Week 8: Industrial media vs Crowdsourced news


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.




7 thoughts on “Week 8: Industrial media vs Crowdsourced news

  1. I read this and thought honestly about the last time I went to a newspaper for information-first.
    …I can’t remember. Like you said, reading the news on an ipad or any other technological device feels pretty much like the same thing- not to mention it’s easier to access and free (most of the time).
    It’s also crazy to note that I, as a member of the public, am able to contribute to these news articles- whether it be through my blog, twitter, videos.. it’s unlimited now. We have a powerful role to play within the mass media and in some way are taking the leads on what information is shown- although there is still a certain amount of gatekeeping!

    I’m sure that the author of ‘Confessions of a Digital Immigrant’ has definitely migrated by now, too!

    • Definitely. By the time a newspaper is published and selling at the newsagent or wherever it may be, developments in almost all of the major stories have probably been made, and therefore the newspapers story is redundant! I’m not sure if they are already doing it (because I hardly ever read the newspaper) but they should provide a short URL link to their site or Twitter feed where the story will be continually updated.

  2. I think that Industrial Media still plays an important role in how we get our news/information these days. At least, it does for me. To an extent.

    I would much rather pick up a Newspaper or read a magazine than sit at a computer or try and read something on my phone, but that’s just me.

    Where I think Industrial Media still has some sway is in its generalized news stories. If I don’t know what I want to read about i.e. It’s 6am and I don’t know what’s happened in the world yet, then the newspaper is more than qualified to fulfil my needs. The news doesn’t have to be happening ‘right now’ in this instance.

    Though, if I have been following a story, or am aware of an issue, then yes, it is so much easier to just Google it, look up the Hashtag, or do a search on an online blog/news site. In these instances where the timeliness of news is vital, I agree that Industrial Media outlets are outmatched.

    • You said that you “don’t know what” you want to read about, so you are going to the newspaper or morning TV news and they are telling you what to think about? (agenda setting)

  3. Great post!!! I completely agree with the notion that consumers of news media now venture to online sources before opening up a newspaper. The fact of the matter is, social media has enabled consumers to become prosumers as we can now contribute to news stories and post updates on events instantly at the touch of a button. Even though there is an abundance of information on the internet which you have to sought through, i still believe that this is a much more convenient form of obtaining the news for the fact that you can cater it to your needs. Like you said with the hashtag on twitter, people can follow the hashtags on stories that interest them and get constant updates.

  4. As I’ve said earlier in other posts this is the advantage of harnessing the collective intelligence of your audience, the sum of their collective actions will result in content that is more relevant and appealing than individual editors and journalists are capable of. The ability to have a ‘conversation’ around media posted on the web and that topics that would generally be shied away from by traditional media can garner such a large audience on the web make traditional media look archaic in comparison.

  5. Most of the ‘citizen journalism’ that I come in to contact with i.e. my twitter & facebook feed, are re-posts of mass media content.
    This might reflect more on my network then on citizen journalism itself though. The most breaking news I’ve ever seen come from twitter are dead celebrity announcements. I got so excited when i saw #RIPJustinBeiber.. alas it was a hoax 😦
    I guess what I am getting at, is that it is still not that easy to be right at the forefront of news gathering/ creating.
    I don’t disagree that news breaks online first, but I think audiences will still turn to mainstream media for authoritative dissemination and greater in-depth analysis of events. I feel this is down to their history and position in society. When you read a The Sydney Morning Herald for example, you know that hundreds of thousands of others are reading it too, and as such, sets the standard of knowledge on a topic and for that region. When you read a blog, you feel as though you are the only one reading it, and that the information you have is either special or unknown by anyone else. You are unlikely to talk to others face-to-face about the shared experience of the knowledge.
    Here is a pretty interesting blog on David Carr’s take on twitter and citizen journalism that is pretty interesting.. http://gigaom.com/2012/09/14/david-carr-on-newspapers-twitter-and-citizen-journalism/

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