Online is everywhere. Digital is the future. Touch screens abound and Google is now a verb.
It is a popular view that with the advent of all this technology the future of journalism – in particularly the future of print media – is shaky, if not completely doomed.
It has become almost impossible, without investigative reporting, to land an exclusive, especially at a newspaper. Sites like Twitter and Facebook take citizen journalism to a whole new level, breaking news before news organisations, largely due to greater responsibility in terms of verifying stories and getting legitimate and trustworthy sources.
It is easy for newspapers and the organisations that run them to throw up their hands, declare their medium dead, and give in. But as the cliché goes, no pain, no gain – and clichés become clichés for a reason.
Change is feared because often it denies us control. But changes are often made for the better, and for improvement. Evolution is the greatest change of all, and so far it’s going fairly well for us as humans.
So should we not change, just in case? Should we deny ourselves innovation it makes the familiar obsolete? We should not fear the unknown. We should embrace it. There is a real future in online media if old mindsets are changed and companies and those who run them begin looking outside the box.
So the generation who reads the physical paper is almost gone. What about the younger generations, who seem surgically attached to all kinds of devices? From iPhones to Macbooks, there are all sorts of opportunities for new media.
Portable and instant is the new black, often in the form of apps. So the next logical step? Create an app. Both The Age and the Herald Sun have already done this, and it remains to be seen whether or not these apps will be popular enough to stick around – both apps, for the next few months, are free. An excellent chance to get readers hooked on a brand new medium – and a brand new market.
And there are apps available for other major papers – some apps even grab the news from major publications and collate it for you. There are seemingly endless options in this new medium.
It’s not the written word that is dead. It’s not even dying – barely even evolving. It’s the print medium that could be described as on it’s way out. But change is not necessarily bad – it’s just different. Embrace the change, evolve with the changes, rather than fighting them, and the options become endless. The evolution of this aspect of journalism is not an ending, but an opportunity.