Thursday, 1 May 2008

Internet changing Journalism...

According to a news article on the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s annual State of the News Media report:
"The Internet has profoundly changed journalism, but not necessarily in ways that were predicted even a few years ago, a study on the industry released Sunday found.
It was believed at one point that the Net would democratize the media, offering many new voices, stories and perspectives. Yet the news agenda actually seems to be narrowing, with many Web sites primarily packaging news that is produced elsewhere, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s annual State of the News Media report
I don’t know whether journalist is taking a liberty by saying that “the news agenda actually seems to be narrowing” or the report is actually concluding this. I haven’t read the report, but the two examples this article is using to illustrate this change are not really convincing:
"Two stories - the war in Iraq and the 2008 presidential election campaign - represented more than a quarter of the stories in newspapers, on television and online last year, the project found.Take away Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, and news from all of the other countries in the world combined filled up less than 6 percent of the American news hole, the project said."
What about the previous situation? Where is the comparison to measure a change? Is there a narrowing movement or a resilience of the old situation at the top, that is, no change in the big stories, and a change at the bottom, namely a booming in different types of small stories? How many different stories represent these 75% and then 6%? These figures count the number of stories, what’s their audience? And of the 25% reporting the war in Iraq and the elections, how diverse are these stories? Too many questions.
Besides, for an article that includes this paragraph:
"Most news Web sites are no longer final destinations. The report found that many users insist that the sites, and even individual pages, offer plenty of options to navigate elsewhere for more information, the project found. Rosenstiel said he’s even able to reach Washington Post stories through the New York Times’ website"
It is rather disappointing that I had to go to Google to find a link to the State of the Media report.