Since Sir Tim Berners-Lee flicked the switch on the first web server in 1990, people’s lives have become increasingly interconnected. Access to information and people is greater than ever before, for journalists this means that more stories are available to be explored.
Mandy Velez’s post about user generated content embodies this idea, as she discusses a democratic iteration of newsgathering. This relies on stories that have already proven their popularity in the social media sphere.
This tests the resourcefulness and connectedness of journalists, who must be in touch with the vogue stories and tastes of people on social media. This signals a shift in the way journalists must seek and produce stories. As power shifts back to people who choose what content they consume, they dictate what journalists are obligated to produce.
User generated content comes with a built in guarantee that it will be relevant and interesting to the journalist’s audience. The content is curated by people before it is then effectively curated once again by the journalist, and people can communicate to journalists the stories that they want to be told.
People whose stories might never have fallen on the ears of a journalist now have platforms to tell their stories and make both people and the journalists themselves more accessible. The mutual accessibility is important, as journalists have perhaps a gated resource to the public with stories to tell in the past, but the door has now been opened and there can be a more reciprocal relationship between the media and the public.
Access is also a key to Thrushar Barot’s post about the increasing importance and relevance of application programming interfaces (APIs).
An abundance of information and data is available through API, information which has been gathered by companies can be used and manipulated to find and tell new stories which never would have been available before.
In 2017, sources can be as close as a voice command, a swipe, or a click. The world has shrunk, and will continue to shrink, but the pool of stories only grows deeper.