Globe Media Excellence Awards is an annual media awards in Cebu, Iloilo and Bacolod. They conducted a student forum in the University of the Philippines Cebu with the theme, Journalism and the Internet of Things. The speakers of the forum, which were GMEA awardees before, talked about the challenges of a journalist in the digital age, and the role of technology and social media in journalism.
In the first part of the talk, it was pointed out that everything changes, even the way people consume news. It’s a challenge for traditional journalists to adapt to this change. Fortunately, social media give journalists an innovative way to disseminate news to a very wide range.
Although social media can be useful platforms of journalism, it has been a challenge for a journalist to distinguish himself from a j-blogger and a citizen journalist. Nowadays, everyone can share a story to the public. By just posting a tweet, or a blog post, anyone can declare himself as a citizen-journalist. And credible or not, whether they follow journalism ethics and principles or not, public often trust the information provided in the internet. This is probably because these are the only information available to them.
Nevertheless, professional journalists follow journalism ethics and verify their information, so people prefer to believe in their information especially when contradicting information updated on the internet confuses them. Also, reputable news organizations have plunged into the communication trends. Most known sites are online platforms of these news organizations. Also, they managed to create a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account that gives the public the link to their main website.
Communication trends are inescapable. It’s already there, and we have to expect that after a couple of years, another communication trend will emerge. Wherever and however the wind of media industry may blow, it is certain that traditional news organizations wouldn’t die down. They are even using technology to cover and disseminate stories more widely and comprehensively, while journalism ethics and professionalism remains inviolable. This proves the saying, “journalism is independent of its media”.