Since I was around 10 years old, I have dreamed of becoming a journalist for The Australian. I pictured my articles printed on the front page, underneath my very own by-line. However, through my studies at QUT it has become apparent my view of journalism is quite outdated. This ‘behind-the-times’ mindset carries over into my everyday life, which is somewhat of an oddity for my age group.
I have always eschewed technology with a firm hand. This is because I have found ways to live my life and complete the tasks required of me, and they work so well I feel no need to change them. As a result, I write essay drafts by hand and I get my news from the newspaper, as opposed to online. I also prefer the old, reliable Nokia brick to my shiny new HTC, as it does not need to be constantly updated for applications (which, to me, are useless) to function properly. Simple… but not efficient.
The face of journalism is changing, and I have come to realise that if I am to call myself a journalist I must adapt and change with it. News consumers have access to the news 24 hours a day – they no longer have to wait for the morning paper, or the 6 o’clock evening news. Anyone with access to the internet, whether it be through a computer, laptop, mobile device or iPad, has the ability to access news (almost) instantaneously. Newspaper readership has noticeably declined since news companies have become prominent in the online world. News consumers do not even need to log onto a computer to get their news; in fact, studies have shown that audiences are spending more time on their mobile phones reading news than on computers.
In the past, news consumers read the news, and occasionally wrote letters to the editor. Now, thanks to impressive technological advancements, anyone can create a blog, write a tweet, or comment on an online article. Anyone with a camera, camera phone, or new generation iPad is able to take a picture and send it to a news organisation with the click of a button. Audiences are not only reading the news, they are influencing, commenting and generating the news. In my opinion, journalism has become more of a multi-faceted process, as opposed to a one-way flow of information.
I still claim to miss the days when my golden retriever delivered the Sunday Mail to the kitchen for me to read over breakfast. However, I will admit it is mostly nostalgia. The ability to access the news – to have it at my fingertips – while waiting in line for a coffee or on the bus is priceless.
It certainly is an interesting time to be a journalist.