Monday, David Germano spoke in lecture about the changing state of journalism and media. His ideals about content marketing showed that he was excited about the digital transitions in journalism, and was especially eager to share his point of view.
I respect Mr. Germano for his experience and intellect in presenting students with facts about the face of media today. Adversely, I feel the need to disagree with him. Convergence journalism has become the next big thing in journalism. A fairly new emphasis, convergence journalism focuses not only on text and conversation, but also on photography, video, and audio. The Internet plays a major role in this area of journalism.
No doubt, even as a studying broadcast journalism major, I will need skills involved in convergence journalism. Being a television anchor is great, but it’s also beneficial to know how to code websites, and use Photo Shop and Final Cut Pro. That part, I agree with. But I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that convergence journalism will take over the field and no other emphases will be profitable.
After several decades, people still listen to the radio. In recent years, America has been blessed with the nationwide availability of satellite radio, and regardless, people still drive to work every morning and catch up on current events on the radio.
Television is still a primary source for many looking for news information. The nightly news has been a major part of people’s lives for the past fifty or sixty years. Stations like ABC, FOX, NBC and CNN continuously report the news that people care about and depend on.
Not to mention the rise in online podcasts. While the use of the Internet to present news information crosses over into convergence media, the basic qualities of talking in front of a screen and engaging an audience in information that applies to their daily lives is still there.
So, while I understand that the convergence of advertising and media is a viable direction that journalism is going in in the present day, I believe that other emphases of journalism are still important to the everyday American. Germano is right, there is a big shift in journalism towards convergence, but I hope that the integrity and perseverance of broadcast media stays the same before we rely on the Internet for all information.
The problem with the Internet are the low barriers to entry. How will we know what to trust when there’s no way to determine who is on the other side of our computer screens? How can we trust what we watch when “big business” companies like P&G are behind television shows, commercials and movies, without their name or logo anywhere to be found? The future for journalism is unknown, but my only hope is that the truth continues to be told in the end because we all know, “The truth will set you free.”