News - New Ecology of News

New Ecology of News

Michael Schudson, professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has said that “verything we thought we once knew about journalism needs to be rethought in the Digital Age.” Today the work of journalism can be done from anywhere and done well. It requires no more than a reporter and a laptop. In that way, journalistic authority seems to have become more individual- and less institution-based. But does the individual reporter always have to be an actual journalist? Or can journalistic work be done from anywhere and by anyone? These are questions that refers to the core of journalistic practice and the definition of “news” itself. As Schudson has given emphasis to, the answer is not easily found; “the ground journalists walk upon is shaking, and the experience for both those who work in the field and those on the outside studying it is dizzying”.

Schudson has identified the following six specific areas where the ecology of news in his opinion has changed: 1. The line between the reader and writer has blurred 2. The distinction among tweet, blog post, newspaper story, magazine article, and book has blurred 3. The line between professionals and amateurs has blurred, and a variety of “pro-am” relationships has emerged 4. The boundaries delineating for-profit, public, and non-profit media have blurred, and the cooperation across these models of financing has developed 5. Within commercial news organizations, the line between the news room and the business office has blurred 6. The line between old media and new media has blurred, practically beyond recognition

These alterations inevitably have fundamental ramifications for the contemporary ecology of news. “The boundaries of journalism, which just a few years ago seemed relatively clear, and permanent, have become less distinct, and this blurring, while potentially the foundation of progress even as it is the source of risk, has given rise to a new set of journalistic principles and practices”, Schudson puts it. It is indeed complex, but it seems to be the future.

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