The world of #News is changing, like everything else. And it is for the better. Often do we see or hear nowadays that some newspaper here or there is facing an existential crisis. Not just local or regional ones but even internationally known brands are not having an easy time. Certainly it is a phase of anxiety for many traditional #media businesses but from the point of view of journalism, the alternative thinking which has evolved is a positive, undoubtedly.
Over the years, traditional media has become a prisoner of rigid mindsets and instead of promoting free and fair news, it is often accused of acting towards a political goal. The bureaucratic functioning of newspapers or sensationalist approach of the electronic media is not helping the cause of free journalism.
Where is the common man?
This is not something which the world wants today, when overconcentration of power in the hands of a few (across the globe) and the narrowing down of the alternative space makes journalism all the more relevant as a vehicle to highlight the genuine concern of a whole lot of people in distress out there. But the traditional media has become power-hungry corporate bodies that treat the common man’s everyday story with little or no care.
Here, the role of the unorganized, civic journalism becomes extremely important and online portals (be it news or social media) not just give the common man a free voice -- an empowerment -- but also help them reach out to the world in a flash.
Yes, speed itself makes a chalk-and-cheese difference between the old and the new media. Reading a newspaper makes little sense today for it has become a stale source of information. Yes, the editorials are still relevant but what percentage do they form in the entire publication? Television news is faster no doubt but the requirement to run the show 24X7 creates enough reason for it to lose substance often (every single new incident is a "breaking news"?)
But online news and the diverse state-of-the-art gadgets to carry them to the target audience makes it an easier medium which is also time-effective. The compartmentalization of online domains also makes it convenient for the audience to pick what they want through keywords.
Yes, online news has still to cover some distance
It is also true that online news portals are often charged with reproducing an existing content, sometimes even duplicating it from other sources. But we must remember that every innovation takes its own time to reach perfection. The new media certainly has a lot of areas to improve and there is no reason to believe it can’t. But criticism like "online news doesn't break serious stuff" doesn't really spark a debate for that is again a narrow way of seeing things. Journalism should be more about the common man's story and not solely focusing on scams in the establishment.
Every opinion matters
An important aspect of online is that there is no ‘editorial bossism’ involved in this process of presenting news. Unlike the traditional houses that are dominated by the leading individual(s)’ whims and fancies and rigid ideologies, online gives the reporters (who can be anybody with a thinking head) the freedom to navigate their own world of thinking and bring out unique angles.This democratization of the news world is a precious gift that the new media has given to journalism. Each opinion in this world matters as long as it is not crossing the line and deserves a means to express itself.
The more education & technology spread, the better
The fast spread of education and technology among the secondary rungs of human habitation like small towns and villages also makes the future of newspapers looks bleak. Especially, the empowerment of the common man through mobile phones is something which suits the new media more than the old. And if we take the adverse environmental effects of newspapers (how many trees are we sacrificing to prepare the paper bundle?) into account, the contest looks even more one-sided. #Environment