The need for and supply of professional journalists has dwindled in recent years due to advancements in our technology. The internet took most of the revenue from print media thanks to some unfortunate management from newspapers giving away their content for free. Now we are so spoiled that our news comes so cheap we are starting to see a poorer quality of journalism. Thanks to this we are seeing an increase in citizen journalism. Now instead of reporters being first on the scene and reporting the news, any “average Joe” with a smart phone can snap a picture of something and post it to a social media site like Twitter and Poof… you have news!
A great example of this is the Miracle on the Hudson where a US Airways flight made an emergency landing in the Hudson River. Four minutes after the incident there were already photos posted on Twitter before the mainstream media had picked up the story. Not bad right…? But what happens when those people get it wrong and the mainstream media is quick to jump the gun to be the first to report?
Twitter is a very dangerous place to find information but it is so vital because the information can be posted seconds after an event. During Hurricane Sandy reports from various sources on Twitter were saying the NYSE was under 3 foot of water. A couple retweets later and Piers Morgan was reporting on CNN that this was fact. It took about ten minutes for conflicting reports to come in a disprove the story, but the damage was done because professional journalists are trying so hard to be the first to report this kind of news.
So the need for professional journalism is still there, but they are relying more and more on those citizen journalists with those stories that usually aren’t heard. I believe the two types of journalism will need each other in the future and because of that our news will never be the same. I am expecting to see less investigative reporting and more sensational stories.