Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Importance of Digital Journalism

Morgan Peterson

This past summer I interned at a well known magazine within their digital media department. As the Digital Editorial Intern I had the opportunity to write a lot of articles. I had never written within the digital media space but I soon learned that it was A LOT different than print journalism.

Often are digital journalists are discredited and not held to the same standard as print journalists. Many times people don't always tend to take articles written online seriously because it seems too good to be true to be able to publish an article within 10 minutes and have it be accurate.

What makes digital media great is the flexibility. Discussed in the Digital Media Ethics, unlike print when you make an error you can go back and fix it or if you don't want the article on your site anymore you can simply delete it.

The fast pace of digital media is incredible, there were some times where I would write 4 mini articles within one day. Just like the news is never ending neither is digital media. You have to constantly be on top of what's going on at all times and it's even better when you're the one to break the story.

Even though the fast paced environment can be intimidating it's still never an excuse to not fact check, site your sources or proofread. While at my internship I admired my editors because they were constantly fact checking and proofreading each others work despite the fact that they were on a 30 minute deadline. It took me a while to fully master this process because I was often so worried about the article getting out in time that I would forget that I needed to worry more about the quality of the article.

Stated in the Fundamental Values from the State of the News Media report, it says that a solid majority (57%) say the Internet is “changing the fundamental values of journalism” rather than “transferring those values online.” And the change was deemed more negative than positive.

Often in digital media those small rules you learned in journalism go out the window because you don't always think it matters but contrary to popular belief it does. I believe with digital media you need to be 10 times more careful. Articles go viral everyday and are read by thousands of people. The last thing you want is for your article to be the one that has lots of typos and doesn't have accurate facts.

Digital media is the way of the future but if people don't treat it with the same importance as print media the quality of journalism will continue to go down and so will people's belief in it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Morgan!

    It is great to see how you can apply your knowledge in school with your internship. Although I have never written / published for a digital media space I can only imagine the difference between print journalism and online. You made a great point when saying "Often are digital journalists are discredited and not held to the same standard as print journalists." When reading something online it is so easy to skim over and carry on with your day, when reading something in print you see every fine detail. Great view point!

    Thanks Morgan!
    Samantha Schilder