SOCIAL MEDIA KILLING JOURNALISM?

Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air. — Henry Anatole Grunwald

Is Traditional Journalism Dying?

In recent times, we have had the news of Sun Newspapers Sacking Top Editorial Staff, Others 

A day later, we have the the news that AIT Has Sacked 300 Staff Nationwide

Less than a year ago, in June 2017,  Bola Tinubu’s Tv Continental Sacked 145 Staff

As it is in Nigeria, so it is in Australia. Less than a year ago too, and even recently, there were waves of journalists being shown, or about to be shown the door. Have a look.

Newspapers, both the printed and the online are shutting down in cascades. Both in Nigeria and elsewhere. , This leads one to wonder if the journalism profession is becoming extinct, or minimally getting eroded with the indefatiguable March of technology.

Have Social Media Subsumed Journalism?

Have you ever observed how you consume news?  Do you ever comment on an article or relay it via a social platform? What kind of consumer are you? Do hoi look out for the latest online news, or you are a morning coffee / newspaper reader? Do you think that all these modes of news consumption have had a significant impact on the profession of journalists?

Clearly, the use of social media for news broadcast has changed the very essence of the profession.

All this pushes one to ask questions: this overlap between social networks and journalism is it threatening the very existence of this profession, or like somebody said, merely enhances their job?

Social media has introduced the immediacy of information. CNN would say, Be The First To Know. Well, that’s exactly what social media empowers us with.. getting information in seconds, without having to wait for the journalists. .

News has never been more perishable than it is now.  Everything is now delivered in real time. Gone are the days when information was communicated precisely, analyzed rigorously with hindsight and reported once completed. The downside of course is that fake news now pervade everywhere

Internet users have become not only sources of information, but also amateur broadcasters and news producers, and  playing  a significant portion of the role formerly reserved exclusively for journalists.

One of the best-known examples of this is Janis Krums, eyewitness to the landing of a plane on the Hudson River in January 2009. He sent the first picture about this accident to via his account Twitpic.com.

1st tweet announcing the crash of the plane in the Hudson River
This photo has been around the world. Thirty four minutes after his broadcast, he was interviewed live by the MSNBC channel.

This report, New research: Some 198 UK local newspapers have closed since 2005, New research: Some 198 UK local newspapers have closed since 2005, says:

In Addition To The Overall Reduction In The Number Of Titles, The Total Number Of Journalists Working On Local Newspapers Is Reckoned To Have At Least Halved Since 2005 (As Has The Industry’s Revenue).

Clearly something is happening to conventional journalism. Perhaps freelance online journalism and blogging are progressively supplanting this noble profession?

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