Tweeting a Dead Horse

11 Apr

I’ve spend a lot of time conversing with my friends. In particular, we like to discuss our respectively bleak outlooks for our future careers. One of such friends is a junior architecture students, and he helped me form an analogy for what’s happening with journalism. Journalists are rapidly being replaced with the world of the Internet, bloggers and “citizen journalists.” Likewise, architecture majors face the worst unemployment rate among graduating college students. The comparison may seem abstract at first, but to clarify the comparison, let me point out that a huge reason why architects are being replaced are because civil engineers are cheaper and can create a product that is easily duplicated. Or as one YouTube user joked, the difference between architects and civil engineers is like comparing Macs and PCs.

Similarly, I think citizen journalists are replacing traditional print journalists, and for all the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, the trendy buzz word world of the Internet is what sells, and will eventually damn the art of journalism, left to the hashtags of Twitter and user produced videos.  Essentially, the argument being made in favor of social media is because it delivers access to sources previously untapped by mainstream media. The problem I have with this is that’s not really different than what an experience journalist does when they cull their sources that they’ve built a rapport with over time. Furthermore, there’s something to be said for professionalism and creating a quality product as opposed to just churning out copy. This is what is being forced through by the Internet, whether it be by Twitter users or journalists faced with deadline pressure who doesn’t have time to create the quality work they may’ve previously been capable of.

And finally, there is the eternal question of whether the public is truly capable of deciding what news should be covered. Through Google Trends you can see what people are really interested in:

 

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One Response to “Tweeting a Dead Horse”

  1. Ronald R. Rodgers April 12, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Quality content is really the key.

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