“Journalism is dying,” I’ve been told. “Why are you wasting your time on something that won’t be here tomorrow?”
Oh, ye of little faith, the art and practice of Journalism has not, nor will in the foreseeable future, suffer any decline in either the number of practitioners nor in the public audience. Certainly the days in which we would sit sedately around the ‘wireless’, listening to the news of the day whilst the wife made tea are well and truly behind us. What used to be a ‘sit down, shut up and listen’ attitude has given way to a media landscape which is largely cultivated by the audience itself. Journalism is not dying, it is changing.
As Berkowitz argues in Journalism in the Broader Cultural Mediascape, “Journalism takes on a new role in the mediascape, it is time for those who study journalism to move beyond the age-old lens of conventional journalism perspectives and consider what journalism means.”
So what then, does journalism mean? True to my generation-Y ways, I turned to Google and found that I agreed more-so with Wikipedia’s definition than the dictionary’s: “A method of inquiry and literary style that aims to provide a service to the public by the dissemination and analysis of news and other information.” Rewind and freeze- “a service to the public.”
What service would a Journalist be to the public if they did not convey information which was pertinent to the interests of the public? The reader’s hunger for conventional Journalism may not be as insatiable as it once was, but information on popular culture is rarely turned away (that’s why it’s called ‘popular’). Berkowitz hypothesises, “media audiences will probably continue to reduce their intake of conventional journalism, substituting other forms that satisfy just as much or even more.”
Journalism is, in the end, an industry which revolves around making a profit. Any smart business owner would recognise when a product isn’t selling it and replace it with one that will. You are the consumers and the producers- you call the shots.
(I don’t have a stutter- the title is a reference to the song Pop Muzik, 1979).
Berkowitz, Dan, 2009, “Journalism in the broader cultural Mediascape,” Journalism, Vol. 10(3): 290–292
‘Journalism’, 30.3.14, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalism
‘Journalism’, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalism