Is digital journalism working out the way we thought it would? or is it even as credible as print journalism?
In Michael Massing's article, Digital Journalism: How Good Is It?, it discusses the topic about how digital technology is disrupting the business of journalism. Massing makes the claim that internet is helpful for journalists. "The distinctive properties of the Internet—speed, immediacy, interactivity, boundless capacity, global reach—provide tremendous new opportunities for the gathering and presentation of news and information." We all have used the internet and can all agree that the internet is god send when it comes to finding information and getting that information out to the masses. You would think that it would help aid journalists become more successful, but that is not always the case. Massing critiques the idea that many readers of these online journalist based website don't fact check to see if the information that they are reading is accurate and factual. "Yet amid all the coverage of start-ups and IPOs, investments and acquisitions, little attempt has been made to evaluate the quality of Web-based journalism, despite its ever-growing influence." Massing can describes Huffington Post, a web based news outlet, as one of those who is struggling from the quality of their articles. Massing makes the statement that although Huffington Post has good articles, it finds itself catering to the popular, not so pertinent form of journalism. "But even this material often seems swamped by the ever-rising tide of gossip, celebrity, titillation, and headlines of the “Rachel McAdams Doesn’t Look Like This Anymore” variety. There are sections dedicated to Healthy Living, Horoscopes, Dr. Phil, GPS for the Soul, Good News, and The Third Metric—a yardstick of success beyond the first two metrics (money and power) to include well-being, wisdom, wonder, and making a difference in the world."
Michael Massing has another article that he wrote called, Digital Journalism: The Next Generation, in this article Massing talks about the issues he sees for this new generation of journalism. Massing states, that online journalism sites are primarily supported by the journalist unlike print journalism where they were supported by the institution in which they were ran by. “The fate of journalism in the United States is now far more squarely in the hands of individual journalists than it is of the institutions that support them. Since then, however, the era of the go-it-alone star seems to have receded; more and more, institutions such as the Post and the Times, with their financial support and audience reach, are critical." Many readers could probably see why this could be detrimental in the future for the new generation of journalism. Massing also critiques the idea of investigative journalism. He asks the question, "Can a site devoted to surveillance, surveillance, and more surveillance, with some counterterrorism, national security, and criminal justice thrown in, attract a large and loyal enough following to make a difference?" Massing makes a very good point because in this day in age, there are so many websites, blogs, and online journalism sites that have so many narrow topics; it's hard to read them all. "On virtually any subject these days, you can find opinionated, informative, provocative sites and blogs." All those articles, websites, and blogs generally end up on facebook and it's hard to tell if it's a reliable source or not. Another pressing issue that is pointed out in this article is criticism from it's readers. It talks about how the comments section on digital journalism sites seemed to be a good way for the journalist to improve their articles but that failed miserably with trolls, racial slurs, profanity, and spammers. "When these were first introduced, most journalists valued them for the instantaneous—and often thoughtful—feedback they provided on articles. Before very long, however, the sections became clogged with insults, slurs, and partisan attacks posted by trolls hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, and more and more news organizations have decided to either rigorously vet them or drop them altogether." Massing wraps up this article by saying that these digital journalism websites are more comparable to Radio Shack or Block Buster that seemed like good entities but were destroyed by new start ups.
When I read Massing's articles, I want to say I was surprised but in all I honesty, I wasn't all that surprised. I did find the idea of the comment sections below articles that was implemented to hopefully get good feedback to better their website; turned sour. "When these were first introduced, most journalists valued them for the instantaneous—and often thoughtful—feedback they provided on articles. Before very long, however, the sections became clogged with insults, slurs, and partisan attacks posted by trolls hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, and more and more news organizations have decided to either rigorously vet them or drop them altogether." I thought this quote was good because this has been a real problem lately. It's not just comment sections on journalistic sites but any place that people are able to comment on things. When I peruse through Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube I am shocked by individuals calling each other words I would never in my life say, spam links talking about how you can make millions of dollars by clicking a link or how you can buy thirty pounds of marijuana, and lets not forget the trolls or "keyboard warriors" who fight with strangers on the internet. I think the idea of comments were good, but too many people ruined it. I found this quote on the same website written by Massing, "These organizations are commonly referred to as “legacy” institutions—a gently derisive term that lumps them in with Blockbuster and Radio Shack as enterprises that, once thriving, were undermined by more innovative startups." I discussed it above but basically it means that there will always be something bigger and better that could potentially end you career/company or you will be overshadowed. For example, Block Buster got killed because of Red Box, Netflix, and Hulu because they were more user friendly than Block Buster. This could be true for some of these new digital journalism websites; like BuzzFeed.
All in all, I believe with Massing that digital journalism is not the same as print journalism. Print journalism, to me, seems more credible because somebody took the time to write it and that's their job. Where as in digital journalism websites it feels cheesy, inaccurate, and overwhelming. I also agree with him on the fact that anybody can be a journalist with blogs and websites, but it doesn't mean they are credible or what I want to spend my time reading and believing. I also recognize that they are journalism websites and blogs for every topic and that makes it overwhelming too. You could type in a word, like "dog," and say "Blogs and Digital Journalism Websites about dogs," and you could get thousands of hits.