How many times do we, as journalism students, hear “You’re majoring in journalism? Isn’t that a dying career? Why not major in something current and useful like finance?”
Gag. Journalism is not dying and I make sure to tell all of these pessimists, who are way too concerned with my life choices by the way, exactly why. Like everything in this crazy 21st century world we stepped into, journalism is just adapting to the times. Does that mean soon, to the environmentalists’ content, we will be killing less trees by not printing physical newspapers? Yes. Does that mean journalism dies in place of these trees? No.
While some ignorant people argue that the fact that advertisers are backing out of printing in hard copy and social media is taking off, newspapers will be a thing of the past, like in the column Last Call, I don’t agree. These factors are not instant death for print publications.
First of all, advertisers moved online, where the news stories are moving, as well. Just because people would rather read news on a computer screen than in their hands does not mean the print version and the online version are not the same story. Advertisers recognize this and will keep paying to place ads on online pages.
Secondly, social media is only adding to journalism, by making it easier to put out news. I, for one, follow my favorite newspapers on Twitter and scroll through and choose the stories I want to read by clicking the link in the tweet and then reading the entire article, just as I would do in print. Also, for major newspapers, like the New York Times, you are only allowed a certain amount of articles to read per month before they shut down the website and ask you to pay. Therefore, news websites will gain just as much revenue as print papers.
A great example of social media working with journalism is explained in an article by The Economist which tells of how a tweet announcing the death of Osama bin Laden got the breaking news to television stations before President Obama even made the announcement. TV stations were able to get ahead of the game because of the help of social media.
The only negative side to all of this, maybe, is that public relations officials can also use social media to bypass news, as explained by Forbes, but really who even cares? The news that PR people just have to get out on their own because the news media doesn’t want to publish it, is most likely boring and uninteresting, or the news would have reported on it, so no one will read it anyway.
Don’t worry young journalism scholars, newspapers are only going green by migrating to the web. There is no change in the content of the papers or the quality of the journalists. We will survive.