Journalism in the iGeneration

Time can do wonders to society. Humans are all about change and inventing for the sake of a “better” and “more efficient” society. It’s interesting how New Journalism is what most people born in my generation refer to as the traditional journalism. I was born in 1994, just one year shy of being born into the “iGeneration” although there is not much of a difference between ’94 and ’95 babies. Regardless of this, I can honestly say I remember a time when we would get the newspaper delivered to us and reading the newspaper with my mom and dad in the kitchen for breakfast (it actually helped my reading skills I might add). But I can also say I am part of a weird decade that transitioned into a major change with technology itself. Something as simple as going to the video store was taken away because Netflix dominated with the online phenomenon of renting movies by streaming it online. Same thing with the news. My parents last year finally did away with our newspaper subscription and just like the rest of the world, moved on to digital age of news findings.

Participatory journalism has revolutionized the world in a way that I feel young adults in this present generation will understand best. Participatory journalism is dominated by not only blogging eyewitness accounts or opinion pages, but through comments posted on an article or even Instagram pictures sent to news stations to post on live television. I am old enough to remember the days of print journalism but young enough not to be so used to it that I found it hard or weird to assimilate to the online world. For me, it was just a way of growing up, but for my parents it was an odd transition because it was something they simply were not used to. I can even remember when i was a journalist for my high school school newspaper, my junior year was the first time our paper was published online with a comment section. It was new for the school, but appropriate for the age of journalism we are in.

Leah Lievrouw does make a valid argument in her book Alternative and Activist New Media about journalism today. In the chapter where she speaks about participatory journalism she in laments terms explains that it is a disservice to let go of traditional journalism; she argues that we need to figure out what works and keep it. In other words, “if it ain’t broken don’t fix it” ideal, which I very much agree with. With all these changes to media and journalism, it is hard to even know what news source is even credible nowadays.

The true pioneers of the iGeneration are starting to grow up (which in my opinion are 1999 babies and on) and they were not around or old enough to remember a time when print media was a very relevant news source. My younger brother, born in the year 2000, has barely read a newspaper, has never seen a pay phone, and thinks Google is the dictionary. But that’s just a sign of he times, and why journalism needs to keep at least some of it’s old traditions to stay grounded, credible, but at the same time relevant to the up and coming iGeneration.

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