What Journalists Need to do to Endure the Digital Age


Journalism has been one the most affected job fields since the internet became mainstream. While not a new feeling for journalists given how technology has often dictated how their message is spread, and the internet era has been a difficult adjustment for many involved. CBS News’ Scott Pelley is just one of many journalists to offer their take on what journalists can do to ensure the integrity and good standards in their reporting during this transitional era. Pelley referred to American journalism as a house built by others (the previous generations) which modern journalists live in and “it’s on fire”. He notes how this era has made reporters less precise and correct in their stories, something which I agree with as if it is not some misinformation being fed to us to try and beat the competition to web, it’s stories and agencies that have blatant agendas. Pelley doesn’t outright blame reporters and most of the time neither do I, because as he admits their is just as much bad information as their is a wealth of helpful information to aid the accuracy of reports.   He points to the poor reporting in Boston and the negative impact of citizen reporting, in particular because none of the professional news media took the time to examine, verify, or edit the reports to make sure they were accurate. I think the biggest point Pelley makes that I agree with is the idea of social media being rooted in gossip not fact. By that I mean that we tend to believe everything with see on the internet with limited or fact-checking, no backing verification of something being journalistic fact, hell the media has been known now to run with things that appear on the internet as factual journalism. The real problem is lack of verification, that what journalists need to do to ensure their credibility in this new age, whether it’s verifying a quote from a source or making sure a citizen report isn’t fake/non-existent news. There is hope for the future of journalism, but not if fact-checking and due diligence is replaced with errors and complacency. And no the system will never be perfect, but we have allowed the system of journalism to decay or at the very least our reliability, which thankfully journalists can fix. We just need to act smarter, remember that as great as it is to have citizen involvement in journalism, we are still supposed to be the professionals, they aren’t. Time, effort, and fact-checking, if journalists put these aspects back into their reporting (a back to basics if you will), the field of journalism can turn itself around and be the public service it has been for many generations.

Scott Pelley’s Opinions (skip to 11:00 in the video)

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