The news media has changed massively over the last quarter-century. Newspapers are still being printed, but increasingly, people are turning to the internet for the latest news.
Online news sites have a huge advantage over the printed news media. They can post articles and coverage of breaking news within minutes of it happening. With the advent of Twitter, Instagram and other leading social media platforms, news providers are able to be in the centre of the action, as it happens, reporting events live.
This has significantly changed the type of news we regularly read, and it has changed how and when we read it. While many of us will still enjoy a leisurely morning read of the newspaper, these luxuries tend to be consigned to the realms of lazy Sunday mornings. They are no longer something we all do on a daily basis. We are much more likely to scroll through the news feed on our favourite news provider’s website. While we are on the train, during a quick coffee at work, waiting for the kettle to boil, or whenever we want to, we can use our mobile devices, laptops and PC’s to access the latest news.
Statistics indicate that increasingly, whenever people have a few minutes, they are likely to tap into their favourite news source to get the latest updates on any given subject.
The 21st Century newsroom has had to change and adapt too, as a result of this massive shift in how we access and read our news. Traditionally, as news items were picked up, they would go through a number of journalistic stages, following the editorial chain of command. A new news item would be approved, then, a journalist would work on it, pass it to the sub-editor, who would then work on it before passing it to the editor for the final edits prior to inclusion, just before going to press.
Today, the system is very similar. The difference is that this entire process often needs to take seconds, or minutes, not hours or days! The public are demanding their news as soon as it happens, and the newsmakers have to respond, almost instantly.
Today, speed is the foundation of quality journalism. Competing news providers are trying to better each other by being the first with breaking news, whatever the subject. And technology plays a huge part in making and disseminating news extremely quickly.
One huge growth area where technology has enabled amazing coverage of breaking American news is the ability to provide live coverage. A journalist can send updates, articles and live video footage, straight from their mobile device. It has the potential for making anyone a news reporter. Increasingly today, we see reports using video footage, tweets and photos taken by members of the public who were on the scene, and witnessed the ‘news’ as it happened.
We have more choice and control over our news than ever before. We are fully in control of what we read and when we read it. Most people choose a news provider they like, setting up preferences so they immediately see updates on the news that interests them. Then, they log in whenever it suits them during the day.
News may have changed, and how we access it is changing all the time, but there is no doubt, the news is still very much in demand, and that is something that won’t change.