[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Internet & Journalism 2- Speed check on critical journalism on Information Superhighway

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Internet & Journalism 2- Speed check on critical journalism on Information Superhighway

In this new information age as characterised by the rise of the internet, critical journalism is becoming ever more obscured and being made redundant. The increasing individualisation and segmentation in communication will shift journalism’s traditional task from collecting information to directing the social flow of information and public debate. With the development of satellite broadcasting technology, audiences can access uncut reports of world events at the click of a remote. But this is reducing the reporter to a mere purveyor of facts as the need for critical journalism is no longer necessary on his/her part.

Media researcher and editor of Media, Ritual and Identity Elihu Katz states that "The combination of information management, instant news, empty analysis, and the best of intentions threatens the future of critical journalism, and our own." The internet and other related interactive communication services has given rise to expectations that in the future journalistic intervention in political communication will no longer be necessary. These developments in technology have a two-pronged effect: Will they [journalists] become redundant, will the advance of direct registration of news smother the journalism that seeks to explain its background? Or might it be the other way around- Will individuals lose their way on the ‘information superhighway’ and feel a greater need for journalistic direction?

Can web journalism achieve the same status as professional print/media journalism? No doubt that more and more people are turning to the web for their daily digest, but it still does not meet the same standards when reading from a newspaper or watching it on TV. With the Sunday Tribune launching the country's first e-newspaper, it's a first step towards 'digitising' the print media industry. As new technology unfolds, eventually news will be availible 24/7 on the web in full visual & audio glory. The question now is whether critical & objective journalism can keep pace with this increasingly instantaneous and 'present minded' society.
(Above: The Sunday Trib in full digital glory)