Journalism is Only Dead if You Let it Go

As a journalism student, I’ve asked myself that dreaded, unfortunate question. 

Is journalism dead? 

By Nadine Cafaro 

If you search “journalism” and “dying,” almost the entire first page fills up with news articles about the significance of the news and media. Publications like The New Yorker, The Washington Post and The Guardian have covered it; gazing upon the facts regarding the steady decline of journalism. According to Pew Research Center, newsroom jobs fell by 25% from 2008 to 2018. Specifically, this coincides with the decline in newspapers and the rise in digital media. 

Except to me, what’s really dying is the public’s trust in the media. While thinking this through, I’ve concluded that people would rather scroll through their Facebook feed at midnight without fact checking or attaining credibility than pay dollar amounts for reputable publication subscriptions. This was said eloquently by New York Times Chairman Arthur Ochs Sulzberger.

“The world will always need more quality reported journalism.” 

In a way, it’s motivating for me. I’ve pushed myself to learn authentic and ethical techniques to approach the rapidly changing media lifestyle we call journalism. It’s easy to blame the loss of print, but it’s way more than that. Also, don’t confuse what I’m saying–there is still an extreme significance to slowly turning the pages of your local newspaper. 

To go into this field knowing that I have to be over-qualified, reputable and well-prepared is not exactly terrifying, but it does come with a little bit of fear. Entering a world where people pay more for Netflix than they do the news seems very offsetting. Maybe though, this is where I come in: fighting to make people care about well reported journalism again. 

How does one do it? Now, I didn’t get that far–but I have put together some ideas on how to get people to click on a reputable news website and trust what they’re reading. Being incredibly honest with your readers is extremely beneficial for publications. Keeping a reporter’s notebook, writing endnotes or even just disclaiming anything can help someone feel like they can trust your writing. Be transparent. There is nothing more relieving than knowing someone’s reporting process. Some of the best articles I’ve read are interactive with the reader. 

I would just like to report news.

Stay neutral. Some of the biggest publications in the world are known to only report news in a biased way. As a future reporter, I strive to work for publications that are fair, kind and ethical. I would just like to report news. 
There are 1,000 other tips that I could provide–and I’m only a student. The one way to prevent journalism from dying is to acknowledge its significance in the world and then, to never let it go.

Nadine Cafaro

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