The Changing News Industry

This year’s Pew Research State of the Media report was released recently and has left everyone in the media, especially the journalism field, much more hopeful for the future of the industry.

In a field that is often referred to as a “dying industry”, this State of the Media reports its just the opposite- it’s growing, and at a large amount.

Industry Support

Though the industry is still heavily supported by advertising, followed by subscriptions for readerships/viewers, there is now clear evidence that other ways exist to help pay and support the news.

While it is still only makes up a “sliver of the pie” in terms of revenue for news, philanthropy and capital investment have shown growth in its contribution to the news industry.

What seems to be a promising area of growth for revenue is hosting & marketing services as well as web consulting. Though it’s still only 7% of total revenue, the future for these aspects could become critical.

However, many of the new investments in the industry have been through digital media, which is revolutionizing the field as we speak.

Revolutionary Digital Media

More and more news agencies are replacing print jobs with digital media jobs. Out of the 486 outlets Pew’s Research interviewed, both major organizations and small non-profit one’s, nearly 5,000 editorial jobs have been created.

Though this explosion of new jobs has certainly boosted journalism, it has changed the face of such. Many of these digital news organizations are characterized as small, nonprofit, and young places that focus on storytelling through a local lens.

The irony in this all: there is still no business model from the digital news sector that offers a successful plan for ensuring its expansion. As the report coined, they are “flirting with profitability.”

The Future of Journalism?

As many professors say, this is one of the most exciting times to be entering into the journalism news. Things are constantly changing and provides an atmosphere of unsure excitement.

Here are the things we do know:

  1. New technology is changing the news gathering process daily
  2. Traditional & legacy media jobs are falling in their numbers
  3. Local television is growing in viewership & transactions
  4. Having digital media skills & knowledge is now vital

Though many things are uncertain in the news industry at this day in age, one thing is certain- people will always need their news, and the news industry will continue to adapt to the mediums most-available to its viewers to ensure they get it.




Revolution of News, via SM

Up until the last decade, news has been delivered in a top-down method. The audience waited and relied solely on newspapers and news broadcasts to gain knowledge of what was ‘going on’ in the world. They believed journalism, for the most part, was the one of the only places in society that gave an unbiased report on the news. Though this system is how news has been delivered in its traditional sense, the past two decades have brought about immense change in the news world and caused a major shift in journalism. Now social media has single-handedly become responsible for a more check-and-balance system within journalism.

Social Media

No longer does the audience have to rely on the newspapers and broadcasts; because of internet, the audience now has news at the tips of their fingers…literally. Mobile devices like iPhones and Androids have revolutionized the medium in which news is most popularly received. Social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, have become instant ways for people to find out whats going on. Why, then, has the news industry not yet died out? At the end of the day, professional journalism will still be where people go to find the “truth”, as it is a journalists’ job to sift through all this noise S.M. makes and find what the hard facts are.

Journalism has succeeded this long because of adaptation- and that’s just what it’s doing now with the internet and social media. Now, a successful journalist will keep their audience engaged by…

  • Live updates from the field via SM
  • Post blogs related to their beat
  • Replying to follower’s who start a conversation with them
  • Update all social media platforms with the latest on their current story
  • Ask questions that prompt help and replies from the audience

From the Expert

Recently, I have read Dan Gilmore’s  We the Media. Though the book was written almost a decade ago, Gilmore hit home on points that are still very relevant today on the impact social media and the internet has & will have on journalism. Some of the major points he wrote about were the increased ability to commit copyright violations, the audience’s influence, the line between citizen journalists & bloggers and professional journalists, and what this all means to the modern day media. Though he talked on the negatives that this boom in the constant and expansive information flow causes, Gilmore had a clear message; these technological advancements can be integrated into an overall positive outcome and kick-start one of the greatest era’s in journalism.

Chang Schools on Social Media

Its pretty easy for anyone to create a twitter account and tweet about the things they like. Finding a way to incorporate this with your job is a home run, however. Freelance writer Alexandra Chang, who has written for publications such as Wired, Popular Mechanics, and The Atlantic, talked to a new class within the Park School of Communications, “Social Media & Mobile Journalism.” As a member of the class, we focus mainly on using our mobile phone’s and device’s to produce our stories across multiple platforms.

Chang, who is a technology-beat journalist, talked to the class about how she has used social media to promote herself and her stories. Though she admitted branding herself can be weird at times, Chang says “it’s about being comfortable with you and your beat and inserting the two together.” Using examples of what she considers to be a “good” and “bad” twitter profile, in professional terms, she showed the class examples of how inserting too much personal information can be a major issue when trying to impress people within your field.

Getting the in on LinkedIn

Chang also gave advice on how to establish yourself within your beat. “Follow the most important people in your beat and when you can, reply. Sometimes they will respond though they have a million ‘@’ replied coming at them all the time.” One great tip Chang told of was the advanced search on LinkedIn and how it allows for narrowed searches within a specific area, an obvious great tool for journalist. She also told the class to follow companies within our respective beat, as that will allow for you to find out about job offerings and upcoming products.

Another great opportunity for journalists to take advantage that Chang told of was the anonymous feature. Though this feature is only on premium accounts, she told the class how journalists can sit through a half hour session in order to earn a free membership for a year, which is renewable annually. Your account being anonymous allows you to look for sources and find out information from people without LinkedIn notifying them that you are looking at their profile.

Best tips for S.M.

  • Be thoughtful on who you follow- follow people for a reason
  • GroupMe allows journalists to share information at an even they are covering together
  • Camera Awesome app allows you to set exposure for a specific area
  • It’s not always about branding yourself on twitter- be active and have a presence
  • Good to promote a blog on social media when starting off to show off your writing skills and knowledge of beat