The Internet and Traditional News

Traditional network newscasts have seen dwindling audiences for decades. Averaging around 22 million viewers a night in 2012, according to Pew Research, down from previous years. Two reasons for the decline are social media and the digitalization of news.

More and more people get their news from a site like Twitter or Facebook, than an evening network newscast. Posting on social media is a lot quicker and people can see breaking news in real time, instead of waiting until 6:30 p.m. to see the headlines for the day. Journalists on a social media site post breaking news or their stories.

Another reason for a decline in network news audience size is digital media. Everything is posted online. News organizations like ABC News have a strong presence online. News organizations now have separate departments to run digital media. The digital media includes the website, digital reports, and mobile device applications.

The above examples provide people with other ways to consume besides traditional network newscasts. Network news audiences continue to decline.

Am I one of the only people who prefers network news? Are there others like me?

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Citizen Journalists

Many news organizations rely on citizen journalists to help provide media for certain breaking news stories. A way they do that is to look at social media sites like Twitter or Instagram. Everyday people help tell a story with photos or video. A recent example is the man who took a cell phone video of Walter Scott being shot by a police officer. Other examples include videos or natural disasters, weather, notable people and events.

Citizen journalists play an important role, and the media tries to give them the opportunity to be involved.

What is a Multimedia Journalist?

Nowadays, journalists are beginning to do more than just report or film a story. They have become a “one man show.” Multimedia journalists, like Blayne Alexander from 11Alive News, take on the task to film, report, and edit a news package. The multimedia journalist does not require a videographer or editor.

Here is a link to a good article about becoming a multimedia journalist: onlinejournalismblog.com.

Multimedia journalism has been around for years, and it is only now becoming popular. It is important for the journalist to be a good story teller, know how to film and edit.

Building an Audience

In chapter 11 of Journalism Next, Mark Briggs talked about building an audience. He started with discussing building an online presence. Journalists should know their audience and still produce and/or write good stories that their audience would like. The journalist should keep track of work done online.

Briggs said it is important to track the audience too. What does the audience like? What does the audience not like?

Using a tracking software, like Google Analytics would help a journalist or news organization figure out their audience. The software helps track site and page visits, how long someone spent reading a story or watching a news package.

Search engines help journalists. The most credible sources get displayed first. Briggs said most people only scroll through the first page to see what results came up.

Building an audience is important to win back the public.

Mobile Journalism

Mark Briggs covered mobile journalism in chapter 5 of Journalism Next. The introduction of the smart phone changed how journalists worked. Briggs said there was a new field– mobile reporting. Mobile reporters do everything. A recent survey conducted by Verizon and Parenting.com found that parents buy their children cell phones earlier and earlier. News organizations look for ways to utilize the mobile platform. That is how multimedia journalism came about.

According to Briggs, mobile devices make covering the news easier than ever. Briggs provided a start-up list for a mobile journalist. There are two types of mobile journalists: those who need to carry all of their devices and those who carry what they need.

For those who carry everything, Briggs said the following equipment is needed (Briggs 2012: 2194 and 2518 of Kindle edition):

  1. Laptop
  2. Internet for the laptop
  3. Camera for taking photos
  4. Video camera
  5. Tripod for the video camera
  6. Vocal recorder, like a Zoom
  7. Mic
  8. Headphones
  9. Mobile Phone

If you pack light, Briggs said all you need is a smartphone.

Briggs said Twitter is the ideal model for microblogging. There are many ways a mobile journalist can stream live video from their smartphone. He ended the chapter by saying to include the audience in reports.

Inside Georgia Public Broadcasting

Today, my class took a tour of Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB).

When you approach the elevators in the parking garage, there is a sign welcoming you to GPB. Take the elevator to the first level and walk down a long, colorful hallway to the lobby.

GPB promotes shows, like “Downton Abbey” and “Georgia Traveller.”

They have several studios used for various programs. The largest is Studio C. Huge productions happen here. The lighting is movable, unlike some other studios at GPB.

Our tour continued and took a close look at Studio B, where one of my other classes records newscasts. Unlike Studio C, the lighting does not move. GPB’s lights are LED, meaning they’re energy efficient and not as hot as traditional lighting.

We took a look at a control room and other studios. The master control room is monitored from an offsite location in Atlanta.

That concluded our tour. Thank you GPB!

Instagram: Post a Photo in an Instant

Instagram was co-founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. It launched on October 6, 2010. The photo social media platform now has over 300 million users and is owned by Facebook. The app allows users to easily upload photos from their smart phones and share with millions of other people. One feature Instagram offers is filtering. The filters help the photos look more appealing.

Some of the uses include news gathering, promoting products, and interaction between companies and consumers.

Journalists can post pictures of their news packages, the inside of the studio, or pictures of them covering stories in the field. They should be careful not to post anything against the news organization’s rules.

Instagram is a great tool for finding photos, videos, and other links to help journalists covering breaking news or special events.