A response: The disruption of old media by new.

This week I enjoyed two videos that explore issues surrounding the future of journalism. The first was a discussion with respected media academics David Carr and Andrew Lack, the second was a TED Talk by Tom Rosenstiel, an author and media critic.

The beginning of Tom Rosenstiel’s address at the TEDxAtlanta struck me. He began with a question that he is frequently asked: “Is the disruption caused by digital technology to journalism, making the world worse or better?”

My attention was grabbed immediately, the sound of that particular word, disruption, leaving a funny taste in my mouth.

Since I began my studies into Communication & Media roughly two years ago, the word disruption has never had a place in describing the relationship between new and old media. There are instances when often it seems as though new media might pose a threat to traditional sources, however, more often than not, both instances work in conjunction with each other, using each others strengths to improve. It is my belief, and as Rosenstiel soon goes on to say, that new technology is permitting an old medium to grow and develop with the times.

We undoubtedly live in a world of instantaneous communication and information. If we want to know something, we find out at the touch of a button from home, our workplace or when we’re out at lunch – everything we need to know is as mobile as we are. This is the main strength that I feel new media is bringing to journalism. Rosenstiel goes on to talk about the fact that previously (when traditional media like newspapers reigned supreme) we had to adapt our behaviour to get news. We had to be up early to catch the morning news breakfast banter or be home by 6pm to watch the nightly news. But today, the news (and any other information we desire) is accessible wherever and whenever we have a need for it.

It is with these points that I feel strongly about the use of the word disruption in this instance. New media hasn’t disrupted the way we gather news – it has ushered and helped traditional media grow into something much larger and all round better than it was before.

 

References:

Rosenstiel, T 2013, The Future of Journalism, TEDx Online Video, YouTube, Accessed 18 April 2014 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuBE_dP900Y&gt

bu, 2014, NYT’s David Carr on the Future of Journalism, Online Video, YouTube, Accessed 18 April 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WPlazqH0TdA&gt

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Creative Cities…we’re in them!

Unsure as to what constituted a ‘creative city’, I was led to the UNESCO website by Andy Pratt’s article, “The Cultural Contradictions of the Creative City”. Pratt states, “we need to appreciate the diversity of objectives and practices that constitute creative cities, and for this diversity to become the foundation of a learning process. One way to encourage this process and outcome might be to become a member of the UNESCO creative cities network” (2011).

After researching UNESCO and the work they do I was quickly impressed with their principles and resulting feats. Founded during a time of great physical and political turmoil, 1945, UNESCO was created to establish peace “on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity” (unesco.org, 2014).

The solidarity between global cities is something that UNESCO strives for; the same aims are evident in the ‘Creative Cities Project’, which operates in central European countries. The initiative uses creative industry workers who have “high, but often unrecognised potential” (creativecitiesproject.eu, 2014), and implements them to work for the betterment of themselves and their community which then impacts their employment opportunities for the better. Aims of the project include: ‘improve their external visibility through transnational marketing and networking’ and to ‘exploit potentials in the development of decayed urban areas through the allocation of creative industries in those city districts’.

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An image I took of a building being used to canvas projections at Vivid 2013.

This last aim conjured memories of June last year when I braved the cold with a friend and visited Vivid Sydney: Light Music Ideas. This festival uses buildings as a canvas and splashes light and colour in a series of installations, transforming the city into a colourful playground. “It is a summit, forum and playground for the world’s creative industries –a time to celebrate, collaborate, experiment, conduct business and showcase how creativity changes everything” (vividsydney.com, 2014).

 

These initiatives celebrate the ingenuity and potential of creative industries, including job creation and cultural diversity. And until now I was unaware of the abundance of projects that bring together artists, industries and the community. It’s exciting to think that these initiatives are only going to grow, continuing to innovate and expand our perceptions of aesthetics.

REFERENCES:

– Pratt, A 2011, “The cultural contradictions of the creative city,” City, Culture and Society 2 pp. 123–130

– Creative Cities Project 2014, Accessed at: http://www.creativecitiesproject.eu/en/output.shtml

– UNESCO 2014, Accessed at: http://en.unesco.org/

 

Campus Crusade

ImageThe crux of our concept marries real space and the cyber realm, with the outcome of a mini game resulting in the allocation of real territory. This isn’t like an ordinary game that relies on points and coins – the winner gains status with their name/avatar being displayed on the game map, essentially ‘owning’ those real spaces. The more territory you own – the cooler you are! With no real score-based system displayed to the players, the game awards territory to the winning player…but also takes into account their number of previous wins to losses. 
To win, the current ruler of a space/territory, the challenger must move into that area and play a mini game against another present player. This fosters social interaction between players and also prompts them to move to new areas in order to gain more territory. Initial brainstorming saw our game ideas skyrocket, but to bring the concept back down to earth, we’ve decided to make it available only at UOW.

The Future of Journalism

Adopting new technology and evolving with the rise of citizen journalism, the scene of news outlets has incurred a massive overhaul from its traditional beginnings. The public now realises that information is abundant – anyone can report news and publish it to public forum. Whilst there is a growing trend for people to gather their news from multiple platforms, the fact that there is such a copious amount of information makes it essentially worthless.

In today’s day and age, news can be gathered anywhere, anytime and just as easily be published by anyone. For this reason, the authenticity and fact that traditional media must adhere to censorship guidelines makes the public more trusting.

An article by the American press institute (also referenced above) on how Americans choose to get their news, states that it all depends on the story. Whilst computers and mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular to gather information, people still turn to print media for coverage of certain topics. “Peoples turn to newspapers, whether in print or online, more than any other source specified… But they are most likely to turn to newspaper media for news about their local town or city, for news about arts and culture, and for news about schools and education” (American Press Institute, 2014).

It’s interesting to note this theory of audience trust issues. John Pavlik discusses in his article, ‘Innovation and the Future of Journalism’ the gradual take over of print news that followed the rise of online media. He outlines four techniques that he theorizes will help news media grow and develop:

creating, delivering and presenting quality news content; engaging the public in an interactive news discourse; employing new methods or reporting optimized for the digital, networked age; and developing new management and organisational strategies for a digital, networked and mobile environment” (2013).

So, whilst new technology plays a part in how we gather and utilize news, it is its it’s symbiotic relationship with traditional media that engages a trusting and satisfied readership.

 

References:

Pavlik, J 2013, ‘Innovation and the future of Journalism’, Digital Journalism, pp. 181-191.

American Press Institute 2014, ‘The Personal News Cycle: How Americans Choose to get their News’ Accessed at: http://www.americanpressinstitute.org/publications/reports/survey-research/personal-news-cycle/