News Story: The Technology Revolution and the Fait of Journalism Careers

Elen McCabe ponders at the internet.  She wonders if she'll be able to pursue a journalism career purely from online resources available.

Elen McCabe ponders if she’ll be able to pursue a journalism career purely from online resources available.

With the progression of technology, the fate of journalism careers looks to be on the rocks.  Nowadays everyone has some sort of smartphone with the ability to record news as it happens and post it on social media for the world to see.  One has to wonder if journalism as a profession is changing with this technological uproar: why send a reporter out if people already there can snap away at the scene and instantly give the internet first hand news?

I sat down with Georgie Cuming who has dreams of becoming a overseas correspondent.  She is worried that the influx of social media and the rise of smart phones may harm her chances, “It’s definitely not growing, that’s for sure,” states Georgie, “If you have a phone you can get a good enough quality video or photograph, so why would they need to send me to report overseas.  I probably would have better luck working from home on a blog.”

Alannah Mackenzie aspires to work in the fashion industry, though she is on the fence if the rise of the internet is going to aid or prohibit her career dreams she realizes she can’t avoid it, “Honestly, I think it could help, you can connect to so many more people and see what fashion trends are happening and what people are wearing, just by the click of a button.” voices Alannah. The fashion industry still has so many “live” events and to be a fashion journalist you need to be at the shows and in the hub of it all.  For Alannah, she doesn’t fear the rise of technology will effect her goals in the fashion industry, “there will always be fashion, and technology may effect it but I can’t see it being negative.”

Like fashion, the environmental side of journalism also won’t be too effected by the changing access to journalism, or so thinks Zoe Burns.  “I want to work with giving the environment a voice and making sure people know how we are damaging this world. I don’t think the new found accessibility to news will hinder my chances of getting a job.  Who would take my job of environmental journalism?” questions Zoe. It’s an avenue that wouldn’t be as affected like working overseas.

Journalism in general is a career of endless possibilities. Yes, it may be changing but maybe new types of journalism could sprout from it. Elen McCabe is interested in being a travel journalist and she attributes technology and the easy access of information for inspiring her, “I realize I’m dreaming big because so many people want to travel and be a journalist.  I know it will be hard to make money but social media has made it easy for you to get your work out there.  My worry is getting noticed with a unique blog or idea to get my foot in the door,” beams Elen.  A door that would have never even been there without the technological revolution.

So since there is no turning back on this social media era, might as well embrace having access to news in mere seconds of it happening.  Some fields of journalism will be hindered as jobs aren’t as plentiful; however, some other avenues are sure to thrive in this technological revolution.

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Aggregation #2: Newsstands No More

There is something comforting about grabbing the daily paper from your local newsstand on the daily commute to work.  But, with technology only advancing the glory of the newsstand is becoming obsolete. Economically it is a simple concept: people are not buying newspapers as readily so the profit isn’t there for the small businesses. Production has a cost and staff must be payed but without profit it’s hard to pay staff, and due to the technological revolution newspapers, and all printed journalism for that matter, are becoming out of date.

The little mum and pop shops that many of us remember so fondly are not seeing much hope in the near future.  Whether or not print dies, its business model will.  For all printed media, have it be newspapers, book, magazines, or CDs, the profit is not what it used to be.

Not everything is bad though. Despite a lack of the warm fuzzy feelings of  not being able to pick up a paper from the local newsstand, this technological future has some cool verses up its sleave.  For example, virtual newsstands are becoming a big fad and there are many advantages to virtual news.  For example, there is no lag time, with technology you can get news nearly immediately. As many have probably seen on social media, it is a sure way to get the latest breaking news almost instantly.

As we move into the future, both time and money are what the world revolves around, and if the e-paper and social media are the best threads and cheap and speedy, naturally society is going to progress that way.

Even Apple has a Newsstand App, which lets you find, buy, and subscribe to magazines and newspapers.  Many would argue that nothing compares to hold a real newspaper in your hands, but it looks like technology is taking over and there’s not much we can do about it.

Aggregation #1: Facebook Knows You. Did You Know?

