News plays a much greater role in societal life than just a random post on your Facebook feed. Speaking about which, I aim to trace the future of news, keeping in mind the transformation of news. A newspaper cannot be replaced by e-news until you can use a tablet to swat a fly. Stanislaw Jerzy Lec said, “The window to the world can be covered by a newspaper.” Is the press dying in the digital age? I would say I disagree. Sure, maybe the costs are going higher and the profits are going down, but since when do we value news for its Profits and not its Purpose? Why do business magnates controlling the press run behind the wrong ‘P’? The number of people reading the newspapers in the UK has been decreasing at the rate of about 10% but at the same time the i experienced a gain of 11% readers.
Newspaper came and stayed. Then came the Internet wave and it stayed too! Then news took to social media and the upsurge continues. This tells us two things. Firstly, new formats of news have appeared and will continue to emerge but this does not mean that it outdates its predecessor. Newspapers, Internet and social media can co-exist and compliment each other. Secondly, news has catered to consumer needs by constantly changing its medium. However, what is the future after social media?
The answer is innovation. Innovation in press, internet and social media. The Independent has become the first national newspaper to go digital, but don’t foget that they also run the i which is a 40p newspapers! The Metro and Evening Standard operate free of costs. The Guardian operates on part-paid part-free basis on its digital front. Internet and social media have taken innovation to a whole new level. For example, Slow Journalism Magazine, attempts to explain and explore news after it has subsided from the mainstream and has escaped the concept of first and fast. Outlets like Vox.com are documenting news in a much more explained form. What’s interesting is that traditional news organisations are expanding their reach by using social media. For example, Sky news has its Snap Chat operation which has live blogs and feeds which are updated constantly through the day. Innovation also lies in the way newspapers are marketed, Metro went free and Independent has gone digital.
The above examples prove that news is transforming according to the needs of its consumers and innovation. Transformation of news is highly connected and dependent on media convergence. It is the interdependence among platforms where in lies the innovation in news. You will notice that it is not the death of press but the convergence of media which has just internally shifted numbers among its number of readers and its profits. It the purpose of the news that makes it novel; not its platform, not the format and not the economics of it. In all, through this module I have realised that components of media and its factors are interlinked and co-exist in the organisation. They are complimentary in nature and one cannot be explained without the help of the other, for example: media convergence and innovation, privacy and surveillance, copyrights and creativity, etc.