Look left and right, back and forth. What do you see? Everywhere you go there is some form of technology that has helped in advancing civilization. Whether it be a car, cellphone or skyscraper, technology is a staple in today’s society. This includes in the workforce, specifically journalism.
Journalism has seen many changes since its first debut in 1556 when a European government published a written notice to its people. The notice was handwritten newsletters, typically used for political, military and economic information. Although a good concept, there were not many literate people back then, making it hard for the message to be brought across. Journalism has changed dramatically since the time of handwritten news for government purposes.
From handwritten, to printing press, to radio, to television and now social media and the internet; the oldest form of journalism no longer meets today’s characteristics of the writing art. News, today, is intended for information on the happenings of the country and the world. People are more interested in staying current on the news developing around them. Had technology not helped journalism evolve, news would be much hard to come across.
The technology that has advanced journalism, from the outside, appears to be a significant benefit to those working in the field. However, there are many new aspects, updates, and software that has to be learned for the media professionals giving people their news.
Editors at AC Business Media in Fort Atkinson sat down to discuss the advancements they have seen in digital media, and how those variations have changed the way they reach their audiences. The main change they have seen is the format of the content they are putting out, because of the implementation of news on social media platforms. “In reality, social media is making our jobs harder,” says Eric Servais, publisher. “We have to put out more news to keep the interest of our audience.”
Twitter, in particular, is now known as a social platform used primarily for news information. Therefore, in order to reach that demographic, journalists are needing to put information on that platform, and learn new aspects of social media that will increase sales, subscriptions, views, and followers on their page.
Additionally, journalists are seeing that they are putting out more content weekly, because their followers are needing a quick fix of information. Amy Wunderlin, editor, says, “print is our main focus, but we are also needing to publish more. Our customers are always wanting more. If that means putting out more newsletters each week, then we’ll do it.” Although social media means more work, there has also been a rise in interest. Jessica Lombardo, editor, explains that journalists are able to use the new digital media and technology to interact more wholesomely with their audiences. Before, journalists were guessing on what material readers were wanting to see. Now, they can view website analytics and monitor post engagement to determine what type of news is interesting viewers.
For industry veterans, social media was not always around. Becky Jolliffe, editor, remembers times when her magazine was in a rough patch, because readers were not seeing the content that they desired. Today, she is able to see attitude changes toward her social media posts and website views, and tailors her content towards those topics.
The journalism industry has changed drastically from the age of newspapers to what it is today. Consumers are able to interact on a more individualistic level with editors on social media and journalist can interact with consumers to determine their interests. Although some industry veterans prefer the hard copy style of journalism, they understand the importance of tailoring their company to the technological generation, which ultimately benefits the publication.