than using them as tools for strengthening journalism.

  6. I agree on many accounts with most of these comments. No, journalism will not die in this country any time soon. And no, the impact and value of social networking sites cannot be denied. However, I think it's important to also look at the way news is consumed through Facebook and Twitter. I personally use both and do get news from both. However, I primarily follow actual news organizations on Twitter (The New York Times, The Oklahoman, People magazine), and I verify any news seen in a Facebook status on a true news outlet. In fact, anyone who "breaks" news on Facebook usually provides some kind of link to a more traditional news outlet. My Facebook friends aren't out doing a lot of reporting of their own. People might say that legacy media aren't "needed" as much as they once were. However, I find it to be just the opposite. Most of the information I get from social networking sites comes from legacy media. It just doesn't reach me in the traditional way. This is what legacy media need to figure out- how to reach their audience directly without the help of social networking or otherwise find a way to capitalize on the way social networking sites are able to spread their content so quickly and efficiently.