We Must Change.

 
 
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The foundation of journalism, the ideology that we are gatekeepers of knowledge, is gone. We don’t control the key to knowledge anymore, and some of us aren’t even members. Technology flipped the world of journalism on its head, and damn near killed it, but once again, the visionaries behind the most innovative technology we’ve ever experienced are the ones creating a path towards salvation. 

When Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post, there was a mix of reaction, my favorite: Gene Weingarten.

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His purchase signaled two things: The old-school style of journalism is officially thrown out, and technology is going to dominate the development of news. Now, for the first time, we have at the helm of a major news organization a technology laureate who has the opportunity to develop the future of journalism. 

What Bezos brings to the table that the Grahams and the Sulzbergers don’t pick up is rapid adaption. Technology grows at an exponential rate. The gap between the radio and the TV and the cell phone and the smartphone is significantly different. It will continue to do so, and Bezos understands this concept. 

Fear of change cannot be the deterrent for the future of media. More people have access to the “need to know”  of what is going on around the world than ever before, and the journalism industry can take two paths. 1) Be the purveyors of the information using the newest tools and tricks to deliver the information or 2) fall behind and allow social media to dominate the deliverance of news, because they will if we don’t.

Historically, media has been god-awful at adapting to the tide of change. When the television came around, companies were hesitant to invest in the shift from radio to TV news programs because they didn’t think TVs would stick around. 

The Internet was a head scratcher too. Some news sites just threw content on there just for the sake of doing it. What they didn’t realize at the time was how to properly use the internet to provide content to millions of viewers and readers, instead of simply thousands. 

Now the World Wide Web has become a tool of promotion and advertisement revenue, versus what it could of become, a platform for new and innovative content.

There are some pushes against the grain, but for the most part, news outlets just post copies of stories, hoping to gain traction for their print editions, when in 10 years it’s the print editions that will be gone. 

So, with nervous optimism, the future of journalism, me and my classmates, will watch and see what Jeff Bezos will do to our careers. What I ask of them, and myself, is that when the change does happen, we embrace it and not fear it. 

 

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About joemartin2014

J-student at Arizona State University, and pursing a minor in business as well.

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