Online journalism

What I noticed most immediately about the “What Counts as Writing” gallery was that there is one example of a print newspaper (The New York Daily News), yet countless examples of online news. There is the Boston Globe online, the Big Ten Network online, the Wall Street Journal online, notifications from CNN, online headlines, tweets, and blogs all conveying world news. The shift from print to digital publication was driven as much by the readers as it was by the writers. People today want their news quickly, conveniently and on-the-go. As articles began to be published online, every day newspaper readers stopped picking up the paper from their front steps and instead picked up their phones. A cycle ensued causing online journalism to become the norm and print journalism to approach obsoleteness.

As a reader, I generally prefer reading from paper. I don’t like reading books on a kindle or textbooks on my computer. The one exception, however, is reading news articles. I’m somewhat ashamed to say that I initially learn about a lot of important news events via twitter. For example, I read about the Boston Marathon bombings and the Newtown, CT school shooting on twitter and then proceeded to online newspapers to read the full stories. Below are some examples of twitter accounts that I follow, which posted about the Marathon bombings and were my original source of information that day.

Tweets about the Boston Marathon bombings

Eventually, I also turned on the television to watch the news.  I, like most people, want my news quickly. Articles about the marathon bombings were published not even hours after the incident, and once I read about it on twitter, those articles were available to me within seconds of searching for them. For me, reading news articles is not a leisurely activity like reading a book. I only have to look at a screen for a few minutes to read an online news article rather than for the hours it takes to read an online textbook or a novel. The nature of news predisposes it for online publication, but the same cannot be said for all writing.

2 thoughts to “Online journalism”

  1. I definitely agree with the ending sentence of your post. It sums up the uniqueness of news among all the other writing forms and leaves more room for discussion. What makes news different is the idea of instant moment, which is somehow true to other social media forms such as Facebook, Instagram or the blog we are writing now. It records the instant thought that might change even in the same day, but it is true at that very moment. Without social media, we will not have the platform to express the immediate feeling or keep the momentary inspiration. Writing is one of all the other existences that are changing with the change of our society. A knife has two sides, so do online journalism and social media writing. Not as many people are still reading print news while enjoying a cup of coffee; instead, more of us are attracted by the pushed online news on the way from home to the bus station. We are sure benefited by the quick spread of news, but at the same time lose the part of news as a life style. We are more connected and able to tell others about things happened in the last second, but are also on the way to, as Sherry Turkle said, “Alone Together”.

    I just realized how influential writing is in our society. It affects all aspects of our lives, and it seems that we are all connected by writing. In this particular moment, you, I or someone else is writing to describe, to express, to tell, and to deliver. In this way, writing is like a giant net that draws us together, and allows us to tell the uniqueness of ourselves.

  2. Hi Christina!

    I noticed a lot of the same patterns as you did within the “What Counts” Gallery. I found it really interesting, but not all too surprising, that so many of the gallery examples originated digitally. For college students especially, whose worlds revolve around their computer screens, it makes sense that students initially associate written material with the digital world. You do a great job of presenting this ongoing cycle of online journalism becoming the norm, but I’m curious, what is your opinion on it? Online news is just one category in a plethora of online material; how do you feel about the majority of what you’re reading being transmitted from a screen?

    In high school, I would read the newspaper (in print) every morning as I ate breakfast at my kitchen table. Without consciously realizing it, I was keeping tabs with what was happening in the world. But at the time, it just felt like habit. Today, at school, I don’t receive a print newspaper. My news comes mostly from the Skimm (the short email news blurb subscription sent out daily) and from CNN’s twitter account. I didn’t realize how much I appreciated my print newspaper until I lost the privilege of accessing it every day. It makes me question how much I can consider the online news sources I read every day legitimate “writing.”

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