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Huddersfield 14/15 JPP online journalism lecture

Journalism and the internet

Richard Jones

on 15 September 2014

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Transcript of Huddersfield 14/15 JPP online journalism lecture

Journalism and the internet
Contact me
Email: R.L.Williams-Jones@hud.ac.uk
Twitter: @rlwjones
Blog: richardjonesjournalist.com
Office: JM3/08
Today's lecture
The news business in trouble?
New trends in journalism
New players in the market
What happens next?
But in 30 years or so, we've gone from this.
To this.
The news business in trouble?
Back in 1981, the future seemed a long way off.
The news business is facing major challenges brought about by new technology and changing consumer habits.
Going for audience
Going global
New players in the market
What happens next?
Blogging platforms
The risks of doing nothing
But the skills you learn here will be as important as ever
Lessons from music
Building an audience
Experiments on new platforms
New trends in journalism
The Washington Post, the world-famous newspaper that gave us these guys.
Was bought last year by Jeff Bezos of Amazon for £160m. Just eight years ago, that would only have got you this, rather less well-known paper.
Meanwhile, Tumblr, the blogging platform that brings you things like this.
Was bought by Yahoo last year for £700m.
Think about all the different ways you consume news, often without realising it's actually 'news'.
This helps explain why fewer people are buying newspapers. In the UK, circulation is down about 30% in the last ten years.
The Daily Mail has aimed to make its website as popular as possible. By keeping it free and focusing on showbiz, it's become the biggest English language newspaper site in the world, even though it's very different to the printed paper.
The Guardian, despite being a relatively small British paper, has used the internet to become a global voice of liberal values. It's in the top five most read newspaper sites.
New ways of doing news
Online allows much greater flexibility, so new ways of telling stories are appearing. Liveblogs are proving especially popular.
iPad versions of news sites are now common. Publishers see them as a way of making money, to make up for losses in circulation revenue.
Freely-available platforms including Wordpress, Blogger and Tumblr, make it possible for people with little technical knowledge to set up good-looking websites to publish news.
In the past, you'd have needed to be an expert in coding to do this. But now, anyone can be a publisher.
Often, these websites publish information about a particular niche interest or local area, which no longer, or never did, make it into newspapers.
Social media makes it easier for people to find and share these websites. They don't have to read 'general interest' papers on the off-chance there might be one or two articles that interest them.
If you're a football fan, you used to have to get the local paper to get information about the club. Now, you might get it directly from the club, or on a forum where you can feel part of a community.
According to some estimates, the Money Saving Expert forum has more active daily users in the UK than Twitter.
People read newspapers for all sorts of reasons, from the TV listings to the crossword puzzles. But we mainly rely on papers to do investigative journalism. Without that, our democracy won't function as well.
The News of the World hacked phones. But its closure means one newspaper which often carried out high-profile investigations is gone.
But this applies on a local level too. Without newspapers, who would cover local court hearings and council meetings?
Arguably, there are some similarities between the news business today and music a decade ago.
With the help of Apple's iTunes, the music industry was able to find a way to make sure customers continued to pay for music.
The music business is very different now, but people still make a living from it. So there's no reason to believe people will ever stop reporting the news. But for newspapers, a 'silver bullet' along the lines of iTunes is proving tough to find.
Where do you get your news from?
The Guardian calls this 'open journalism'. So, a journalist isn't the only person writing a story: the process is opened up to readers and others.
Media companies are desperate to get their stories in front of people like you, on the platforms you use. Because you're not going to grow up to be like your parents.
Direct messaging is big. WhatsApp was bought by Facebook earlier this year for $19 BILLION. It's no surprise news companies are trying to work out ways to use it.
How is this different to your parents and grandparents?
We use our smartphones for just about everything. Journalism is no exception.
Being aware of how to use your smartphone in a professional way is a vital part of the toolkit for any modern journalist.
Full transcript