Rolling news

“There’s a lot of doom and gloom surrounding modern journalism, but I think it’s one of the most exciting times for the profession”

Those are the words of Adam Tinworth, editorial development manager for the worldwide B2B publisher RBI. Tinworth endorses the increasingly popular view that it is an interesting and exciting time for journalism, and that what’s needed on behalf of a journalist entering this era is an open mind. That plus a laptop, iPhone and two cameras (one digital and one SLR).

These tools are the modern day journalist’s mobile office. The rapid pace at which technology is evolving is giving journalists increasing freedom to be out there amongst their audience, looking for stories and reporting on the spot. The availability of such technology may suggest that anyone can be a journalist but, as Tinworth points out, there is a fundamental difference between the blog of a frustrated mother of three and that of a professional journalist: the latter is writing for a specific audience.

After all, as Tinworth says, journalism is a business, where information can be monetized due to consumer demand. A slightly depressing portrayal of the profession in my opinion, but in some ways that has always been the case. The journalist’s job has always been to deliver news to the masses, except now it is done at an alarmingly fast and constant speed. Tinworth says that journalism is currently looking like it did fifty years ago, but I wonder if, in the world of 24 hour news, the sense of what constitutes as ‘news’ has actually been devalued?

Tinworth also mentioned the importance of social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter, but is it necessary to keep constantly up to date with the ‘newsfeeds’ of such sites? More significantly, is it even possible? While the advantages of modern technology are fantastic in the sense that they facilitate breaking news, they also seem to be responsible for an information overload.

Amongst the incessant myriad of tweets, Facebook status updates and news bulletins, how can we know what to take notice of?

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