Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Modern Journalism: the Truth in Technology

Dana DeCenzo

Modern-day technology allows any private citizen with a smartphone to become a journalist/ photo via Pexels

"New Kids on the Block"

In this new age of journalism, news gathering takes place on all platforms, by public and private citizens, at all altitudes. However, it is important to clarify the roles of journalists in society, as the reputation for the "dishonest" media seems to elude it. With today's technology and social media, the title "journalists" extends to both public and private citizens. In this new age of journalism, journalists can be described as anyone covering or gathering news on the public's behalf- fueling the popular, public opinion.  

Modern-day Technology and its Controversy 

Thanks to modern-day technology - including that of drone photography and live streaming capability - journalists are able to report and share news like never before. However, these developments continue to blur lines of legality as neither technological practice has official federal usage guidelines set in place.

Drones have been available for retail purchase since 2015/ photo via Flickr

Drone photography
, for instance, is a question of what is considered privacy and trespassing, as airspace remains public domain. While private companies such as Amazon plan to utilize drone technology with Amazon Prime Airthe potential danger of legality issues concerning the invasion of privacy and trespassing laws remains present. Yet, because airspace is considered a public sector, the lines of fair use remain blurred - for now.

Facebook Live video streaming enables users to follow their favorite celebrities and broadcast events
to their personal feed in real-time/ photo via newsroom.fb.com

Video streaming services such as Facebook Live have transformed the way the public engages online. In practice, Facebook Live and similar services have been credited for their immediacy, coverage of national events and underlying function as evidence for law enforcement.

To the journalists' advantage, live streaming documenting a crime has been known to be used as evidence to law enforcement. For example, Facebook Live recently shut down the live stream of a shooting per police requests. Live streams, however, have also been used to prove the misconduct of police officers and law enforcement - working to ensure law enforcement is no longer able to dictate the public knowledge of a news story and giving the power of reporting to the public, changing the way we view and are affected by violence.

Trolling Headlines and Social Media

Social media platforms are proven to boost content views,
regardless of truth/ photo via Wikimedia Commons
Thanks to social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and BuzzFeed, promoting and sharing content as well as achieving viral status has become easier than ever. Some journalists today (such as "new yellow journalists") tend use deception, satire and a variety of outrageous, satirical and often controversial wording in headlines in order to draw the eye of their audience. This strategy - known as clickbait - suggests we must trick people into reading the news. 

While most who share content on Facebook never finish reading the content they share, the public often doesn't research the truth of the claims. According to these trolling bloggers themselves, tactics of exaggeration and fear get results. Additionally, these "new yellow journalists" credit search engine optimization and social media algorithms as their vehicle to success - claiming  "violence,  chaos and aggressive wording are what people are attracted to" in an interview. 

What it Means for Journalists

So, what does modern-day technology mean for the field of journalism? The answer is opportunity. The opportunity for innovative content, audience engagement, and finally, transparency - an opportunity to reverse the constant stigma of the "dishonest media" and promote the use of journalistic power for the responsible and honest sharing of news.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.