Journalism and the media applications we use and how we use them are changing whether we want it to or not. The younger generation is doing their own reporting on national events or the chicken salad they had for lunch through blogs, forums, Facebook, YouTube, and even a simple tweet; While the older generation is stuck reading the Sunday paper or tuning in for their hourly news channel. With this power to tell stories without a news network or a newspaper, anyone can say whatever he or she wants but at what cost is that to the consumer of such news.
The film I watched was That’s News to Me: The Transformation of Journalism in a Wired Society. The film shows interviews with various bloggers, news reporters, and news reporters who become bloggers because they do not feel that Big Media or even local news is on track to what people want and how they want to review information.
NBC nightly news anchor Brian Williams has a negative view of the younger generation stating that they can say whatever they want, whenever they want, and however they want. This is where media literacy comes in to play. “What do we consider news” and “whom should we trust?” Those are the questions we must ask ourselves, but with only 51 percent of the world’s population with access to the internet, it is hard for people to think about those ideas of questioning. To determine what’s “real” and what’s “fake” when looking at other mediums like books, movies, and videogames, if you will, books we can quickly tell through the labels we associate them with, fiction and non-fiction but with the internet, it is not all black and white.
The everyday citizens are the news editors of today but what qualifies them to be that way. Williams goes to speak about all the years of trials and tribulations he faced getting to where he is now, an NBC nightly news anchor but where the blogger’s qualifications. If a blogger can go online and write about their chicken salad they had for lunch what are the means to the end with that. Williams wants us to think about what they did not do with that time they wasted writing that piece to satisfy no one, but their ego. With everyone only thinking about themselves how do we learn anything in this narcissistic world society is creating.
This film speaks about Mass Media but in the viewpoint of someone from 2008 and Mass Media has performed leaps and bounds through the past nine years and with that more and more people are creating and curating the content that they receive. As stated in the film the younger generations use Mass Media as a play toy, and they still do. With the consumption of news going far into video, with applications like Instagram and Snapchat news has been somewhat of a thought kept in the back of the mind. Recording everyone and everything 24/7 with no intentions of doing anything with it, we become less productive assuming whatever we see is true.
Arthur Miller said that “Man must shape his tools lest they shape him,” which I think can very well relate to Mass Media and the many tools that come with it. It is how journalists and bloggers use their tools that shape the way older, and younger generations perceive information. Older generations tend to steer clear of too much information sticking more to Big Media news outlets while younger generations look up, hunt, and find the news themselves. As a younger generation, they want opinions, and they are not getting it with Big Media, and so they create their own stories that revolve around them, or they contribute to a more significant cause than themselves.
Personally, as a consumer and creator in the mass media world while also being a staff writer for various news outlets it is easy for me to determine what’s real and what’s fake through media literacy but through my own experiences it is harder for others, or they are just lazy. Media laziness kills me. People are becoming smarter about media and the internet, but they are getting tired of looking up things to the point that it becomes a chore. So, the first thing they read or see is what they base all their opinions on until they are proven wrong by experiencing the event themselves which could take a while or never experience it at all, and they end up stuck in a particular state.
It is with those ideas that as a journalist I hope to provide the facts, truth, research, and the hook that people need to believe in what I am trying to accomplish through my work. Using Mass Media as a beacon to tell my stories and findings to people far and near through articles, videos, Instagram stories, and (an old-fashioned) Facebook post. I wish to encourage people to think and believe, but the year 2008 is so prehistoric regarding the internet (Google and YouTube coming to life) that this year it has become a part of us. The ideas in the film can seem redundant to a 20-something college student, but I would take it as a warning or a learning curve that as a 19-year-old I can teach or practice in my work to show that information from the internet can be an excellent means of consumption if one opens their mind to the possibility that they might not be right all the time.
That’s news to me: The transformation of journalism in a wired society [Video file]. (2008). Retrieved November 1, 2017