In an age where digital versions of newspapers and magazines can be accessed more easily than printed copies and social networks grant just about anyone the ability to be a “reporter,” it is difficult to determine whether the Internet serves as journalism’s friend or foe. Before the birth of the World Wide Web, it was up to writers everywhere, whether that of novels, pamphlets, or journals, to physically distribute information to the public. Newspapers especially served as the key source of current events during this era of ink. In fact, the daily circulation of London’s The Times was 40,000 in 1851 while in 2012, the New York Times’ digital circulation exceeded its print circulation by 27,000 readers each day. This difference in numbers proves a drastic change in the field of journalism in less than two hundred years. Not only has print circulation greatly died down, but the digital circuit makes it much more difficult to grasp the reader’s attention. No matter how exceptionally written an article may be, advertisements, links, videos, etc. can drown out the cry of the words in a matter of seconds. Modern journalists are met with the challenge to entertain an audience seeking the next big thing at every moment of every day. This is why writers today must be able to utilize multimedia resources such as graphic design, videography, and photography as efficiently as they can put a sentence together. Furthermore, with “text language” taking over today’s youth, an exquisite manipulation of the written word no longer receives the appreciation it deserves. Instead, word choice and word count must be taken into consideration in order to prevent the loss of one’s youthful percentage of readers. It is safe to say that in this world of trends and technology we call home journalism bears hardships like never before. As all becomes digital, reporters must act as innovators to keep the written word alive. Though the Internet has definitely provided changes to the scheme of journalism, it also grants writers, if successful, a universal platform to make their stories known.
From Ink to Internet
March 27, 2013