Journalism and the Internet

The Internet should deliver a means of improving journalism. Unlike newspapers and television stations, websites can be run with little financial cost and distribution costs are significantly lowered on the net. Therefore, the amount of time and resources journalists can dedicate to a story should increase dramatically.

However, the emphasis put on cutting costs by media firms means new technologies have seen journalists made redundant or re-skilled so that their workload increases with technical tasks. This in turn leads to the use of multi-platform reproduction or ‘shovelware’.

Many of the reporters being lost are taking with them the local knowledge and relationships with trusted sources that had taken years to build. Paul Starr points out that foreign coverage has declined as many of the newspaper correspondents working abroad have been let go. Space dedicated to arts and science has also been significantly reduced.

It takes enormous resources to adapt newsrooms to new media environments. There are countless examples of online versions of newspapers and magazines that have much poorer editorial standards.

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