The Pew Research Journalism Project recently released their 2014 State of the News Media. The Growth in Digital Reporting: What it Means for Journalism and News Consumers gave some great insight into the new developments of journalism. Mark Jurkowitz, author of the Digital Reporting section, talked of the increase in digital news.
“Since the fall of 2013, there has been a dramatic and conspicuous migration of high-profile journalists to digital news ventures,” said Jurkowitz.
Jurkowitz mentioned the various high profile journalists migrating from well-known, more traditional news reporting, to newly emerging digital start-ups. They point out Mark Schoofs, a Pulitzer Prize reporter from The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica and The Village Voice who runs the investigative team at BuzzFeed. Ezra Klein’s move from the Washington Post to start his own project is also mentioned.
Some of these new start-ups are examples of explanatory journalism, which has been increasingly rising. More journalists have turned to this form: easy and simple explanations for the average person. However, this new form of reporting comes with its own ethical issues, since often these explanatory journalists have a point of view and are debunking incorrect information instead of reporting “he said, she said”. Nate Silver, founder of the FiveThirtyEight blog, recently said in an interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, “Transparency is the new objectivity.”
Digital organizations are rising, and according to the Pew Research, its hiring has exploded along with it. This shows that now, more than ever, journalists need to adapt to new technology and social media. Journalism isn’t a dying field; it’s just adjusting to fit the new generation’s dependence on technology. We have to adapt to fit in with our audience, which means presenting our arguments in engaging formats.
As the Pew Research states, new storytelling skills are emerging to better suit audiences, and I, for one, think that this move is necessary and beneficial to journalism as a whole.
While journalism has by no means found the perfect sustainable business model, I think that these new trends show promise for the future of reporting. We have found out what forms are needed, and are in the process of fine-tuning them. Now, the focus should be on how to create a profitable way to market those ways.