Seventeen declarations about the internet….

I have been reading a manifesto written by group of German journalists. It consists of seventeen declarations about the internet. Now in reflection of what they have stated, I ask myself – did they manage to hit the nail on the head?

I thought in many ways yes. This was quite interesting to read and it got me thinking about the implications the internet will have on journalism.

However, every point that the declarations make is positive. Embracing the inevitable change is good but is this realistic? Some negative consequences should be considered. One declaration boldly claims that the internet will improve journalism – but nothing is clear yet in regards to the future of journalism so can such a claim be made?

Yes it’s very likely that the internet will improve journalism in many ways. However, the internet may also have some detrimental effects on the quality of print and online articles. Some journalists have admitted to increased pressure to promote products through their work. For example, print journalists have had to lower their standards in order to win over precious advertisers and this is also happening online – in a bid to survive in such a competitive industry.

Another issue that might affect the quality of journalism: journalist’s workload may increase considerably. If news websites do not generate enough money, that will mean goodbye! to many journalists, and in turn a huge workload for those who survive. This could lead to a lower quality of work – especially if the journalist is also expected to produce a fully edited video, keep their web article up to date and put in a new blog entry at the same time.

But, all in all I agree with the statements that the new internet driven world will bring positive things. More information will mean more freedom as it gives people a chance to seek out alternative viewpoints, not just their country’s biased opinion.  Many of these inevitable changes will enrich our knowledge and understanding of events  – history cannot be buried anymore. We can retrieve old news and contribute to live feeds – this was difficult if not impossible during the old print empire.

So, not to be a spoilsport but we must accept the negative, not just the positive. The declarations themselves state that we need to accept certain realities such as social networking and the need for new skills. We must accept the possible negative outcomes so we can try and prevent them from happening. We need to in order to protect the quality of journalism.


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