Journalism is an institution that continues to evolve with time but still has its roots in proving “newsworthy content” to its audience. Kovach and Rosenstiel list two key components that should keep journalism grounded while benefiting the consumer, “Journalists must make the significant interesting and relevant” (p. 208) and “Journalists should keep the news comprehensive and in proportion.” (p. 187) However with the growth of technology, journalism and the news media have come to a pivotal point where critical decisions will have to be made.
The Internet has created a portal where now the consumer can become the creator, where instead of being a one-way-street in terms of the media producing content and the audience accepting the content, the street has become two-way now. The audience now has the opportunity to create or even change already published material. The consumer can now create news that they specifically want instead of only being able to consume what is given to them, this has given the consumer the freedom of choice. This all may sound great for the audience/consumer but what about the journalist and the news media?
Journalists are embracing this new wave by using consumer generated content and even asking for more by sending the public out to report but they do have some reservations about the change. According to the “Fundamental Values” section of the “Online Journalist Survey” section from the “stateofthemedia.org,” “a solid majority (57%) say the Internet is ‘changing the fundamental values of journalism’ rather than ‘transferring those values online.’ And the change was deemed more negative than positive.” Journalists and the news media have reasonable fears about all this consumer-generated content. With this sudden wealth of consumer-generated content the chance of errors, plagiarism, fiction, etc. has also risen.
All in all, this new stage of journalism and the news media with technology and specifically consumer-generated content whether it be writing, video, audio, pictures etc. like all things, it has its pluses and negatives. Consumers and journalists alike are benefiting but in the end they both can also reap the negatives when it comes to errors. The news media needs to get ahead of the curve and figure out how to not necessarily control the flow of content but restrain it better. Whether it be paying for content or leaving everything, the news media needs to make a move and quickly before they lose all control and power to the everyday audience. What good would a degree in journalism do then?