I find it very interesting to read that the state of the American news media improved in 2010 according to The State of the Media Report.  I started college in the Fall of 2007 and the state of the American news media wasn’t looking bright.  It’s good to see things take a turn for the better.  However, it is still sad that newspapers are suffering continued revenue declines.  I believe that newspapers do have structural economic problems that are hard to find solutions to.  Most revenue from newspapers came from ads.  With the existence of sites like Craigslist not many people use newspapers to advertise anymore.  Therefore, newspapers and other media outlets need to find others ways to make profit because their old ways will no longer work.


I believe that the news industry is late to adapt to the new state of media and it is culturally more tied to content creation than engineering.  The news industry is more of a follower than a leader.  However, I believe that the news industry has the option to reverse its current role.  It will be hard for the news industry to do this, but by working with companies such as Apple, I believe the news industry could become incorporated with the leaders.

News is currently having to adapt to new technology.  A majority of people now get their news from online sources.  Not even a decade ago people were still watching local news, nightly news and reading newspapers to stay informed about current and local events.  Nowadays I can get all the news I need from my phone.  The news industry is now in a transforming position.  The industry must be able to change and adapt or cease to exist.  I could never see the news industry ceasing to exist, so it must change.  The question is though, how must the news industry change?  This is a tough question to answer.  Must the news industry charge for its online content?  Must it have ads and banners flashing on its sites?  The state of the media report says that some people are willing to pay for their news, but will this keep the profit up?  Will enough people pay for their news to keep the news industry on the uphill recovering?  How will news sites charge for their content?  Will anything be free?  In order to answer these questions the industry must be able to analyze its audience, and currently there is no clear way to measure the audience.  There is a lot of controversy om how to measure online traffic and even things that would be simple, like how to define a “unique visitor”.

For me, being a future journalism professional, this state of the media report is really riveting.  I am very excited to see that the news industry understands that it needs to change and is making progress.  It also lets me know that if I do work in the news industry that I am going to be writing content that is web based instead of paper or video based.  This also means that i must know how to write content for websites, how to make sites, take pictures, make videos and upload everything to the web.  This media report also shows that media is changing.  With all these new technologies being released there are different ways to create and distribute the news.  From iPads to Androids there are different ways to format and view everything.  The media has to cater to these new devices which is different for the industry from the past.

The state of the media report means that citizens will also be changing the way that they ingest media.  People may have to start paying news outlets for its Internet content.  In order for the media industry to make a profit they must get money from somewhere.  I, personally, like that most news on the Internet is free.  However, if the Guardian, my favorite news outlet, were to start charging a subscription I would probably pay it if the fees were low.  I believe that citizens are entitled to the news.  I don’t think that it should be a privilege so I have a really hard time even contemplating how a news outlet could charge for access to its site.  But at the same time I understand that in order to produce quality work that the company must be making money in order to pay its employees and fund the company.  I believe that media sources really need to be able to analyze its audience.  I also think that they should have advertising in order to create a revenue.  I know that people do not like ads on sites, but even Facebook has ads; and over half of the population of the United States has a Facebook account.

I believe that journalists need to be well acquainted with the Internet and the language of the Internet.  If I were to teach future journalists, I would definitely teach them how to program.  I do not know how to program, but I wish I did and may teach myself C++ and Java.  Journalists, in the future, are going to be required to create and design Internet based data and they will have to know the language of the Internet.

In order to be prepared to face this new media world the media industry must be able to make a standard collection pool of data.  Definitions must be made for terms like “unique visitor” and the media audience must be analyzed.  There must also be restructuring of certain aspects of the media.  I believe that other skills that journalists and media experts will need it how to collect and examine information about their audience.  It will take time for the media industry to fully recover, but this is to be expected.  In the last decade there has been so much change and the media industry is just taking time to fully figure everything out.  With more time I believe that the media industry will fully recover and re-innovate itself.

 

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