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What's changing in the digital media landscape?

February 24, 2015

I was asked to talk to college students about how digital media is changing journalism at last week's Illinois College Press Association conference in Chicago.

 

I might have been easier to address how it it not changing -- though I'm not sure I can think of a single aspect that has been immune.

 

Since I only had 30 minutes and not 30 years, I narrowed it down to what I thought was the Big 5.

 

1. Control

We controlled what people read and when they read it. Now they control it all.

 

2. Words
We thought our words were worth their weight in gold; quantity meant quality. Now it's about telling the story in as few words as possible -- or even none at all (video).

 

3. Trust
We used to be the guardians. People trusted us, came to use to fight their fights. Now they've found their own voice and ability to be heard. On the flip side, digital platforms have given access to misinformation and scams; we have damaged our credibility by repeating inaccurate information.

 

4. Ethics
Many journalists have succumbed to temptation and pressure to be first and plagiarized and/or fabricated material. Staffing cuts has made it easier to not get caught, despite technology making it easier to track.

 

5. Data
Readership consumption data used to be infrequent, generalized and inaccessible. Digital journalism lets us measure everything, which is both good and bad.

 

What would be on your top five list?

 

Here's my PPT from the session: ICPA Understanding digital media

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