The quickly changing state of the news media

Recently, the Pew Research Center released their State of the News Media for 2014, and found some not- so-surprising facts (at least to me) about the current state of the media.

Following a few scary years where a lot of jobs in journalism seemed to be disappearing, this new report gives a positive view into the future of journalism. I think this shows the industry has been adapting well to changes in technology that once threatened to knock out journalism.

Overall, they found digital media is rapidly expanding. This is not surprising considering most people are walking around with mini-computer in their pockets.

Here are some highlights of the findings from the report:

  •  Local broadcast news is still the most widely used place for adults to find news and saw an increase in viewership. But because most of these stations are being bought up by bigger companies (like how Sinclair Broadcasting owns 167 stations in 77 markets), we are seeing more and more companies use the exact same newscasts and reporting.
  • Online news video is growing and ad revenues tied to them grew 44% from 2012 to 2013.
  • Nearly 50% of social media users share or repost news stories, images and videos.
  • Many digital news sites (like Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post and Vice) are expanding to have overseas reporting. Many news sources are also expanding to have a Hispanic version of their publications or sites, due to the growing population of Hispanic people in the United States.

So for all of the haters of the journalism field, this should prove to you journalism isn’t a dying industry! We are changing our process to adapt to advance technology to get you reliable news in fast and creative ways. Watch out for what we’ll be doing in the future!

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The changing process of journalism; What does the future look like?

Technological advancements are necessary for the culture and society of the world. Without new inventions, we would still be stuck in the stone age and the world would be unchanging.

Now, many people would say we’re living in the digital age. Communication has never been easier, information is at the tips of our fingertips, and we walk around with small computers that can help us organize our lives. Technology allows our lives to move quickly, which has many implications for a lot of aspects of society.

Apple iPhone

Apple iPhone (Photo by AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

We The Media, by Dan Gillmor, is a 2006 book about the changing system of journalism, and how it has been greatly affected by the rise of the internet.

First of all, access to capturing, creating content and finding news is easier than ever. We’re in a time where wearable technology, like Google Glass, will give us a way to essentially wear a computer.

As Gillmor puts it; “At one time, an individual with an issue had few options. He could stand on the corner and rant, or post a sign, or write a newsletter, or pen a letter to the editor. Today, if his argument is sufficiently moving and/or backed up with facts, the tools at his disposal can make it a global phenomena(pg 64).”

An example of how this is becoming popular is Neal Augenstein, a journalist who only uses his iPhone for reporting. He takes images and records audio on this, and he says it has little effect on quality.

The process of journalism has sped up greatly with the introduction of the internet, but that also means almost anyone can be considered a ‘journalist,’ or what is considered a ‘citizen journalist.’

There are pros and cons to citizen journalism. One advantage is that breaking news is captured by people actually experiencing it. Social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook, make it so easy to share a video or photo with the world.

But a disadvantage of citizen journalism is the fact they are not trained in ethics or how to be transparent in their works. With the spread of information being so fast, wrong or opinionated content can be distributed to a lot of people, and they might not double check their sources.

Overall, technology has given my generation so many opportunities to gain information, and make news ourselves. Finding out what is wrong with the world and reporting on it has given a rise to activism. Now more that ever, we need to figure out how to use technology in the best way possible.

3D Printing: Technology with some pros and cons

3D printing is a technique that has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years, but a lot of people aren’t really sure how it works or what the implications are.

After learning that Cornell had built a fully functional speaker using this 3D printing technique, I was interested in learning more.

3D printing is part of the additive manufacturing technology family. Additive manufacturing refers to the layering technique a machine uses to add layers to an object that it has the dimensions for. I like to compare it to using a scanner, if scanners had the capability to give us actual objects. Based on what the object is, different materials can go into the machine to make the object.

Here’s a good webpage if you want to learn more about the process.

The possibilities of what we are able to do with this technology are pretty much endless, and many scientists think 3D printers will be available for home use in a short time. All sorts of markets can make products fast and easy. People at home could possibly make things like fitted shelves with just a blueprint and the click of a button.

3D printing has many implications for medicine as well. For example, last March, a patient who had lost part of his skull was able to replace it with a piece of  prosthetic plastic that was custom made to fit his skull from a 3D printer.

But like many great technologies, there is also the possibility it can be used for things not so positive.

When blueprints for a 3D plastic gun were made, the gun was shot, and the plans were uploaded online in 2012, the US State Department quickly took them off of the internet. This move was made because they didn’t want to risk the wrong people getting their hands on the plans and making mass amount of non-trackable guns.

While this is a completely reasonable fear, I think there are so many advancements we can make in different parts of human living, 3D technology is something that should be researched and implemented with some regulation.