Four Trends to Watch in Journalism Today
A new model of journalism is sweeping the country, and even celebrities are betting their careers on it. High-profile journalists and editors left legacy newsrooms to join all-digital startups. Their departures sparked an industry ripple and gave rise to the optimism that real change was here. Yet, these new trends are causing more harm than good. Here are four trends to watch in journalism today. This article explores some of these trends.
In a recent study, researchers from the University of Southern California and Princeton University examined the rise of political polarization in the news media. They examined whether citizens are divided by their partisan opinions and whether this leads to conflict and distrust. Their research showed that Americans are not as polarized as elected officials. In addition to analyzing the causes of polarization, they are also mentoring students on ways to change attitudes.
Some researchers say that polarization is good for society when it represents diverse groups and communities. For example, if the media focuses on the opposing political views, such as environmentalists and greens, it may be beneficial to society. Others say that polarization can be harmful for democracy. Researchers say that if we understand how journalists can better balance polarity, we can improve the news industry and our society as a whole.
Increasing reliance on social media
The role of social media in journalism is growing, with 51% of journalists saying that they couldn’t do their jobs without it. Regardless of what journalists say, the role of social media in reporting news has changed. As Chris Martin, a public relations expert with 20 years of experience, pointed out, news organizations are finding ways to make their presence known on social media. One of the most notable examples is that he became friends with a health reporter in Chicago through Facebook.
Despite its benefits, social media isn’t without its drawbacks. The fact that social media is so accessible, diverse and open makes it a particularly dangerous news source. It can lead to false news, and depending on the target audience, can be dangerous. Moreover, media is consumed at a rapid rate, so headlines in social media are discarded quickly, leaving little space for critical analysis.
Increasing reliance on investigative reporting
Investigative reporting has emerged as an important part of journalism today, despite the challenges and costs involved. While it is hard to create a set of universally accepted ethical rules, certain standards are accepted by many. Legal implications are more obvious, while ethical issues involve defining right from wrong. Regardless of the nature of the reporting, ethical frameworks are necessary to justify any decision, and to determine who benefits from the findings.
While the primary purpose of investigative reporting is to provide information about public affairs, this method is not without merit. It contributes to democratic governance by making the public aware of important issues and holding the government accountable for their actions. Investigative reporting also reminds citizens of issues, which they may otherwise have been unaware of, resulting in judicial and congressional action. However, the most valuable investigative reporting is balanced, with a variety of perspectives.
Changing relationships between journalists and public relations professionals
The relationship between journalists and public relations practitioners is ambiguous and complex. It is characterized by mutual cooperation and conflict, as both parties are engaged in the exchange of resources and information. The two groups are reliant on each other, but this interdependence also produces conflicts. The extent of dependence may also change. For example, journalists might become more loyal to public relations practitioners, or vice versa. In either case, they have a stake in promoting a client’s message.
However, the relationship between journalists and public relations professionals remains a challenge. In my research, I have interviewed many journalists and editors from various media outlets to determine what worked best for them and what did not. The interviews showed that there were a range of opinions on how journalists should interact with public relations professionals. Some journalists feel that journalists are more interested in PR professionals who are honest and direct, and they would prefer to work with someone who is straightforward and accessible.