The Internet’s Influence on the News Industry

The expansion of high speed broadband has drastically altered that way that many people around the world get their news.  No longer content to wait until the morning paper comes out, we can now log on to a website and get the latest information constantly updated twenty-four hours a day.  In addition, the expansion of the internet has had a profound effect on the number of people that watch the nightly news along with cable news shows. While this medium is more up to date than a newspaper, television still lags behind the internet.

More and more television stations, both large and small, are now pushing their viewers to the web.  While this is the direction that news gathering is headed, it can present a problem for viewers who do not have the internet because they don’t care for it or can’t afford it.  Television stations are also getting viewers to head to their phones and creating mobile apps for news, weather and sports coverage.  In all, only half as many people watch the nightly news as they did twenty-five years ago and news magazine don’t carry the same authority as they used to.  As a result, news consumption has become very fragmented, but the desire and demand for news remains very strong.

There have been some portions of the news business which have been hit particularly hard by the rise in news consumption off the internet.  For example, newsrooms in newspapers have shrunk considerably in the last several years.  In fact, daily newspapers are losing millions of readers while online newspapers are seeing their readership grow by millions. 

The internet is also allowing everyday people to become reporters.

While this is good in some ways, it is negative in others.  For example, with the proliferation of blogs there are now a whole host of people who post their own opinions on matters.  While this is perfectly fine, it is important to note the distinction between what is opinion and what is actually fact dug up by an actual reporter.  On the other hand, the development of the web has led to more iReporters.  These are individuals armed with their own cameras or digital device which they use to record an event then send it to a major news network. 

One thing that hasn’t worked with getting the news from the internet is making readers pay in order to see the content.  This is true in almost all cases with just a few exceptions such as Consumer Reports, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.  As a result, the subscription model for getting online news has been largely discarded by most sites. 

Other sites which have sprung up are those that specialize in certain areas of the news such as politics or entertainment.  These sites have grown so popular that they actually now break stories and have become just as important as traditional news gathering websites.

The future of online news will depend a lot on the faster speeds of an ever expanding internet and it will be interesting to see what happens down the line. 

bljo

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