Know the importance of online journalism and associated challenges

Know the importance of online journalism and associated challenges

IN recent years, many parts of individual lives have turned to the online sphere.

With the transition from print to online journalism, news has become more accessible and convenient for millions of Internet users, bringing immediate news coverage of events from all over the world.

According to communication scholars, online journalism has modernised the news industry, keeping it relevant in an increasingly technological age.

‘9News’ Senior Journalist, Freya Noble suggests that the medium of news presenting needs to be just as timely and relevant as the news content itself. “I think the move from print to online journalism is inevitable.

Such huge parts of our lives are now online, and this is only going to continue.

It is how people keep in touch, listen to music, and watch movies, etc., so it makes sense that it is where they also get their news,” he says.

In the current Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of online news coverage is more prominent than ever. Online journalism accessibility has allowed the international community to become closer, connecting consumers with information that they find interesting, in a timely manner.

“If a story is breaking or information needs to be shared quickly, such as during bushfires, floods, or even in the pandemic, that can be done”, Noble reported.

“It allows people to connect and there is a feedback loop which may not be as present in say, newspaper or magazine journalism”.

However, even with the benefits of online journalism, the medium does have its fallbacks. Misinformation can be created and spread quicker than ever before, with any person on the Internet being able to comment on or publish content. Yahoo News Australia Editor Louise Cheer speaks of false information that can easily be spread, by both citizen journalists and trained professionals.

“Anyone can start a website now and grow an audience. This is how misinformation or biased media can become a dominant voice. Also, because the internet is so instantaneous, everybody wants to be "first", so sometimes the pressures of speed lead to mistakes or inaccuracies”.

As the world progresses with its technological advancements, there is a sense of nostalgia for the domination that print journalism previously held.

“What I mourn is the death of print, and that experience of journalism is dying out”, Cheer explained.

“The experience of laying out a newspaper, meeting the deadline of the printer and negotiating more time if you're a couple of minutes late, it was a rush and online is not the same. Still a rush, but it's different”.

● Brianna Raymond is a student of journalism and media at the School of Arts & Sciences, Sydney Campus of University of Notre Dame, Australia.

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