People used to get their news from their local newspapers. Then some of these newspapers became regional or national papers as technology improved and they could be made and sold in bulk and transported long distances. People could read about things happening in their area, around the country, and all over the world while they ate breakfast. Then radio developed as a common way to get news. Families would gather together after dinner and listen to their radio. Next came television and with it, a whole new way of telling stories. Broadcast news has developed so quickly and changed so much in a short period of time. But now the Internet is here. And it is wreaking havoc on the news business, or at least forcing it to change.
With the Internet’s popularity as high as it is, there are now so many options for getting news. The traditional physical newspapers, television newscasts, and radio shows are still there… for now. But each of those outlets now has a website too. So a reader doesn’t have to buy a newspaper, turn on the tv, or listen to the radio. They can read headlines of that newspaper online, watch clips from the tv station online, listen to streaming radio or download podcasts of that radio show.
But, readers also have so many other options of where to get their news. There are topic-specific websites for basically anything and everything. There is Twitter to see headlines from basically every news source. There is Youtube where any type of video can be found, including whole newscasts, raw footage of events, etc. Facebook can even be used as a news source these days. When I want to know who won a Terps sports game, or a Redskins game, or a Ravens game, I check Facebook and everyone’s statuses answer my questions. When I want to know what is happening on campus or in the area, Facebook can have the answers.
And now blogs are the newest news source. Journalists and every day citizens are blogging about events and topics, covering every facet of the world. But these blogs don’t have editors or fact checkers. Many are jam-packed with opinions and half-facts. Some seem like legitimate news sources but are just written by “citizen journalists.” It can be hard to know which blogs to read, which can be trusted, etc.
In my opinion, the classic news sources will always be needed in some facet. They might all just turn into online entities but that type of accountability, reliability, ethics, etc need to be kept in order for the news to be trusted. The business of journalism can not die out. It just needs to morph and change.