Tag Archives: Journalism

Droning Out to the Oversaturated Media Buzz

Over the last decade we’ve been hearing more and more media speculation about the many dangers people fear regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (or more commonly referred to as drones). Satire comedian, Steven Colbert, sums it up nicely in this mock news piece.

ColbertI personally feel that it is time to look at drones under more of a positive light. After all, there are many different great outcomes possible from this technology. One of the most enlightening aspects of drones is the ability for the average citizen to get aerial footage that was impossible 50 years ago. In this video, a news organization in Kiev was able to use a drone to capture eye-opening documentation of the extreme divide taking place in the Russian occupied territory.

At the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show, I will seek the latest and greatest uses of unmanned aerial vehicles. There are so many applications for these pieces of engineering genius that I believe we are on the brink of what the best uses may be. There have been ideas from Amazon’s founder to use the technology to implement an air service where you get a speedy delivery by a friendly drone rather than an angry delivery guy. I’m excited to see the new ideas put forth by the industry leaders at the NAB show April 5-10th.

So I would think that it’s long overdue for the news media to stop harping about the ill-use of possible drone attacks and tout some of the benefits of this great technology. The news audience may be more interested in what good things technology can do to inform us and create an environment where drones are thought of as a tool to help discover the amazing world we all live in. I’ll leave you with one of the commercial opportunities that could change the way your next pizza is delivered.

Robert Scott

Friends Fighting: The Ongoing Battle Between Print and Digital News

The newspaper business has been around for some time. There is no denying that. But the internet is a fairly new concept strictly speaking, and with this new invention, the medium in which news is being delivered is quickly changing. That brings up the question that has yet to be answered: Can traditional newspaper (That which is in print) survive this change? What is the appeal to each of these mediums, and why is it worth talking about?

NewspaperWhen we look at the newspaper business, we see a business that has survived for 350 years without fail, so it is ludicrous to think that it is going anywhere now. The counterpoint to this though is that with the ever growing world of digital mediums, the traditional approach to newspaper will diminish in the next 20 years. We need to look at the benefits of each. I wanted to mention the biggest of each, and if you want to read into it more you can go here or here to read a larger list.

The biggest benefit from print news is the stability and reliability of the paper. If the paper is a daily paper, you can bet your life savings it will be there, where as digital media can go down for a number of reasons. The biggest benefit from digital news is the speed. Once a story happens, a news site can have the story up in a matter of minutes. It makes it effortless to stay up to the minute with the news, which is something.

Even though the digital versions of newspapers and the digital news websites are growing all the time, there will always be a place for print in this world. Publisher and CEO of the Dallas Morning News, Jim Moroney talks about the newspaper as a growth industry, and he sees it as never going away. He says the he will be back in ten years drinking champagne from his success in the newspaper industry.

ChartA bold statement by Mr. Moroney, but I think he is completely right. Even if the amount of newspapers in America is shrinking, it will never disappear. It is too important to completely disappear. If you look at the chart, it is getting smaller, but it has recently jumped back up. It will then soon level off. But that does not mean that it is not going to change. You can expect to see big changes in the industry in the upcoming years. Even now the news world is starting to change. You can see the hybrid newspaper digital site that is the New York Times here. This site uses both aspects from print and digital to create a nice useful website, and they still have a big print presence.

Ren and StimpyTrying to keep the print and digital news separate seems useless and in a single word, dumb. There is no reason to keep two powerful distributors of news separate when they should instead work together and complement each other. John Temple talks about the future of newspapers in just this way.  These two things could go together like peanut butter or jelly or Ren and Stimpy (That’ll bring you back). Making an online story and have part of it or have an extra part in print and vice versa would not only create travel to the website but it would also bring some revenue back to the print industry.

So what do you think will come of this?

Anton Reiter

Social Journalism: The New Media Fad?

Seconds after the Boston Marathon bombings, social media erupted.  In minutes, media giants like The Boston Globe were bringing in content from thousands of sources on the ground; verifying and broadcasting information at extraordinary rates.

This event is one of the truly profound examples of how social media is altering the journalism profession.  This convergence from traditional media – television & radio – to social media – Facebook, Twitter, etc – may prove to be even more threatening than when print journalism was overtaken by electronic journalism.  Will journalism keep moving towards the social media realm and how will it affect traditional media viewing and how people obtain their news?

Journalists have had to adapt quickly to this emergence of social media.  As this emergence came about, it didn’t happen overnight.  Since the nature of communication is such that individuals are more likely to source information from each other – rather than traditional news agencies – information sharing has become scattered.

The recent government shutdown received very high media buzz, especially on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.  The story was told by millions of Americans posting photos and comments online.  On Facebook, people shared photos of themselves being turned away from national parks and walking away from empty federal offices.

National Zoo Twitter

Citizens vented their opinions and told their own stories about the affects of the government shutdown on social media sites, but does that mean that anyone can be a journalist?  More importantly, how will this shape the way journalists report and write stories?

A website that comes to mind when talking about Social Journalism is Huffington Post.  Huffington Post was founded by Arianna Huffington in May 2005.  It is an online news and blog site which offers a variety of content to cater to people’s interests.  Huffington Post certainly isn’t the only online Social Journalism site, but it was one of the first to present citizen journalism and position itself as a citizen-powered campaign news site.

Social media is also constantly mutating and evolving; just when you think you have nailed it, a new combination emerges, changing perceptions again.  But whatever the precise definition, there are three underlying reasons why mainstream media organizations are taking social tools and networks increasingly seriously:

  1. There is always someone who knows more than you do.
  2. Making better relationships with people in order to engage users and to be more loyal and spend more time on the site.
  3. Getting new users to engage with people whom are difficult to reach or reconnect with former users.
Click to Enlarge

With all this information on the power of social media and how it is currently affecting journalism, what can we expect in the future?  How will news reporters, editors and contributors adapt to these changes?

As someone who is currently working in the industry as an intern at a local news station (Eastern Iowa’s KWWL), I’ve seen what reporters and producers are doing in the newsroom.  KWWL utilizes many media platforms for their news, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  They frequently update their website with stories repurposed from their television broadcast or with exclusive content.

The big question is: Will traditional media survive?  I think traditional media will survive but journalists are going to have to adapt to using social media for their content.   Fox News adapted to the changes by recently adding the “Fox News Deck” where journalists can sift through Facebook and Twitter to keep track of emerging news.

Another change that I see in the future is in the journalism curriculum at many colleges.  Not only will students learn about how to write for traditional media but how to write for the web and how to utilize sources like Facebook and Twitter for the content.

Dakota Funk