Death of Journalism

by Briana Lao, Co-Editor in Chief of Content

Speculations about the death of journalism are everywhere. Some claim that the profession of journalism is no longer viable, possibly even unnecessary, as no one consumes news anymore. However, journalism is so much more than just the Sunday paper and good reporting will always be an integral part of an established and free society.

Journalism is a comprehensive classification with so many subcategories that some may not even realize belong to a larger, overarching institution. Video documentation, photo essays, sports commentary, video interviews and more are all aspects of journalism. Journalism is the gathering, creation and distribution of news and information, but it’s unique from other modes of information spreading because journalism also teaches writers the basis, values and ethics of good reporting and serving the public. However, journalism is defined by traits that separate it from average writing and information spreading. Good reporting is the antithesis of “fake news,” it’s concise and factual, it serves a purpose, it serves the people, and as the American Press Institute states, true journalism is “indispensable to democratic societies. History reveals that the more democratic a society, the more news and information it tends to have.”

Most people consume their news and stay up to date on current events through the use of social media. Platforms such as Twitter and Snapchat have become increasingly relevant and all-inclusive as the technological era continues to develop and expand. Not only are they social sites, but these platforms also include news, articles, photo series and more, all of which fall under journalism. Classic and revered publications such as TIME, National Geographic, National Public Radio and more pop-culture-focused companies including Vox, Buzzfeed and Vice are just several practices that produce journalistic content. Aside from more obvious applications such as Apple News and the news companies affiliated with it, Twitter Moments, Snapchat news/magazine stories and even some tweets and Instagram stories are products of journalistic reporting as well. As the digital age continues to expand, journalists grow, adjust and stay relevant just as media platforms do.

There will never be a lack of information to share and news to report and the need for journalism presents itself indefinitely. As long as there are events occurring every day, journalists will be there to accurately cover the news and spread information. No matter where people get their information and stay updated on the latest news, journalists provide the content meant to inform and serve consumers. People get their news from journalists, and although people claim that any literate samaritan can effectively spread information with platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, journalists and official news sources are the most reliable. Journalists are trained in fact checking, applying journalistic ethics, putting the public and its interests first, reporting unbiased truth, and using specific formats used for different story types. Journalism isn’t as simple as people may think and there are so many facets behind gathering information and putting together an article that citizen journalists don’t necessarily consider.   

With the increasing development of technology, people may claim that newspapers and articles aren’t relevant anymore as Snapchat stories get longer and attention spans become shorter. However, journalists are trained to conform and appeal to the consumer. Breaking news stories are pieced together with Twitter videos. Companies such as AJ+ report on social-political issues through tweeted videos. Concepts such as CNN 10 shorten current events and human interest topics into compact videos and stories for consumers on-the-go. All of this and more makes information accessible at the touch of a button.

When people claim that journalism is losing relevance and becoming unappealing to consumers, they don’t actually understand the concept of journalism and just how vast and all-encompassing it is. From traditional news articles to sports and video broadcasting, people are constantly consuming journalistic content. Journalists should be recognized for what they do and all they contribute to in society. Without them, people wouldn’t have reliable, easily accessible sports commentary, unbiased news, human-interest features, documentary exposés and more. Journalism is not dead, and as new stories and events occur and develop every day, it never will be.