Is In-Depth Reporting Being Replaced by An Electronic Media Landscape?

With the advent of news aggregation sites such as the Huffington Post and news being delivered through Twitter, America finds itself with a news landscape that is becoming more condensed, often times in less than 150 words. The journalism of the second half of the last century, which focused on doing research, following leads, and asking tough questions has been replaced by a culture of journalists that pursue the “sexiest” story and summarize it into a sound byte. Even respected media organizations such as the BBC World Service are most frequently listened to or viewed using their 60-second summary of the world news.

But what’s to blame for this change in the way news stories are reported and viewed by the general public? Some would blame our modern technological society that revolves around the Internet, that we are simply more interested in the summary of a story than the details. Others could argue that it’s due to changes in the way news is gathered and reported in the modern age. The Pew Research Center reports “there were about 2,600 fewer full-time professional editorial jobs at newspapers in 2012, a 6.4% decline from 2011. That leaves the industry at 38,000 full-time professional editorial employees and is the first time that figure has been below 40,000 since the census began in 1978.” These figures demonstrate that the resources of different news agencies have been reduced as the public looks more towards bloggers and twitter feeds for it’s news.

Despite, the rapid decline of employment at American news agencies, niche publications and online blogs represent a future of journalism that may simply be taking the power away from large media conglomerates and putting it into the hands of the citizen journalists.

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