A Changing of the Guard in Journalism: Newspapers Going Bankrupt

You’re reading this online. Obviously, that’s not news to you; the fact that you’re not the only one seeking online content probably doesn’t qualify as breaking news either.

But Newsweek magazine, a major source of American news, deciding to end print publishing is news.  Journal Register Co., the company that owns the Denver Post, filing for bankruptcy is news too. In fact, some people believe that it is symptomatic of something much larger happening to print media and journalism; today’s media is becoming digitized.
A Changing of the Guard in Journalism: Newspapers Going Bankrupt
Given how many people access the New York Times from their iPads rather than their front doors or visit USAToday.com rather than picking up a copy at the airport, it’s no wonder that we can report that an entire changing of the guard in journalism is happening. But there are two key questions that remain: why is this happening, and is it a good thing?
Why Is This Happening?
Regardless of how many newspapers you see at the airport, in the hotel lobby or at the gas station, it shouldn’t shock you that print news is becoming increasingly out-of-fashion: more and more people are turning to their computers and their smart phones for written content these days. Just about every form of print media has been forced into the Internet age in order to keep up with the competition, and that’s why so much news is so readily available online.
But that doesn’t quite tap into a more fundamental principle that’s at play here: the Internet is changing everything. It’s changing not only how we read the news but also how we interact with the news. We no longer simply read an article; in addition, we comment on them and share the stories on Facebook and Twitter. Not only is the format of news changing from print to online, but, the content itself has to change to suit the new media the Internet offers.
Is It a Good Thing?
When the Denver Post’s parent company goes bankrupt and a legendary newsstand staple like Newsweek goes solely online, it’s easy to wonder if the changes are actually good for the news. The answer you get will depend on the people you ask. Some people think the convenience and speed of online news is far superior to older media formats. Others believe that Internet news is less reliable and that there is simply no replacing the feel of paper in one’s hands.
A Changing of the Guard in Journalism: Newspapers Going Bankrupt
What can be agreed upon, however ,is that the Internetification of news media is going to have long-ranging impacts on how people both receive and report the news. In 2009, during the middle of a potential uprising in Iran, many people heard about what was going on inside the country not from newspapers but from the Twitter posts of Iranian citizens. Similarly, during the recent Hurricane Sandy catastrophe, much of the word on actual conditions was spread through Facebook and Twitter – at least, for those with elecricity.

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