daliah_singer (daliah_singer) wrote in online_journ,

Grassroots Journalism and Technology

In elementary school, I would type up 'papers' on the computer and print them out, pasting in images from National Geographic or other media afterwards.
In middle school, I would arrive home at 3 p.m. and start instant messaging my friends almost immediately.
In high school, I would text message my friends all the time, learned how to build web pages and did every assignment on the computer, heavily utilizing the options that Google provided.
You see, I (and my generation) grew up with these technological advances. They weren’t new-fangled, crazy, hard-to-use inventions for us. They were just part of our lives.
As a result, when I read the first two chapters of "We the Media," which outline how technology has moved journalism forward and created a new form, called personal journalism (such as blogging), I was taken aback. Sure, I knew that the Internet, in particular, had a huge impact on the world, but I never realized the specific impacts on people and on the field of journalism.
Author Dan Gillmor wrote that personal technology "was about the creation of media in new and, crucially, less expensive ways" (9).
For instance, the creation of desktop publishing allowed anyone to do layout and publish material. One effect of this was the increased presence of the ethnic press, according to Gillmor.
This fact, along with numerous other statements throughout the two chapters, made me truly realize the impact that the Internet has had on so many people and, in particular, journalism.
Today, journalism is no longer just about reading the news; it's about options. People have hundreds of choices to make. The Internet has added greatly to this list of options, which allows people to choose where they go to read the news and who and how they receive it. It also, however, increases competition between news agencies that want to be responsible for breaking the news. What is the effect of this on news quality? Does it negatively affect the news judgment of editors and reporters who want to get a story out and maybe don't spend as much time fact-checking?
Those could be some serious repercussions if the media continue to move forward technologically without maintaining the historic standards of what journalism is.

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