The transition from old journalism into new

3 Apr

The differences between old and new journalism are stark. They couldn’t be shown in any more contrast than they are at Penn State University. The 112-year-old campus newspaper, “The Daily Collegian” has found itself competing with the newer, much smaller blog “Onward State.” Though the “Onward State” has a staff a tenth the size of the Collegian’s, it is giving the old paper serious competition.

“Onward State” exemplifies new journalism. Its staff has embraced new journalism. They place great importance on their Twitter feed. They used Twitter to interact with readers and develop such a relationship with them that their readers have started to send in story ideas. They also used Twitter to promote their site and get the word out. Unlike traditional newsrooms, “Onward State’s” newsroom doesn’t exist. They also place little importance on money, having used the only money they raised at a fundraiser to fund a staff party.

“The Daily Collegian,” on the other hand, use a more expert based approach. The staff here is hesitant to trust sources they find online and chose to instead use tried and true sources to follow their leads. They use a centralized newsrooms and embrace traditional journalistic beliefs. They don’t promote competitors’ articles like Onward State does. Instead, they opt to pick topics and go very in depth on these topics.

Bridging the gap between these two ideologies is proving to be a challenge for journalists. There is an argument over whether institutions will be able to change to deal with the times or they will have to be completely reinvented. Some people believe that institutions are so vital to society and they will be able to adapt automatically. These people say we have to preserve the most important attributes of newspapers when we are converting into the digital age. The other side of the argument says we need a radical change. Clay Shirky¬†believes that the institutions of tomorrow will come out the experiments we are doing today. The newspaper industry has been interrupted and journalists shouldn’t sit back and watch. We have to come together and reinvent journalism. After all, the most successful inventions are complete surprises. For example, see the printing press.


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