The evolution of journalism taking effect
The news is something we cannot avoid. Everywhere you turn these days, you are surrounded by an endless supply of news.
The field of journalism has been trying to keep up with this fact every day for years, and its had to reinvent itself daily.
Randy Parker, managing editor of the York Daily Record, understands this and has been asking his newsroom to do the same for the last 15 years.
Parker spoke on September 25th as part of the “Reinventing Journalism” event at NCC’s Main campus. The event was sponsored by The Commuter as well as journalism program. It was moderated by Robert Hays, Associated Professor of Journalism.
Parker discussed that journalism is always changing and that the days of reading events in a newspaper and people writing for them are coming to an end.
“We could be right now, in the last generation of reading,” he said. “The written word could be seeing its last days,” Parker explained.
Parker discussed how his newspaper is trying to keep up with all of the newest technological advances such as smart phones and Google Glass. He once told his staff,
“I need you to be able to understand new technology,” he said. “We have to use technology the way the community is using it.”
He also talked about how social media accounts have been “reporting” and helping obtain evidence in criminal events.
One such example was the recent hate crime in Philadelphia where two gay men were attacked while they were simply walking down the street. The guilty party was identified through social media.
Parker’s staff also uses a web service called Geofeedia where they are able to draw a circle in a specific area, such as a county, a college or even a specific room in a building and find social media discussions in that area in real time.
However, journalists can face great ethical problems when working with tools involving technology and social media. Parker says that journalists must remember three things when reporting.
“You must be truthful, accurate, and fair,” he said. “Right always trumps right now.” (In terms of waiting to ensure the correct facts are stated before releasing information.) “Wanting it the ‘old ways’ aren’t ethical in today’s journalism.”
The York Daily Record also has been following another trend in newsrooms across the country. They no longer have copyeditors among their staff members. He claims that copyeditors are now the public who read and critique the stories.
“They’re seeing our notebook,” Parker said.
The future of journalism is changing on a daily, weekly and yearly basis. This progress could make articles easier to access than they already are. One thing is for sure, when that does happen, people like Randy Parker will be ready for it.