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Impact of Online Journalism

Impact of Online Journalism

Impact of Online Journalism

Wednesday June 19, 2019,

11 min Read

Journalism Introduction

Journalism is gathering, processing, and dissemination of news and information related to the news to an audience. The word applies to both the method of inquiring for news and the literary style which is used to disseminate it. The media through which journalism is conducted vary diversely to include content published via newspapers and magazines (print), television and radio (broadcast), and their digital versions published through digital media — news websites and applications.

The role and status of journalism, along with that of the mass media, has undergone profound changes over the last two decades with the advent of digital technology and publication of news on the Internet. This has created a shift in the consumption of print media channels, as people increasingly consume news through e-readers, smartphones, and other electronic devices

The digital era has also ushered in a new kind of journalism in which ordinary citizens play a greater role in the process of newsmaking, with the rise of citizen journalism being possible through the Internet. Using video camera equipped smartphones, active citizens are now enabled to record footage of news events and upload them onto channels like YouTube, Meanwhile, easy access to news from a variety of online sources, like blogs and other social media, has resulted in readers being able to pick from a wider choice of official and unofficial sources, instead of only from traditional media organizations.

Types of Journalism

There are several different forms of journalism, all with diverse audiences. In modern society, "prestige" journalism is said to serve the role of a "fourth estate", acting as a watchdog on the workings of the government. Other forms of journalism feature in different formats and cater to different audiences.

Some forms include:

Advocacy journalism – writing to advocate particular viewpoints or influence the opinions of the audience.

Broadcast journalism – written or spoken journalism for radio or television.

Drone journalism – use of drones to capture journalistic footage.

Gonzo journalism –  a "highly personal style of reporting".

Investigative journalism: the use of investigation on a subject matter while uncovering news events.

Photojournalism: the telling of a story through its images.

Tabloid journalism – writing that is light-hearted and entertaining.

Yellow journalism (or sensationalism) – writing which emphasises exaggerated claims or rumours.

Shrimp journalism (or shrimping) - to encourage unsubstantiated sports rumours through social media.

Journalism Ethics and Standards

Journalism ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics and of good practice as applicable to the specific challenges faced by journalists. Historically and currently, this subset of media ethics is widely known to journalists as their professional "code of ethics" or the "canons of journalism". The basic codes and canons commonly appear in statements drafted by both professional journalism associations and individual print, broadcast, and online news organizations.

While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of—truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability—as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public.

Like many broader ethical systems, journalism ethics include the principle of "limitation of harm." This often involves the withholding of certain details from reports such as the names of minor children, crime victims' names or information not materially related to particular news reports release of which might, for example, harm someone's reputation.

Legal status

Governments have widely varying policies and practices towards journalists, which control what they can research and write, and what press organizations can publish. Some governments guarantee the freedom of the press; while other nations severely restrict what journalists can research or publish.

Journalists in many nations have some privileges that members of the general public do not, including better access to public events, crime scenes and press conferences, and to extended interviews with public officials, celebrities and others in the public eye.

Journalists who elect to cover conflicts, whether wars between nations or insurgencies within nations, often give up any expectation of protection by government, if not giving up their rights to protection by government. Journalists who are captured or detained during a conflict are expected to be treated as civilians and to be released to their national government. Many governments around the world target journalists for intimidation, harassment, and violence because of the nature of their work.

Introduction to Online Journalism

Digital journalism also known as online journalism is a contemporary form of journalism where editorial content is distributed via the Internet as opposed to publishing via print or broadcast. Digital Journalism or Online journalism has democratized the flow of information that was previously controlled by traditional media including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. Blogs are also another digital journalism phenomenon capable of fresh information, ranging from personal sites to those with audiences of hundreds of thousands.

Impact of Digital Journalism on Readers

Digital journalism allows for connection and discussion at levels that print does not offer on its own. Digital journalism represents a revolution of how news is consumed by society. Online sources are able to provide quick, efficient, and accurate reporting of breaking news in a matter of seconds, providing society with a synopsis of events as they occur. Throughout the development of the event, journalists are able to feed online sources the information keeping readers up-to-date in mere seconds. The speed in which a story can be posted can affect the accuracy of the reporting in a way that doesn't usually happen in print journalism. Before the emergence of digital journalism the printing process took much more time, allowing for the discovery and correction of errors.

News consumers must become Web literate and use critical thinking to evaluate the credibility of sources. Because it is possible for anyone to write articles and post them on the Internet, the definition of journalism is changing. Because it is becoming increasingly simple for the average person to have an impact in the news world through tools like blogs and even comments on news stories on reputable news websites, it becomes increasingly difficult to sift through the massive amount of information coming in from the digital area of journalism.

