Knowledge maketh man, they say. The idea behind this age old saying is that without knowledge, humans would be no better than unintelligent animals. Journalists, historians, and researchers – these are the people who are credited with providing knowledge to humanity. Among these, it is journalists who provide us with all of our knowledge of current events and occurrences around the world. With the boom in information and communications technology over the last two decades, the world of journalism has changed immensely. Today, we know about events across the world in real time. Gone are the days when we would have to wait for several days, or even weeks, to learn about events occurring in remote parts of the world. Instead, mainstream media today provides 24 hour news and regularly updates us with news and information from even the most remote parts of the world. Further, social media sometimes leads to even faster dissemination of information.
All of this has led to a massive increase in the demand for journalists. In turn, this has made courses in journalism or integrated courses in journalism and communication far more popular than ever before. To keep up with this demand for courses in journalism and communication, many top universities today offer programs such as BA in Journalism, MA in Journalism, etc. Further, many top private universities have modified the syllabi of such programs in order to better capture the impact of modern technology on journalism and thus, enable their students to be better prepared for real world challenges. Thus, students interested in pursuing a career in journalism have a wide variety of good options available to them. A single large city like Bangalore alone offers many useful programs in journalism from several top universities.
If you are interested in a career in journalism, then you must be curious to know how technology has transformed journalism today, and, in turn, how modern journalism is changing the world. Let us therefore, take a quick look at the three biggest changes that modern journalism has brought to the world.
1. Journalism is ubiquitous today and the supply of news is far more widespread: In an earlier era, the latest news was only available to a privileged few in society. News agencies could charge high premiums for providing the latest news – only the rich could afford such services. The general populace would only get to know of the latest developments at a far later point in time. Modern journalism has changed this system completely. Today, the latest news is often first available on social media and mainstream media then reports these facebook posts or twitter feeds. Watsapp ensures that videos of the latest incidents and events are available to the common man even while he is travelling. The net impact of all this is that today’s citizens are more aware of the news than ever before in history. A better informed society is one that can make more rational decisions, better informed decisions. This has made it more difficult for shady governments or shady businesses to fool people.
2. The smartphone has greatly reduced privacy and lifted the veil of secrecy: You must have heard of several cases where ordinary citizens have captured incidents and events on their smartphones and then circulated videos via social media. This has made it more difficult for those with vested interests to manipulate the truth and paint incidents in a more favourable light. Incidents of brutality and oppression can no longer be hidden or sugarcoated. The truth is there for all to see. In such a scenario, many mainstream media channels are trying to move away from traditional models and are trying to tap into the power of smartphones and social media. Reportedly, NDTV has recently restructured its model and in many cases, has asked its journalists to use smartphones in place of traditional video cameras. This will provide greater flexibility to its journalists and will enable them to cover news more quickly.
3. Censorship is no longer successful: When information is available freely and in plenty, then censorship cannot survive. Dictatorial regimes can no longer simply suppress unfavourable news and continue unscathed. The Arab Spring is testament to the impact that the changing face of journalism is having on the world. Today’s citizens are better informed and hence, are less tolerant of oppression. As a result, analysts predict that similar citizen driven and social media fuelled revolutions may take place in many other parts of the world. Dictatorship and oppression are on the wane and democracy is on the rise. These are some of the most important ways in which modern journalism is changing the world. What must be noted here is that as people get used to receiving more and more information in real time, they will have ever greater demand for further information and analysis. This means that the demand for journalism professionals can only go upwards. Hence, a career in journalism is easily one of the most attractive career choices today.
All the Best!