The saying goes that today’s news (in printed newspaper form) is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper. But in today’s world where people are obtaining news from a vast range of sources – from radio to RSS, blogs to online news sites, social media to email – the question is - is today’s printed news already suitable for use for tonight’s fish and chips? (or pudding, chips and gravy, if you prefer).
My thoughts on this topic were sparked by a throwaway comment I heard on TV the other night – ‘Twitter’s where everyone gets their news from these days anyway, right?’ And furthermore, on the discussion of news articles as printed in local newspapers, a friend of mine working in offline media commented that by the time you’ve read it, the article’s already old or outdated news.
A recent US survey found that more Americans now get their news from the internet than from radio or newspapers. The survey also reported that 92 percent of people get their news from more than one platform and three quarters reported to hear of news via e-mail or updates on social media sites.
These are some quite significant statistics and have huge potential implications for news as an industry.
There is little doubt that the horizon of the news landscape is set for further changes. News is certainly more widely available and more importantly social than ever before. Why waste your time listening/reading 20 news articles when you can read one or two as recommended by friends/colleagues who have just posted a link on Twitter?
News snippets you can pick up on Twiiter are certainly more likely to be of the minute than a news article that was researched a week ago and submitted by yesterday's editorial deadline. You can't get more 'real time' than 3 seconds ago.
Journalists themselves are known to be relying more and more upon social media channels as sources of news stories – making contacts with organisations based on information from Tweets, utilising the comments made by celebrities and public figures on Twitter in news articles and even basing entire articles on such comments.
As with everything, individuals will always have their own preferred method of finding/receiving news. For some, the ritual process of reading the paper over a morning cup of tea or piece of toast will never be beaten. For others, news on the go will be favoured – as delivered into the palm of their hand onto their mobile as they sit on the bus on their morning commute.
As long as there is a market for a number of different sources of news delivery/reporting, these different sources will continue to exist. What’s likely, however, is that from a print media perspective, the pattern we have already seen in newspaper groups thus far will be set to continue – large newspaper groups will take over smaller ones and more and more content will be syndicated – meaning less room for original journalism.
But on the flipside, with access to blogging platforms, anyone can be a journalist…
Thoughts and comments welcome
Read Next Blog PostClose