How the online world has changed journalism

Journalism has always had the ethos of giving you tomorrow’s news today, but whether it has only rung true in the last twenty years is the question that people don’t like to ask. People that aspired to become journalists wanted to find “that story” which uncovered the truth in a society that sought to hide it, but now journalism has become a much broader entity that allows the amateurs to rise up in the new blogging world.

It presents the aspiring professionals with a detrimental question — sink or swim?


No longer do you have to wait for the paper boy to deliver it to your front door, from TV to social media, you can access the nail biting stories in a push of the button. The positives of this mean, that people can be as engaged into the world around them as much as they want to be.

According to the Telegraph, 96% of 13-18 year olds have some form of social media (data correct of Feb 2016), which means that even if they don’t want to, they will see who’s running for prime minister or the outcome of the EU referendum making young people more aware than ever before.

Everyone’s a journalist

Social media plays a major role in the journalism industry which means that anyone can tweet on the spot if they see a building on fire or a cat stuck in a tree. Unless you have a degree certified by the NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists), finding a job in the industry will be difficult and boarder line impossible, but this doesn’t prohibit anyone from starting a blog or writing on a website such as Kettle.

For trainee journalists this is a helpful way to gain some experience and have a flavour for the profession they want to go on to. But there’s also a downfall: people seeking their sources and information online forget that not everything is entirely accurate. Going up to people, asking questions, interviews, and the primary data that used to be valuable and reliable is now a secondary option, the first being “copy and paste.”


Gone were the days of tailing a man with green shoes, facial recognition plays a crucial role in investigative journalism. At first glance, second glance and even third glance using zoom in, technology has developed journalism in a way that no one could have predicted. Any terrorist, murderer, thief, has to borrow an invisibility cloak from Harry Potter himself if being caught is not an option they want to pursue. In a recent news story of Seif Eldin Mustafa’s plane hijack hoax, Ben Innes, a passenger on the plan was able to take a photo with the man himself showing how far the technology we now take for granted has changed the face of news.


Ethics in recent times has become hazed in the world of journalism, putting the integrity of journalists at risk. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have a code of conduct to abide by and the point of “Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means” alongside “Does nothing to intrude into anybody’s private life” have been challenged. Without emails and other forms of online messaging services it would be more difficult to find evidence or even be aware of scandals such as phone hacking. This highlights the point that without the media perhaps we wouldn’t uncover unethical goings on or do these services encourage it?

Paper to (web) page

Conservation of resources or extinction of tradition? This point is applicable to books, music and other handheld parts of the media that are slowly being kicked out of the back door. Personally, I like to hold a book, flick the pages, fold the corner (a controversial notion) of the page I’ve just finished reading but others don’t share the sentiment.

The Kindle: cheaper, lighter, encourages reading, for most it seems a simple choice. Again, both sides are balanced but statistics show that national daily newspaper sales fall by half a million in a year as of March 2015. The newspaper: is it becoming extinct?

Despite all the pros and cons, one thing is for certain, journalism is here to stay.

What do you think? How has the digital landscape has changed journalism? Have your say in the comments section below.