Journalism in a changing age

24Oct11

This week, I actually found two articles that I found particularly interesting in relation to our chapters on journalism.

The first is an article on the upcoming Rugby finals, which is less of an article in the traditional sense than it is a collaborative “j-blog” (Singer,  104) in which several Guardian writers in New Zealand were asked a series of questions about the World Cup (favorite moments, players they’ll miss, etc.) It then asks, right in the sub-headline, for readers to submit their own answers to these questions “below the line” (in the comments.)

This struck me as interesting for two reasons. First, it speaks to the very prominent shift in journalism from rarely interacting with “readers, viewers, or listeners” (Singer, 103) and instead has the writers engage with them directly by asking for their responses and their opinions on those very same questions. It also shows how journalists now speak for themselves as individuals and not only for their the Guardian as their specific media outlet.

The second is a story about the continued trouble of WikiLeaks. Again, this article is interesting for a couple of different reasons. It speaks to Singer’s assertion that skillful storytelling requires the knowledge to how – and when – to tell stories across different media (104) by incorporating a video right at the beginning of the article. This video is of Julian Assange, co-founder of WIkiLeaks, at the press conference where WikiLeaks announced their publication suspension due to financial issues. The article does go on to touch on the highlights of this press conference in written word, but it is interesting to see how the Guardian used both pieces of media together to enhance the story and create a fuller picture. It also gives the audience a direct citation of their source, harkening to some of the “professional norms, standards, and practices” that separate professional journalists from other purveyors of news (105) in an increasingly global and digital world. The interesting (or perhaps ironic?) twist in this particular story, of course, is the early scandals that surrounded WikiLeaks and the lack of accountability they provided in working with anonymous sources.

–          Shannon

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