Our state of media is evolving, not devolving
Eric Zavinski — Editor in Chief
Over the years in my journalism career, spanning several jobs in numerous organizations, I have continuously heard one sentiment from the publics reading us: the media is changing.
And I absolutely agree. Journalism is transitioning into a new, modern age faster than it ever has made a switch before.
It took decades for television news to compete with the medium of print; from the onset of the internet, it took years for online news distribution to actually become the primary way young people obtain information through social media, but now it seems what is changing is not so much the way news travels or the information itself, but rather the mass public opinion regarding the profession of reporting it, what we call “journalism.”
Many audiences I have encountered throughout my career are quick to assume that I am a part of a dying industry. “Print is dying, isn’t it?” they will ask. “Everything is moving online.”
Even if that does not turn out to be the case, the viewer or reader will be quick to jump on what I like to call the “slippery slope” reputation aspiring journalists will fall into according to some news consumers.
With an increased prevalence of “fake news” as outlined by everyone from the current presidential administration of our country to news outlets themselves attacking each other with the moniker, the image of the journalist in much of the collective mindset has devolved from that of the public defender and watchdog looking out for the less powerful sheep to that of the misleading radical who must be intent on forcing the sheep — the modern audience in this metaphor — to think a certain way depending on which channel one has turned on.
The unexpectedly wonderful thing about this change in how the media and its professionals are perceived however is just that: perception. We can all choose to view the news as if it is on that “slippery slope” of irresponsible reporting and careless online perusal from readers, viewers and listeners alike.
Again, that is up to us. It starts with institutions small in reach and humble in its small-town beginnings like The Clarion Call is. It also starts with readers willing to take that dive back into learning; a desire to know the news and not just be distracted by it is the first step among many on the path toward understanding the world we live in.
In that sense, the evolving state of news media is as optimistic as we want it to be. And for us at this paper, that is an exciting prospect to say the least. So throughout this year, shall you come on this journey with me and learn the next steps toward making the world a slightly better place with some actual truth?
If you want that, then let us get to it!