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Editorial: Journalism is evolving, not dying

The past few years have brought up a long-debated question: Is journalism dying?

The emergence of the internet and social media has, in past years, been considered the killer of journalism. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted in 2021 that jobs within the journalism field are predicted to decline by approximately 5% by 2030.

However, we at The Spectator believe these predictions do not mean journalism itself is dying.

While the numbers are on a steady decline within the traditional journalism job market, to say journalism itself is dying is a false perception.

As long as there is a need for news, journalism will exist.

However, the internet and social media have had a massive impact on the way news is delivered and received.

A 2019 MIS Quarterly study found that 62% of adults use social media as their primary news source, and that number is steadily rising despite the existence of inaccurate or illegitimate news stories, or “fake news.”

This is not necessarily a bad thing.

We believe that social media has the potential to be a reliable news outlet as long as “fake news” is managed and kept away. If social media corporations can weed out illegitimate news sources, their sites will be great sources for viewing and sharing valuable content.

However, we do believe social media platforms should be used for short updates that link to larger news outlets rather than act as a news outlet itself. This is because social media is meant for quick viewing, not lengthy reading as important information has a bigger potential to be missed.

Social media is not killing journalism as a whole. In fact, it is giving journalism a place to evolve and adapt into a new form that is more widely accepted by younger generations.

According to the PEW Research Center, only 29% of Americans say they read a printed newspaper daily, and only 23% of those were printed newspapers. This same study found that about 50% or more of New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today readers view their content online rather than printed.

Given these statistics, we can assume that journalism is declining because it is only being considered functional under the traditional ideas of print and broadcast.

Social media is a welcome source for breaking news and reporting. Finding sources and major stories is easier than ever because of how widespread social media is.

This allows journalists to adjust the way they gather their information and distribute their content to a wide variety of audiences.

The idea we have of traditional print and broadcast journalism is dying, but journalism itself isn’t, and we at The Spectator believe social media will be what saves it.

This editorial reflects the general opinion of The Spectator staff. 

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