This week really presented the question on whether there is a role for industrial media anymore. I think there is no right or wrong answer, because there will be different opinions by everyone, and how do we really know who is right? But as Bruns said, the field of journalism has entered a crisis period. In ‘News Blogs and Citizen Journalism: New Directions for e-Journalism’, he said that a gap has formed between the needs and wants of media audiences and traditional mass media creators, and what they can actually provide. This is so true. Mass media outlets can’t provide news that is customised to our specific interests, like the Twitter hashtag can, and it definitely can not be as quick as citizen journalists can be at at uploading content straight from the source.
The people formerly known as the audience, as Jay Rosen said, can really provide what mass media can not, in terms of quick information and access, fast on the spot recounts and commentary, an abundance of associated comments and ideas etc. However, as Rosen points out, industrial media can become ‘guide dogs’- guiding people to credible online sources.
In ‘Confessions of a Digital Immigrant’ (http://groundviews.org/2009/11/21/confessions-of-a-digital-immigrant/) Nalaka Gunawardene, said:
“citizen journalists are necessary — but not sufficient. They alone cannot meet all the information and communication needs of the human family that will soon have most of its members connected. We still need what social activists derisively refer to as the ‘Big Media’.”
Industrial media needs to redefine it’s state as gatekeepers with agenda setting priorities, to providing links to and information on news-worthy external sources. Having tweets that contain an associated hashtag on the screen whilst news stories plays just isn’t enough, especially when we can access twitter ourselves. The abundance of user generated content is going to need sorting through, and if mass media has an established following, they should begin doing so.
On a side not…the author of ‘Confessions of a Digital Immigrant’ said:
“Call me an ink addict, a digital misfit or whatever you like. The day a computer can deliver not just the information but the full sensory experience of browsing through a Sunday newspaper, I will fully migrate online.”
If she has kept to her word three years later, she has definitely migrated online, because with iPad apps, it does feel very similar to reading a newspaper or magazine.