Web 2.0 And The Future Of Journalists

1387 words - 6 pages

Web 2.0 or "the world wide web’ is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices" (O’reilly 2009). The social software applications Web 2.0 offers such as; social networking sites, blogs and podcasts etc. has made communicating easier and for some, more accessible, especially with the improvement of portable, hand held devices like phones and tablets. Although the evolution of the World Wide Web was proposed by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, the idea of using "networked computing to connect people in order to boost their knowledge and their ability to learn" (Alexander 2006) was first considered by American psychologist and computer scientist JCR Licklider in the 1960’s. The applications that make up the World Wide Web are the main reason for its rapid expansion. "As the sites continue to grow, more features are added, building off the technologies in place" (Web2.0 2008). "It is now possible for people who have hands-on experience or specialist knowledge concerning news events to broadcast their own news" (Domingo et al 2008). This rapid growth has had a major impact on traditional journalism and to some extent has put the profession under threat. "Journalists are now relying on the public to uncover stories and to source actuality and expertise from the great sway of readers" (Domingo et al 2008).
Since their arrival on the World Wide Web, social networking sites have developed rapidly and have emerged as a "major component of the Web 2.0 movement"(Alexander 2006). Due to the growing number of users, news organisations are using them increasingly more in the news gathering and publishing process. Twitter for example "has acquired 200 million regular users since it was established in March 2006 with around 500 million tweets a day" (The Telegraph twitter in numbers 2013). This new, instant way of communicating has caused the speed at which news is broken to the public to decrease. For example "the American declaration of independence of July 4, 1776 was not reported in England until more than 6 weeks after the event on august 21" (Quinn and Lamble 2007). Nowadays news events such as the New York plane crash and G20 riots in 2009 (Hodge 2010) were broken first on twitter, minutes after they happened. With the public being so heavily involved in the breaking of news, the ongoing debate surrounding journalism as a profession needs to be considered. Communication professor Barbie Zelizer (2004), argues that “technologies of news relay broaden the field of who might be considered a journalist and what might be considered journalism.” Therefore it could be said that if these technologies do broaden the field of who might be considered a journalist, that the interaction between the public and journalists, can’t be classed as a conversation but as different people giving their opinion with little communication. However it could of course be argued that these sites do offer some interaction between journalists and other users. Folksonomic metadata...

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