Journalism is notoriously known for being untrustworthy, and not surprisingly is one of the least trusted professions (according to a survey by consumer group Which, The Week UK 2012). Even the journalists are reporting it. It is a sign of the times. Although, this shouldn’t be disparaging to aspiring journalists, as we welcome the drastic shift to convergence culture.
If you are into television shows, as I am, you may have heard of the show ‘The Newsroom’. Created by Aaron Sorkin, this show is a fictional, behind the scenes look at a news network covering real life stories, where they ‘…don’t do good television, we do the news’ (Duudeabides2 2012). It critically looks at how the news business is run, almost making a mockery of it, and idealising the concept of reporting the news, as it should be. Journalism is based around being objective, well it is meant to anyway, and this show attempts to do just that. What puzzles me is why can’t the real world mirror this? I’ve had enough of watching the news and having to decipher between the paid advertising, the real news and the gossip news. This mash up of entertainment and reporting is confusing to the audience.
So what happens when we have journalists who can’t be trusted and supposably objective reporting? Thank you web 2.0 for allowing the collaboration of both producer and end user to combine. Quandt (2011), reports that ‘…some journalists learnt doing most of their research through the internet and engaging in frequent contact with users’. We can see that the journalism profession is struggling with recent changes to newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald, change to tabloid style and dramatic staff cuts. But the shift of convergence culture has allowed for these journalists to continue to work online and without the constraints of a major media company over their head. The censored printed news is a way of the past.
As Marcus O’Donnell explained in the lecture (UOW, 2013), ‘…declining advertising, declining revenue, declining workforce’ means only one thing, the print days are over, newspapers are shifting to majority online and will be followed shortly by magazines. This opens up a wide range of possibilities for both users and those who are creating the content.
Duudeabides2 2012, Aaron Sorkin Covers The Newsroom, online video, 29 June, viewed 8 April, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB5QTyCF4n0>
‘Politicians, journalists and bankers least trusted professions’ 2012, The Week, 19 Sept, viewed 8 April, <http://www.theweek.co.uk/uk-news/49114/politicians-journalists-and-bankers-least-trusted-professions>
Quandt, T (2011) ‘Understanding a new phenomenon: the significance of participatory journalism’ Chapter 9 in Hermida et al Participatory Journalism, Wiley Blackwell pp155-176