There are great advantages with digital journalism and the new blogging evolution that people are becoming accustomed to, but there are disadvantages. For instance, people are used to what they already know and can't always catch up quickly with the new technologies in the 21st century. The goals of print and digital journalism are the same, although different tools are needed to function. One major dispute regards the credibility of these online news websites.

Impact on Publishers

Newspapers rarely break news stories any more, with most websites reporting on breaking news before the cable news channels. Digital journalism allows for reports to start out vague and generalized, and progress to a better story. Newspapers and TV cable are at a disadvantage because they generally can only put together stories when an ample amount of detail and information are available. Often, newspapers have to wait for the next day, or even two days later if it is a late breaking story, before being able to publish it. Newspapers lose a lot of ground to their online counterparts as people are now able to find the news they want, when they want, without having to leave their homes or pay to receive the news.

Construction of Online Journalism

Studies into how users digest content on online journalism sites show that users consume the story in a completely different way to users of traditional journalism media. In the early stages of online journalism many sites where attached to news outlets who simply posted their print story or the script of the radio story onto the page. This proved to be ineffective as writing for the online world is vastly different from writing for the printed page. It is believed people read off the computer screen 30% slower then they read off paper. Also, people do not read carefully online, rather they scan. If they cannot quickly and easily find the information they are after they promptly leave the site. To complement this, online journalism developed its own style of story construction. Presenting the story in chunks allows the reader to quickly scan the story and single out the passages relevant to them. 

Immediacy of Online Journalism

Immediacy has always been a fundamental element in online journalism. Print journalism allows story depth but often the story is not reported until the morning after. Online journalism provides  the best arena for distributing news quickly. 


Bloggers write on web logs or blogs. Traditional journalists often do not consider bloggers to automatically be journalists. This has more to do with standards and professional practices than the medium.

Citizen Journalism

Individuals who are not professional journalists who present news through their blogs or websites are often referred to as citizen journalists. One does not need a degree to be a citizen journalist. Citizen journalists are able to publish information that may not be reported otherwise, and the public has a greater opportunity to be informed.


Cyberspace belongs to readers, not writers. With a world at their fingertips, readers can link to another Web site in an instant before they even access the story. With a multitude of links to others sites and technology that causes poor readability and slow download time, getting and keeping readers' attention is more difficult online than in print.

Open Source Journalism

Open-source journalism, a close cousin to citizen journalism or participatory journalism.. This early usage of the phrase clearly implied the paid use, by a mainstream journalist, of copyright-protected posts made in a public online forum. It thus referred to the standard journalistic techniques of news gathering and fact checking. The meaning of the term has since changed and broadened, and it is now commonly used to describe forms of innovative publishing of online journalism, rather than the sourcing of news stories by a professional journalist.

Open publishing is a process of creating news or other content that is transparent to the readers. They can contribute a story and see it instantly appear in the pool of stories publicly available. Those stories are filtered as little as possible to help the readers find the stories they want. Readers can see editorial decisions being made by others. They can see how to get involved and help make editorial decisions. If they can think of a better way for the software to help shape editorial decisions, they can copy the software because it is free and change it and start their own site. If they want to redistribute the news, they can, preferably on an open publishing site.

Civic Journalism

Civic journalism (also known as public journalism) is the idea of integrating journalism into the democratic process. The media not only informs the public, but it also works towards engaging citizens and creating public debate. The civic journalism movement is an attempt to abandon the notion that journalists and their audiences are spectators in political and social processes. In its place, the civic journalism movement seeks to treat readers and community members as participants. With a small but committed following, civic journalism has become as much of a philosophy as it is a practice.

Citizen Journalism

Citizen Journalism is also known as "public", "participatory", "democratic"),"guerrilla" or "street" journalism is based upon public citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information."

Citizen journalism should not be confused with community journalism or civic journalism, both of which are practiced by professional journalists. Collaborative journalism is also a separate concept and is the practice of professional and non-professional journalists working together. Citizen journalism is a specific form of both citizen media and user generated content. This particular form of online and digital journalism conducted by amateurs, because it underscores the link between the practice of journalism and its relation to the political and public sphere.

New media technology, such as social net working and media-sharing websites, in addition to the increasing prevalence of cellular telephones, has made citizen journalism more accessible to people worldwide. Due to the availability of technology, citizens often can report breaking news more quickly than traditional media reporters.

The idea behind citizen journalism is that people without professional journalism training can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration with others.

Online Newspaper.

An online newspaper, also known as a web newspaper, which exists on the World Wide Web or Internet, either separately or as an online version of a printed periodical Going online created more opportunities for newspapers, such as competing with broadcast journalism in presenting breaking news in a more timely manner.  Online newspapers are much like hard-copy newspapers and have the same legal boundaries, such as laws regarding libel, privacy and copyright, also apply to online