Thursday, August 28, 2008

Young Journalists' Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge facing a young journalist in today’s media is that the internet has created has created more competition than ever before for an aspiring reporter. In addition, the increased viewership of the internet has brought about a steady decline to both print and broadcast media, creating a smaller workforce for journalists.

Throughout the last decade, internet blogs and news web sites have grown at a rapid pace. While this may seem like a step toward a better democracy – and it very well may be the best way for anyone to get their voice heard nationwide - it actually hurts journalists who are looking for a job.

Print media, more so than any other form of journalism, have become a dying breed in contemporary society. With news easily accessible and free to view on the internet, print media have found it hard to compete in the market. Readership in major newspapers across the nation, such as the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, has been on a steady decline within the last few years.

This decrease in readership leads to fewer advertisers paying for ads in these print medias, which means newspapers aren’t making as much money as they did in the past, which has led to numerous layoffs across the nation in the print journalism industry.

Broadcast journalism has also hit hard times due to the internet. Ratings on major television networks are down because audiences find it easier to read and watch a video clip online rather than sit down to watch primetime news every evening. The multimedia aspect of the internet is the most appealing tool to viewers across America.

Many viewers have turned toward the internet instead of print or broadcast media, and nothing is wrong with that. However, it has created a more difficult time for journalists to find jobs because the competition on the internet is much greater than any generation before this has ever seen.

A 13-year-old boy who has never watched a news show in his life can start his own blog and post about something he heard at school. While he may not be a journalist to the true definition of the word, he still has created something out on the internet that other professional journalists must compete against. A decade ago, this was never an issue.

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