We are all victims of scrolling though our Facebook newsfeeds aimlessly, but when you stop and think about it, how often are you affected by the news that is presented on your personal newsfeed?  It always seems to be the same types of articles.  That’s because Facebook controls what comes up in one’s newsfeed by an algorithm. This means that what you have previously clicked on will depend on your what shows up in the present. This could have a huge affect on what types of news you hear.

A lot of people who log onto Facebook are seeing certain news for the first time, before seeing it on TV or other internet sources.  You see news and then won’t look elsewhere because everyone is preoccupied with other things, and it’s a good way to know what is going on. In the US, 64% of the population use Facebook, and 30% of those users get their news from it. Which can be described at an incidental experience, as 78% of Facebook users see news on their newsfeeds when they are on Facebook in the first place for other reasons.

Facebook’s algorithm helps to make your newsfeed tailored to you but what you see also depends on how often to click on links and what links are put up. There is something to be said about the placing of context on a Facebook page as well.  Studies show that the users click rate on hard news is affected by how and where the link is positions on one’s page.  If a post is placed at the top of one’s homepage it is 10-15% more likely to be clicked on. There are also filters for cross-cutting hard news that wouldn’t agree with your views.

News gest more biased as it passes though social media.  There is nothing we can really do expect be aware that what you see when you open up your newsfeed is based on what an algorithm equates you enjoy with a bit of controversy to your views to spice it up once in a while.

UOW Student Profile: A Sail Tale

Nothing will stop Annalisa from sailing, even an unfortunate event in the Caribbean.

Nothing will stop Annalisa from sailing, even an unfortunate event in the Caribbean.

On a smooth summertime morning, Annalisa Kristofferson set sail with her boyfriend to the Caribbean.  By all accounts it was a holiday made for the gods, but a combination of bad luck and awful timing led for a memoriable tale to tell.

An avid sailor since a young age, Annalisa sails with her varsity sailing team back at the University of North Carolina.  Coming on exchange to UOW has given her a break from sailing which she admits, “It’s really hard to not sail the amount I’m used when here in Wollongong.  I’ve been though a lot on the water, but I’m still pretty fearless in the ocean, and crave being in open water.”  She explains how she has gone out on the water for a couple sails in The Gong but nothing compared to amount she sails back home.

So what happened on that sailing trip down to the Caribbean?  “It really opened my eyes to how much we are unaware of in any given moment” she chuckles and gazes down not having touched her overstepped coffee.

With Annalisa and her boyfriend both being well versed and experienced sailors they set off with an encyclopaedia of knowledge between the them, “We’ve done many sailing trips together before so we were just excited to take a break from work and school.”

They set off on a gusty morning in mid July.  “The first coupe days were like living in a dream.  We would wake up for sunrise and watch it over the Atlantic. Then we’d anchor the boat and jump in the crystal waters and swim to the pristine deserted beaches.” Sounds like luxurious vacation: tropical sun and loving company.

On one of their last nights, the couple were lying outside star gazing, and they had yet to ancour the boat for the night. “It’s really blissful, being in the open ocean at night. It’s always been one of my favourite things,” she beams.Suddenly the wind picked up, a rumble of thunder was heard off in the distance, and alas a wet drizzle started to set in. The couple quickly gathered their things and hurried to get closer to shore to moor.

“And then I just fell in, “gushes Annalisa.  “It was so slippery and I wasn’t thinking about that and I just slipped and, boom, fell in the dark ocean. My boyfriend turn around and panicked when he saw I had fallen.  Luckily he helped me out with out much trouble, though I was really in shock.  I lost my camera cause it was in my hand when I fell, and all the memories of that trip.”

She admits that thinking back to that experience it was pretty funny.  But explains that the initial shock still gives her shivers when she thinks about if the outcome wasn’t as lucky, “It is pretty scary falling into the dark ocean at night time.  Not only was it cold but what it there was a shark?  Or, what if my boyfriend wasn’t there to throw a life ring to me?” The possibilities are endless but she likes to brush it off as experience.

“I’m definitely more careful now when I’m on a boat, especially at night. I can’t help but to think of when I fell off the boat in the Caribbean.”  A lesson to be learned and an expierience worth remembering, Annalisa hopes to sail back to America from Australia after her exchange. “I want to, but I’ll make sure I don’t fall in The Pacific.” She laughs and she takes her first sip of coffee.