I believe that technology in journalism is a way to include communities in the media, as opposed to viewing them as simply consumers for advertisements. Instead of using technology to create a wall between journalists and audiences, technology can be used to unite the two with the aim of making a positive change.
Rebekah Monson is the co-founder and Vice-President of online product WhereBy.Us. The aim of the website is to engage the community thorough local media and encourage readers to tell their stories. The site connects journalists with local people with a story to tell, ensuring that journalism is used with the purpose to enlighten and connect, rather than as a platform for advertising. Rebekah writes in this post that trust between journalists and the community has been eroded over time, through the channels of ‘fake news’ and the decline in quality. Her website aims to rebuild that trust and act with the framework ‘community-as-a-service’. I agree that communities are at the core of journalism and it is our job to share their stories.
Fake news is a term being thrown around by journalists, politicians and media personalities in recent times. Although most consumers are unable to explain what the term means, many are put off by it and find it hard to know which media outlets are credible and which are not. This undermines the function of journalism: To be accountable to the people and provide them with the truth.
Ole Reissmann writes in this post that journalism must be de-mystified and presented in a way that consumers can trust and understand. He claims that the public must be educated in detail on how journalist arrive at a conclusion, how the facts are gathered and what should be considered a fact. In all, the public must comprehend how journalism works. He calls this process ‘un-faking the news’.
In this sense, the community is allowed to be an active consumer of news, rather than passive and journalism can be used in a way to educate rather than alienate.