Media News - Thursday, November 29, 2012
Bloggers, "crowdsourcing" and computer-generated articles are making contributions to the news media, but they cannot replace professional journalists in digging up important news. That is the message of a major study released this week by Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism, titled "Post-Industrial Journalism." The authors of the report said technology has led to an explosion in the amount of information available, with economic shifts which are affecting journalism in both negative and positive ways. But in certain kinds of reporting, professional journalists cannot be replaced by machines or crowdsourcing, the study said. It is not journalism's best moment if much key work were taken over by amateurs, or done by machine, the study said. The role of the journalist "as truth-teller, sense-maker, explainer -- cannot be reduced to a replaceable input... we need a cadre of full-time workers who report the things someone somewhere doesn't want reported," the authors said. But because of the changes to the media, the report said the advertising-supported model of newspaper and broadcast journalism may never be the same, and this means news "has to become cheaper to produce." "There is no way to preserve or restore the shape of journalism as it has been practiced for the past 50 years," said authors C.W. Anderson, Emily Bell and Clay Shirky. The report argued that social media, blogs and "crowdsourcing" can have a positive influence by generating content not available in the past. (AFP)
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