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Example Essay on Journalism
Journalism has transformed dramatically over the years. The advancement of technology has helped the media evolve by giving people a better perspective of how the world is viewed today. Radios, computers, telephones, and televisions are becoming important tools in the 21st century. Now people have the opportunity to access global information, multimedia content, and instantaneous news. Because journalism has become an important source of gathering information, the history, present, and future of journalism will be presented.
In 1915, the Massachusetts Agricultural College first introduced journalism as a major. With a master’s degree from Harvard and Yale, Robert Wilson Neal taught journalism from 1906 to 1920. At the University of Massachusetts, Neal’s work in modern journalism has been viewed for over 80 years. There were two books Neal wrote that were published by Oxford University Press in 1914 and 1918. They were called “Short Story Writing in the Making,” and “Today’s Short Stories Analyzed.” Also, Neal had studied law and taught at several universities in the U.S. such as University of Kansas, University of Cincinnati, and Rutgers College. On May 18, 1915, Neal wrote in an article that the press would be one of strongly influences in American lives and that it would have an impact on societal issues such as religion, education, public morals, and it will either have a positive or negative effect on the community (Neal).
There were not any statistics showing how many students actually joined the major or when it finished. Therefore, Massachusetts Agricultural College did not create a strong program for journalism. Nonetheless, after leaving the college, he decided to teach journalistic writing at Home Correspondence School in Springfield and became vice president and a member of the board of directors. Unfortunately, in 1939, he died at the age of sixty-eight (Grimes, L Sarah).
The opportunities the news media brings is growing in the 21st century. The wireless communications such as broadband is helping news organizations by transferring media files faster than ever. Digital tools such as high digital cameras, personal computers are giving reporters limitless communication capabilities. The virtual newsrooms have taken journalism to the next level. Journalists can feel at ease working with electronic emails, databases, and transmitting media content without any difficulties. Also, news directors can think of countless possibilities of how to construct newsrooms in an organized way. A networked computer workstation can provide editors and producers with limitless opportunities to reconstruct the media content without having to be concerned about where the computers are located. Limits are not a concern with virtual newsrooms because it can capture a mass audience. Although the equipment is cheaper, the audience can have a live video interaction with news organizations. With virtual newsrooms, reporters can also get equal access to information, people, and processing power. The significance of virtual newsrooms is that developing news events can be broadcasted from the exact location. With this technology available, information presented will contain higher accuracy (106-107).
In the digital age, newsrooms are becoming far more convenient to journalists because they can edit and produce a video without any complications. Leadership has become an important role due to technological advancements. However, new technology can create a few problems. First, the expenses are high. Second, it can confuse employees who may not be willing to learn the changes because it may be difficult. There are 3 important principles a person should follow when introducing new technology. 1) Include newsroom staff in process of identifying appropriate technology. 2) Provide extensive training on new technology before expecting staff to use it. 3) Provide sufficient technical support (111).
Another important factor is that relationships between audiences and news organizations must have chemistry together. The press has an obligation to help citizens become informed about democracy. The press is considered to be the fourth branch of government and, therefore, protected by the 1st amendment. However, during recent years, people have drifted away from the media. “Trust is the glue that holds newsrooms together and ultimately binds readers to a specific newspaper and to read newspapers in general”(New York Times). Most people are becoming pessimistic of online journalism. However, there are three reasons why online journalism is not the problem. Firstly, online journalism will begin to thrive and will be credible to the audience as it grows. But for now, it is only starting to gain recognition. Secondly, mistakes can be corrected found in an article or column by readers who read online news. Thirdly, online capabilities offered to news providers include hyperlinks, which provide additional details about the story (125-129).
When a journalist writes a newspaper, it is divided into three parts: a headline, first paragraph, and the remainder of the story. Most people will read the headline first before reading the article because it is in big and bold words, which usually is eye-catching. The first paragraph is always the writer’s focus of the story that would include factual information. The writer will answer questions using the five W’s, which are Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? If a fire broke out, then the writer would answer What? By answering Who? and Where? The writer would give the location of the fire and whose properties were affected. The writer would answer the question “When?,” by giving the time period from the beginning of the fire to the end of the blaze. By answering “Why?” The writer would mention cigarette butts, which would be the cause. Finally, by answering “How?” the writer could mention that the approximate cost of the damage done by the fire (90-91).
The future of journalism will change overtime. “If you are a journalist at the beginning of your career, this is an exciting time to be in,” (Frum). He believes that the future of media contains limitless opportunities and by making the media access easier, the market will become a difficult challenge. However, Starowicz thinks that technology will isolate people and the wealthy will control the market. Also, he feels that the news media will become dominant by commercialism of television and the Internet and that readers will rely on online news media than newspapers or magazines. But from Frum’s perspective, technology will have a positive impact on the Internet because it will keep people informed about current events. Nonetheless, Frum and Starowicz believe that in the near future journalists will face a lot of challenges (Berezowski, Sarah).
As technology becomes a part of peoples’ lives computers, radios, and telephones will significantly revolutionize communication. Journalists will have to learn different skills to deliver news to audiences with strong information. There is no doubt that telling stories will be the main focus of journalists. There are 4 key points that will need to be addressed for the future of news: 1) How will changes in communication technology affect journalists and news organizations? 2) How can the quality, integrity and usefulness of the news product be maintained? 3) How can journalists use these new communication tools to better serve the audience and our society? 4) How will the audience react to this rapid pace of change? (Newsroom Resources).
Reducing alienation and distrust of media will expand because of technology. 3 points are usually dominated by journalism. 1) To survey the world and report the facts as they are best understood. 2) To interpret those facts in terms of their impact on the local community or society at large. 3) To provide opinion or editorial guidance on facts, thereby helping create public opinion on matters of importance and to set an agenda for public discourse. In the 21st century, journalists will not be the main provider for news information. Events being interpreted by journalists will grow and change. As the audience obtains important information and its purpose, the roles of journalists will need to develop by adding value to their work. Nonetheless, reconnecting communities will be a vital role for journalists online and off. This will help the participation of citizens to get involved in public issues and create a responsive audience (217-219).
In conclusion, Massachusetts has become the birthplace of journalism. With Neal and his accomplishments, he helped transform journalism to what it is now today. Wireless technology gadgets are providing journalists with faster media content. Virtual newsrooms are becoming common these days because it involves the audience to give live feedback with their opinions and giving journalists the opportunity to report live news media from any location. Also, leadership roles have become an important aspect in the news industry to help media expand. Keeping a relationship with an audience will be critical to journalists who want recognition and respect of their work. Assisting people to become informed citizens of democracy and telling the truth will build a circle of trust. Journalists should write articles that will improve their credibility by presenting factual information. The objective of a journalist will always be telling news events. With journalists’ value of information, the wall dividing journalists and the audience will be broken.