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Now, it is cheaper and more efficient to advertise and search online, without needing to pay a single journalist. Publishers and broadcasters have moved online, but the advertising model fails. Ads on websites earn a fraction of the amount that used to be charged for the equivalent in a newspaper or during a program break. Besides them, Murdoch looks puny. They serve advertisements and news to the audience members on the basis of what they know about their interests.

Why pay for a display ad in a newspaper when you can have your material delivered direct to the social media feeds of people who you know are likely to be interested in buying your product? It is now estimated that of every dollar spent on advertising in the western world, 90 cents ends up in the pockets of Google and Facebook. Today, just about anyone with an internet connection and a social media account has the capacity to publish news and views to the world.

This is new in human history. The last great innovation in communications technology, the printing press, helped bring about the enlightenment of the s and s.

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The optimists among us thought the worldwide web and its applications might lead to a new enlightenment — but as has become increasingly clear, the reverse is also possible. We might be entering a new dark age. But the mere publication of a fact did not stop a large proportion of US citizens from believing the myth that he was born overseas. It is very hard to say how many Australian journalists have left the profession over the last 10 years.

Social journalism

This is partly because the nature of journalistic work has changed. Many now work aggregating or producing digital content, never leaving their desks. Institutions such as universities and NGOs are now producing journalistic content, published online, but the people employed to do this task rarely show up in the figures compiled by unions and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, because their employers are not classified as media organisations.

Nevertheless, the big newsrooms have shrunk beyond recognition. In , industry commentators estimated that more than Australian journalists had lost their jobs in the previous five years. At the same time, and offsetting this, there are new participants in the Australian media. We now have online local versions of the British Daily Mail, the youth-oriented news and entertainment outlet Buzzfeed, the New York Times, which has just launched and the Huffington Post, which operates in partnership with Fairfax. Not least, there is this outlet — an Australian edition of the Guardian.

There are also many small, specialist outlets that exist because the economics of online publishing beat the cost of buying broadcasting licences or printing on bits of dead tree, trucking the papers around the nation and throwing them over the fences. For the same reasons, almost any large organisation can, if it chooses, use the worldwide web to be a media outlet — though whether the output classes as journalism or public relations is another matter. Most of the new entrants to the business employ only a few local journalists.


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The reputable ones struggle to perform miracles each hour with hardly any reporters. I think it is clear we will have many more smaller newsrooms in the future — including new entrants, non-media organisations touting their wares and the wasted remains of the old businesses. Some of these newsrooms will operate on the slippery slopes that lie between news, advocacy and advertising. Some of them will be the fake news factories, devoted to earning an income from spreading clickable, outrageous lies.

If it were only the decline of businesses, we would not need to worry so much. It is rare in history for those who have profited from one technology to go on to dominate the next.

Community Journalism: Social Media

Cobb and Co ran the stagecoaches, but not the steam trains. The future is far from clear, but here are some things we can expect to see delivered more quickly than we might think. First, social media companies will begin to invest in quality content, because otherwise they will lose their audiences.

This is not merely wishful thinking. In China, WeChat, owned by Tencent Corporation, is the dominant social media engine and has functionality that makes Facebook and Twitter look old-fashioned. Some of these ideas probably seem like familiar moral principles. They should, and they are oversimplified ideas from media codes of ethics, but these three simple reminders are a good start.

Seeking the best information means reading and supporting news organizations, citizen groups or advocacy organizations that are transparent about their information gathering. Do they rely on first-hand witnessing and original documents?

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Do they have a code of ethics? Name their sources, offer facts and context? Or is the article a second- or third-hand analysis far-removed from its original fact gathering?


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Citizen journalism was once hailed as a revolution that would make news-gathering a more democratic process—one that would no longer solely be the province of professional reporters. While citizen journalists empower local communities and fill in the gaps of mainstream media, citizen journalism remains a work in progress. With inaccurate reporting, the audience is left not knowing who or what to believe.

Demand sources for charts and arguments, especially the ones that serve your personal political beliefs. Ask yourself whether that funny meme denigrates other people based on their race, ethnicity or gender. We are all gatekeepers now, whether we like it or not. Our online lives are connected to our real ones. We can use our smartphones and social media accounts to feed our ideals or we can undermine them. We have met the media, and the media are us. Sumon Chakrabarti is a professional academic and offbeat writer for major publishing houses.

Social journalism - Wikipedia

He even contributes in house journals and online knowledge portals for global organizations through articles, features, corporate blogs and website content. A voracious reader of books, periodicals and all kinds of reading stuff. Passionate compiler, content developer and editor for all kind of knowledge sharing platforms. A popular singer and performer on stage.