Journalism and its Future in the Digital Age

Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of Blazing Minds (The Number One North Wales Blog for Entertainment) an avid blogger of all sorts of interesting and odd things. She is also a Film Reviewer at her local cinema, where she reviews the latest movies, she also covers local and national events and is a bit of a local celebrity.
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham
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Photo Credit - Roger H. Goun under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Photo Credit – Roger H. Goun under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

In the world of Journalism bringing information to the reader/viewer is the key to what may be happening in the world or even bringing the news of something new that may be happening!

But in this modern day of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, where does this leave the old school journalist, you know the ones, they would leave the office, head to a local event and cover the event live, taking in what was happening, making notes in short hand and then writing it up back at the office ready for the newspaper or news show later.

The Changing Face Of Journalism

Now things are changing, yes we still do have the side of Journalism where someone will cover the event in person, that’s how I do it with Blazing Minds, travelling from one place to another to cover music gigs, shows and Comic-Cons, for me personally I make notes on a tablet, even tweeting live from an event with fans or even the artists themselves and then writing the article back at base.

But some types of journalists and I say that loosely, have taken the social media side of things that one step further away from the even being at an event, I’ve seen it happen many times, a message goes out on Twitter or Facebook about an event, where they are looking for people who have been to tell them all about it and then write an article with snippets and even photos from peoples Social Media of the event. This way, they never have to go to events to see things first hand.

May be I’m a little old school, but for me, if an event is known about and it’s local to the news offices, surely a reporter/journalist should take the time to pop on over to the event and see it for themselves first hand, as I say may be that’s me, just being a little old school.

Social Media Is It Taking Over Journalism As We Know it?

It’s something that was inevitable in the digital age, with nearly everyone owning a smart phone that is capable of Tweeting and taking photographs,

it is so easy to gleam information about a current event that is news worthy and grab information quickly and easily to publish an article within minutes of something happening.

Take as an example: A busy train station on a early morning, suddenly to everyone’s surprise a train fails to come to a complete stop and hits the buffers, what happens?

People grab their mobile phones, take photos, tweet them out on Twitter with a hash tag and GEO location, which is then picked up by a local newspaper that is looking out for local news, maybe via a set of search terms on Twitter or even via a site such as Banjo, a website that shows you what is happening in your area.

Shortly after all this the news is out there, no need for a journalist to get to the scene, photographs are available and the people tweeting have now become the journalists, passing the news around, now all the newspaper etc. has to do is take that information, write a short article, pull in some tweets, even tweet the people on the scene to ask their opinion, interviews taken, job done!

Are Journalists Slowly Going To Fade Away?

I don’t think they are, with the social media constantly being a well of information, someone will need to take that information, condense it and place it an interesting article that will sell newspaper or make an interesting end piece on a news report, but then again aren’t we all know journalists in some way or another.

There are still many that will train for their journalism qualifications and will love being part of that old school type that loves to go to the events and take in everything, which is great as it is certainly an ideal way of getting to meet the actual performers for a one on one and may be get that exclusive that others wouldn’t get because they weren’t there at the time.

How Would You Define Journalism?

In today’s world of the blogger, we are all journalists, may be the qualifications aren’t there and you don’t work for a newspaper etc. but, by reporting news on your blog or reviews, you are a journalist, even here in the UK when you apply for a Press Pass, you can select blogger and if the majority of your work is for your blog, such as mine with the film and event reviews, you can get your Press Card for an annual fee.

So on to the question, how would you define journalism? Do you class you yourself as a journalist with your blog are you reporting on local events or even getting published by local newspapers or magazine?


  1. The things Karen shared are correct but one thing which becoming a kind of overdoes these days, even including for Journalism is social media (which the author already mentioned). But, I would like to add it up here that, the social media impact is more on anything one think of as compared to what else one can think of i.e. if you want to do shopping, social media comes in front of all available options, if you want to chose an app for your mobile, social media again – the similar way, if one wants to look or search for what’s happening in the world, then again social media….
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  2. Kelly Edmonds says:

    Good points, Karen. I, too, think we need curators for the reams of unedited and biased information that is put out there by anyone with a digital device. When I see an event or discussion that has gone viral, and it interests me, I immediately find a reliable source to provide me the details. That’s why I like British new sources though I am Canadian. They are more articulate with a slight edge of cynicism, and I like that.

  3. Karen,

    A journalist is a trained professional…bloggers and all those social media folks (who have ‘taken’ over journalist roles) can best be classified as ‘quasi-journalists’ which isn’t too great a name to bear.

    Back to your poser: will journalism die? Never. However, it would change in character and content from what we know and understand it (even today). It could be for the better – or worse, but change nonetheless.

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  4. I completely agree with Akaahan. Journalists are trained professional and contribute a lot to the mass communication sector. We, bloggers can also be classified as journalists in a way.

  5. Most top blogger can simply eat every “professional” journalist for breakfast. This is a fact. News spread through social media much faster than with any other information portal, TV news or printed media.
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  6. I think we can say bloggers are journalist. I am also thinking that journalist is not going to fade away. It is easier now that people can report or review everything using blog and spread it faster to the world. Journalism are growing in digital age.
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  7. I kind of believe that journalists not just write news. They also write history in the process. !
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  8. I think Social Media makes Journalism an even more important role. We can all share a picture of a train crash, but a good journalist gets the inside scoop. Journalists get the back stage pass, and the exclusive interviews. Not to mention that a good journalist knows how interview. It’s like Kelly Edmond said, ” When I see an event or discussion that has gone viral, and it interests me, I immediately find a reliable source to provide me the details.”
    Go Journalism… I like Hunter S. Thompson- Gonzo Journalism.
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  9. I write for a hyper local blog and consider hyper local bloggers to be citizen journalists and some out there are brilliant. With the rise of social media I find myself depending more on sites like the BBC for news.

    I don’t like the idea of a journalist writing a story using bits of information from social media but I understand that they need to do it to stay on top of the news. A lot of the time the writing is lazy and you can tell that the piece has been thrown together to meet a deadline. A good journalist should always follow up on the story and check the facts. We’ve seen journalists fall for fake stories because they just don’t check the facts.
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    • I agree you can see when a journalist has taken stuff and thrown it together fro other sources, I’ve seen it happen, I’ve been covering an event in the past, been there, seen how people have enjoyed it and got back to work hard on an article, only to see one shoot up elsewhere after a tweet asking people to tell them all about it! Very lazy!
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  10. Journalism has a great future. In this post you have explained every single thing about Journalism. Thanks for posting this nice information. This will be very helpful for those who are interested in journalism.
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  11. Journalism future in digital age, it has a bright future. We should consider it a life changing thing. Thanks for this nice post.
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  12. Social media is just changing how news travel in a big way. I can say here journalism in this digital age is definitely not dead and is evolving into ‘social journalism’. Staying up with the current system can be a task, but ultimately I think it will prove to be a positive shift in the way media is distributed to the masses… anyway thanks for nice share.
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  13. While social media is an excellent avenue for journalists to explore, a good journalist should always follow up on the story and check the facts.
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  14. Really Truee..!!

    I completely agree with Akaahan. Journalists are trained professional and contribute a lot to the mass communication sector. We, bloggers can also be classified as journalists in a way.
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  15. Thank you for all your input everyone, it’s always nice to see you all joining in with the discussions.
    Karen Woodham recently posted…4 Brave Fundraisers For North Wales Pride Took on The Big Zipper!My Profile

  16. Hey Karen,
    I am totally agree with you that social media sites really change the journalism these days. Now everyone easily get news on social networking sites. But a good journalist should go to the event and make notes. Thanks for sharing this post.
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