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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