Facelift or Lobotomy: the changing image of the media

16Jun09

With a glass of wine in hand and the time approaching midnight I am indulging in one of those late-night internet compulsions. It used to be late-night random Ebay bidding (hence the RAF Flight Sergeant’s hat in my wardrobe) but now it has mutated into late-night job applying.

Yes, get me a Monster.com, a Guardian jobs page or another wonderful buffet of ubiquitous marketing and administration vacancies and I go crazy, send wildly enthusiastic covering emails to company directors and then turn into a pumpkin.

The disappointment of it all makes me even more desperate to pursue my dream of being a reporter so I don’t get trapped in a job I hate but pays well. I daydream about what that will be like – or what I will be doing in a few years time.

On a higher note, I have completed my PGDip course and so have a Post Graduate degree (but I’m hoping to do the MA over the summer unless a really good job comes along), and I have all of my NCTJs save my portfolio mark. Its been hard but its not quite over yet. At least I know what is left I am supposed to be good at – unlike law.

However, I surprised myself watching Jeremy Vine in Panorama earlier. The program was about the changing privacy laws in the UK and named some cases which I used as case law for my exam such as McNae staple, Naomi Campbell v Mirror Group. Specifically the case where she both won and loss against the paper in a court battle over articles and pictures published revealing her attendance at Narcotics Anonymous and her treatment. The case wound up in the Lords and effectively changed privacy laws to what we now have today.

And it got me to thinking, the press is undergoing a radical overhaul as traditional print is becoming less and less of a breakfast table mainstay as the internet overtakes the humble newspaper. Similarly; everyman journalism, Youtube, blogging (present company included), photophones and Have Your Say pages – all enable the common man to produce his own news, be his own commentator. I have to admit, in many instances it is more interesting than what is written in the newspaper.

It makes me wonder what the journalism world will be when I’m an established reporter. Will I be writing around Google Video links to wobbly, grainy movies taken from a Nokia of a man about to jump off a rail bridge? Will I never get a traditional “front page” splash? If there are no newspapers then its not exactly the same seeing your story on the homepage of a news website because it will probably be replaced in an hour!

Thats a very selfish way of looking at it because since when has news ever happened around the convenience of a reporter’s wishes, a printing deadline or  dinner engagements but there’s something so much more concrete in an article in actual print. It seems more valuable somehow.

But then I do check the BBC and Guardian before I’ve even put on my make-up in the morning and it is my generation who are being blamed for not buying newspapers and so I feel I  must suck it up and roll with the times.

When I do finally get a job to call my own then it will be interesting to see how the industry changes through the course of employment. With everybody sticking their fingers in the journalism pie its only a matter of time until the field of conventional journalism is exploded and the conventional media laws along with it.

It is exciting, a miniscule part of me is regretful of the transformation from grubby, inky paper to swish Macbooks and Blackberrys but the whole point of the Media is to engage in just that – the Media. So lets not be too sentimental.

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3 Responses to “Facelift or Lobotomy: the changing image of the media”

  1. 1 Michael

    Great post Rose.

    For sure the dominance of newspapers is waning, though I doubt they’ll ever disappear completely. Hopefully our newspaper ‘culture’ can transfer over to the internet, twitter, whatever.

    The problem with ‘everyman’ journalism (and why there will always be the need for decent news reporters) is the lack of quality – I still want my news to be coherent, accurate, watchable/readable and fair (most of the time), even if I get it online. To be honest I don’t care what ‘Mark from Dorset’ thinks about the Iranian election, – I consider the BBC to be in a much better position to commentate.

    Quality news always rises to the top, it just happens a lot faster online. and then Dad can read it in the Times a week later.

  2. 2 boxndice1759

    Rose,

    Like the article tracked from Linked in comments. Currently im putting two local search sites together part of a larger global operation (430 local search sites UK, USA, Europe) for salford-mediacityuk and manchester. These are work in progress but if you fancy a chat and i can explain more there could be an opportunity here for you see articles: http://directoryofmanchester.net/blog/?p=687 also http://directoryofmanchester.net/blog/?p=365 regards Bruce 07976 302068


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