Journalists be warned! You are under surveillance at all times.
What lies ahead for the profession of journalism in the wake of advancing technology? It is an interesting time for the profession as it goes through its greatest ever change. User-generated content has created several problematic issues, particularly legal and employment, for the traditional print journalist. But let’s, for the moment, focus on the benefits of this democratic communication machine.
I would suggest that to be concerned for contemporary journalism as an established profession in the wake of new technology would be to overlook the importance of a system very much capable of assisting journalism on all levels.
For the longest time, journalists have been regarded as the gatekeepers of information. And it should be noted that even in the wake of user-generated content such as online blogging, the profession should still very much serve as a filter of what is and what is not important. Do you care about Infotainment? I don’t. Therefore I will get my information from somewhere outside of Channel 9 and other commercial broadcasters.
It is not a bad thing that we can choose our supplier of information. People have the right to be suspicious of the information that is presented to them even if it comes from reputable news corporations. “Traditional journalism is, more than the profession realises or is willing to admit, a product of industrial society with its centralised, hierarchical and paternalistic characteristics” (Heinonen 1999).
We are entitled to a watchdog for the watchdogs. While lots of blogging is complete and utter rubbish (My teenage neighbour hates school and fake people – What a scoop!), other blogs can serve as corrective mechanisms for bad journalism (Andrews 2003).
I encourage you to have a look at this “bad journalism debunking” from England. It serves as a lesson to all aspiring journalists that accuracy and research is extremely important.
While you’re at it, take a look at this headline I found in the Herald Sun just last month. See if you can spot the error.
To wrap up, if you feel that the profession of journalism is dying and that journalists are at risk of losing their jobs at the expense of what is ultimately one of the greatest democratic communication systems ever, then you sound just as ridiculous as these guys,
Heinonen, A. (1999). Journalism in the Age of the Net. Tampere: Acta Universitatis Tamperensis.
Andrews, P, (2003), Is Blogging Journalism?, Nieman Reports, accessed 14/4/2012, http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reportsitem.aspx?id=101027