The Digital Transformation of 21st Century News Journalism Presentation to Conference on Digital Media and Journalism, School of Communication, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan, 12 October, 2012 Professor Terry Flew Creative Industries Faculty Queensland University of Technology
Drivers of Digital Transformation• Convergence of media industries and content• Distribution of content across multiple delivery platforms• Media globalization• Exponential increase in information and entertainment content available to consumers• User-created content, participatory media, and blurring of producer/consumer lines
It’s not just the Internet• Rise of knowledge-intensive industries and creative industries• Network externalities• Rise of peer production and sharing – openness and mass collaboration in Web 2.0 environments
From mass communications media to socialmedia: the crisis of news MASS COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA SOCIAL MEDIA (20TH CENTURY) (21ST CENTURY)MEDIA DISTRIBUTION Large-scale; barriers to entry Dramatically reduced barriers to entryMEDIA PRODUCTION Complex division of labour; media Easy to use web 2.0 technologies; professionals as content ‘gatekeepers’ small, multi-purpose teams as “preditors” (Miller)MEDIA POWER Assymetrical – one-way communications Greater empowerment of flow users/audiences through interactivity and choiceMEDIA CONTENT Tendency towards standardised “mass Segmentation of media content markets appeal” content and “long tail” economics (Anderson)PRODUCER/CONSUMER Mostly impersonal, anonymous and Potential to be more personal; rise of the commoditised (audience as mass market produser (Bruns); user networks andRELATIONSHIP target) communitiesPAYMENT SYSTEM Audiences cross subsidised by Not clear as yet: subscription, advertisers (commercial media) or tax “freemium”, free? revenues (public service media)
Ways of thinking about digitaltransformations MAJOR INCREMENTAL TRANSFORMATION CHANGEOPTIMISTIC Democratization of journalism New ways of accessing with rise of participatory media and delivering the news culture e.g. Clay Shirky, Charles – journalists have always Leadbeater, John Hartley, Henry dealt with technological Jenkins changePESSIMISTIC “Cult of the amateur”; loss of Strengthening power of maninstream journalism jobs major media not compensated for by the corporations Internet
OECD, Evolution of News and the Internet(2010)1. Declining sales of print newspapers2. News consumption migrating to the Internet3. Structural crisis of newsrooms – shift of classified and print advertising4. New opportunities online, but new competitors (e.g. sports organizations)5. Move to digital-only newspapers?6. Online advertising generates less income
U.S. advertising spend 2011 Source: KPCB Internet Trends 2012
Shift of young people to online news• Sample – font is arial 28 – only use arial on slides no other fonts including any charts or diagrams – Sample • Sample – Sample » Sample• If you need to add a graphic scale to fit inside this white box
The new online news media ecosystem• Sample – font is arial 28 – only use arial on slides no other fonts including any charts or diagrams – Sample • Sample – Sample » Sample• If you need to add a graphic scale to fit inside this white box
The crisis of mainstream journalism• Undermining of traditional news business models• Falling share prices/rising debt for established news media businesses• Shift in the “attention economy” of users• Crisis of authority for professional journalism• Growing public distrust of journalists• Rise of the “PR state”
The renewed appeal of alternativejournalism• The “Fifth Estate” (Dutton, Benkler) Non-profit [organizations] focused on bringing to light direct, documentary evidence about government behavior so that many others, professional and otherwise, can analyse the evidence and search for instances that justify public criticism … [they use] uses a combination of volunteerism, global presence, and decentralized action to achieve its results (Benkler, 2011: 55).
Monitory democracy (John Keane)• solving a basic problem facing contemporary democracies: how to promote the unfinished business of finding new ways of democratic living for little people in big and complex societies, in which substantial numbers of citizens believe that politicians are not easily trusted, and in which governments are often accused of abusing their power or being out of touch with citizens, or simply unwilling to deal with their concerns and problems (Keane, 2010: 354).
Lessons from the online alternativejournalism movement• A sustainable business model matters• Continuing advantages of mainstream media: brand, workforce, audience• Challenge of the news/opinion relationship• Potential for access to information to become stratified by income• Shifting role of public service media – from PSBs to multi-platform media
Pros and cons of Wikileaks• Challenge of tech-savvy “critical outsiders”• Need in democracies for transparency and information access• “Wikileaks effect” will be felt for a long time• But … – Very reliant on Julian Assnage as charismatic figurehead – Dilemma of internal accountability – Balance of fact and advocacy – Continued reliance on mainstream media outlets