Pros and Cons of Journalism in the Internet Age

Many people would agree that most of what you see, hear, or read from the news media today is scandal, frenzy, and maliciousness.  Most “intellectual” viewers chalk up this new media change to Americans’ poor taste and lack of culture.  Many argue that the news operations need to stop reporting on spectacle, and start reporting on things that really matter or else journalism will not survive.  Maybe this is not the end of journalism, but instead a type of rebirth.  We can argue whether or not the new media change is all a bad thing.

Media has constantly changed throughout history.  From the age of the political newspapers and journals, to the era of watchdog newspaper reporting, to the development of television news, cable news, and today’s Internet age, changes have taken place for the better and for the worse.  So who is to say that this change is any worse than any of the others?

There are some issues that may arise with this new media change.  One such issue is the fact that the media will not cover issues that really matter.  For example, if news organizations are so concerned with the affair the governor is having with the housekeeper, then we may not be informed about the lack of school system funding that is occurring within our community.  Another issue that may arise is the further development of specialized news, where people can read what they want to read, but will remain uninformed on issues outside their sphere.   Finally, the Internet media with its constant updates offers a vast world of constant distraction, which makes it difficult for consumers to understand what they are reading with information coming from all directions.

Despite such potential problems, there are also positive outcomes of this new media.  One positive outlook is that Americas can become more involved with international news.  After all, few of U.S. news organizations report regularly on world affairs.  With the Internet, news consumers can learn almost instantly what is happening on the other side of the world.  Another benefit of the new media is different interpretations and presentations of facts.  The way a story is presented can change the entire meaning, thus giving stories more dimensions.  Finally, the fact that the Internet is more vast that any other news medium means that there will be more information available to people.  News organizations can include an almost unlimited amount of content for consumers online.

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