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Home School of Communications, Media, Arts and Design Blog 2018 November 21 Four ways the news is changing: Contemporary Journalism in 2018

Four ways the news is changing: Contemporary Journalism in 2018

Picture of Centennial Journalism students looking at their laptops

As the world changes, news media changes with it, and how we consume news affects how we see that changing world. The career of Journalism has changed, too, and the modern journalist needs to understand how the public receives and reads the news if they want to be effective. Centennial College can help you become a modern professional with our Contemporary Journalism post-graduate program, which will teach you the practical skills around the latest trends in journalism. As to what those trends are, we can have a look at the Pew Research Centre, an institute dedicated to studying American journalism, which has recently released findings about 2018’s trends. We can learn a lot about Canadian journalism from what’s going on down south, and sites like Business Insider and Pew’s own news site, Journalism.org, can tell us the highlights. Here’s the picture of the future that they paint:

Most people that use social media also get their news there

The social media platforms we live on are now where we hear about the world first. Specifically, 73 per cent of Reddit users also get their news there, and the same goes for 71 per cent of Twitter uses, and 67 per cent of Facebook users. In other words, consumers of news are already getting their news from their most frequent online haunts, so as a journalist, it’s your responsibility to have a presence in those places, and spread truth.

The audience of the future spends less time consuming news overall

Not only do younger people consume more news digitally, they generally do so less than the older generations, by a large amount. Specifically, people ages 21-37 only look at 30 per cent of the news that adults 38 and older do. This is likely tied to the preference for digital platforms over TV and radio. In other words, modern news needs to be succinct, accessible and to the point.

Fake news is a pressing concern

Here’s a distressing statistic: 57 per cent of adult social-media news consumers now say that they expect the news they find on social media to be inaccurate. In other words, over half of them know a lot of what they read is skewed, or outright false. So, why do they still get their news from social media sources? According to the stats, despite that inaccuracy, which is the thing users dislike the most, it’s simple convenience that keeps them there, as that’s their favourite aspect of getting their news from these platforms. This is why it’s more important than ever to have good, clean, solid journalism reporting, as there’s certainly a demand for it.

Getting news on your phone is the new normal

Here’s another massive statistic, straight out of Pew’s research: Over the past five years, news consumption on mobile phones has grown a whopping 300 per cent. In other words, six out of ten American adults their news on the phone. This means that it’s not enough for an online news outlet to just be friendly to phones, they need to start considering them first. How we read websites, and news itself when scrolling on a mobile phone is different from any other format, even a standard computer, so an up-and-coming journalist needs to know the difference, which is one our Contemporary Journalism program will teach you, along with how to work with these other digital trends.

By Anthony Geremia

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