News 2.0: Can Journalism Survive the Internet?

News 2.0: Can Journalism Survive the Internet?

News 2.0: Can Journalism Survive the Internet?

News 2.0: Can Journalism Survive the Internet?

Synopsis

Technology is transforming the media and with it, the practice of journalism. Martin Hirst investigates the implications of the new media explosion for the Fourth Estate and the way news is gathered and consumed around the world.

Excerpt

All that is established melts into air; all that is holy is pro
faned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober
senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his
kind.

The Communist Manifesto

The bulk of this book was written over a period of two years between the middle of 2008 and April 2010. In that time the world’s media systems were caught up in a massive vortex of uncertainty and change. News 2.0 captures the flavour of that period and sets it against an historical background. In short: Where did the news media’s crisis of confidence and lack of commercial certainty come from and what are their likely impacts?

A starting point for this book is the sense that the news media have changed more in the last decade than they did in the preceding 30 years. A corollary is that they are likely to change again over the next 10 years. Therefore, it is impossible for a text like this to be completely upto-date. Important and relevant things may have happened in the time between the manuscript going into production and today. Obviously, that will be seen as a gap in the record, a hole in the text. My excuse: there is no crystal ball.

However, I have tried to include enough data and analysis to (it is hoped) make News 2.0 useful to a general readership and relevant to students of journalism and to the news media industry. In these pages I have laid out some thoughts about why the public no longer seems to trust most mainstream journalism and why the production of the news commodity is no longer providing ‘rivers of gold’ in advertising revenues. I have surveyed and discussed what some may call ‘citizen journalism’, which I prefer to define as ‘user-generated news-like content’ (UGNC). Where did UGNC come from and can it ‘save’ the media? I have not tried to give a definitive response to this or other questions; nor to suggest a sure-fire set of solutions. Predictions have a selfish habit of . . .

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