Within the five types of journalism that Sarah mentioned, there are a variety of different types of media that can be used to communicate information to the public. The traditional branches of media are print (newspapers and magazines) and broadcast (nightly news on TV or radio). The benefit of these types of media is that stories tend to be well-researched and written from a fair and balanced perspective. The people involved in producing these stories have often had formal training that includes ethics and learning how to select sources that are credible.
With the advent of the internet, however, the media landscape has changed dramatically. Perhaps the biggest shift is that time from an event happening to reporting has become extremely fast. Where in the past people had to wait until evening or morning news to hear about breaking news, now news is delivered instantaneously through the internet, apps, social media – you name it. While this is good in that people are more informed real-time, especially in emergencies where people can take action based on breaking news, it does open the door to errors in reporting. Additionally, the internet has given many more people a voice, which certainly has positive aspects, but can make it much more difficult to determine which information is credible. This issue is at the heart of the news stories about misinformation spreading via social media. For all of its faults, technology is how people are going to continue finding information, so journalists need to take it seriously.
I hope to see the next generation of journalists mastering modern technology to tell multimedia stories in compelling ways while protecting the high standards of traditional journalism.