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American citizens Essay

Ten years from now American citizens will still get their news from paper newspapers; However the American public will be making use of the Internet and online news and would have done so more and more over the past ten years. The physical version of the `paper’ will still be in circulation, as people would still want to read the paper while having their morning coffee. It is important to understand that within the next ten years people will still care most about those parts of the paper that “define the soul of the paper’’ such as the letters to the editor and the obituaries. (Brown, 180).

However, it is still important to note that the Internet has profoundly changed how people view journalism today. (Curthoys, 176). However, fear is mounting regarding whether or not newspapers have a future in the “new media’’ environment but this is not the case at the moment and will not be in the next decade either. (But eventually it will come to be the reality). An article published in Time Magazine in 2006 asked the very question of whether newspapers have a future. (Kinsley). An interesting point argued in this article is the fact that even though people will not pay for news on the Internet is not as devastating as it seems.

“People don’t pay for their news in traditional newspapers: they pay for the paper, which typically costs the company more than it charges for the finished product. ’’ (Kinsley). In this theory, it is good for the newspaper to become an online version as they don’t pay for the paper and they can keep the advertising. The biggest change in journalism on the online world is that people will use Internet news sources to read the latest news and to take in more information than the standard newspaper can offer including more pictures and links to video.

“One effect of this is that the news is now shaped by the people with the best websites and the most accessible electronic communications. ’’ (Brown, 180) American citizens will access online news by the provider that has the most interesting website and comes up first in the search engine listing. In the end new technology will help American journalism and make the public more aware of the news as it will be easier to access than a hard copy newspaper given the growing digitalization of the world.

“The opportunity for the growth and the development of personal news journalism on the internet provides an expanding platform for freedom of expression. ’’ (Harrison, 204). There is an argument that there is an almost “dumbing down’’ of the population with advances in Internet news but rather the truth is contrary to that belief, online newspapers and media companies are legitimate businesses and are bound by rules of truthful journalism practices.

“The requirement to exercise freedom of speech responsibly means, in the context of the Internet and personal news journalism, that we are reliant upon how ideologically bigoted or not the personal journalist is. ’’ (Harrison, 205). Journalism needs to be professional and responsible and is no means is it acceptable to not uncover potential corruption in government affairs. “Frequently the mainstream media lie on behalf of the system by what they don’t tell us. ’’ (Horowitz,65). It is this not coming forward with information that is destroying the reputation of professional news journalists.

Therefore the role of the journalist in inform the public and report scandals if they believe that the public has the right to know detailing activities of those who run the country. Another way in journalists should act is to be accountable to their “bosses’’ which are the readers and viewers of their particular media. Journalists should report a scandal if it is in `public interest’ not because how it would look in the Government’s eyes. The thing that the journalists need to be aware of is that it is not their responsibility to please the government but rather to let the public know what is happening in their country and in their world.

However, in times of late it has been seen that reporters look for scandals instead of doing more balanced reporting. “The best way to affect opinion is to make the public and policy makers believe that their conclusions were reached by a fair and balanced judgment of facts. (Bishop,41). The effectiveness of a free press is destroyed once the press is compromised and creates a huge mistrust in the government. “The institution of a free press is far too important to our country’s very existence…to cave into big business, or to big politics.

’’ (Harrison, 23) Because of this journalists need to go with their gut instinct and look at why they choose to be in the journalism field, rather than succumbing to big business and making big money for the conglomerate. A famous quote by Christiane Amanpour paints the image of a true journalist working against the government and big media companies to try and put the “truth’’ out to the public. “We, I believe, are in the fight of our lives to save this profession which we love. I believe we can do I it, and I believe we can win the battle. ’’ (Harrison. 23)

On the flipside of the previous argument is the rise in the trend that is opposite of what is known as professional news journalism – it’s the idea of being patriotic in the media. “In their wisdom, the writers of the first amendment sought to endow a free press with the duty and responsibility of being government watchdogs. No elected official or political party should be given preference; all should be monitored with the same critical eye. Whether reporting on Nixon and Watergate or Clinton and Lewinsky, the media’s role is to shine a light on darkness and inform the people.

’’ (Harrison, 18) In recent years this patriotism in the media has come to mean that reporters taking sides with an administration, wearing American flags on air, and crafting newscasts to promote a political position. There is one major difference between that of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) that is currently in existence compared to the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) model. The PBS model has a kind of `interest’ focused agenda where what is of interest or what is important is broadcast. This includes tabloid- and audience dominated- agenda and with the idea of “grabbing people’s attention.

On the other hand, the focus with the BBC model is importance where “an essential quality of a contemporary event that makes it worth reporting. ’’ (Harrison, 163). The models differ vastly and in a sense are aiming to attract a different sort of audience. Therefore, in my opinion I do not see the BBC model translating well into American audiences because of this. “Overall, the essential differences between interest and importance highlight the distinction in the character of news at the BBC when compared with ITN, Fox News and other commercial news providers. ’’ (Harrison,163).

When looking at the BBC model however there are a number of things that would add value to journalism in the United States and in other ways using such a model would be detrimental to how journalism is perceived in our country. Because the United States is known to have the most developed mass media in the developed world one would wonder why the model would ever need to be changed because of our system that is in place that seems to be working well. (BBC News) However, it is important to understand how the media environment is changing with developments in the Internet and in online communities.

“In order to capture audience attention, journalists need to know what their audiences want and need. ’’ (Alysen,14). Because of this news organizations need to keep the public interested with the content provided otherwise they will go elsewhere. Because of this it seems as though the current broadcast system is the best way to go as people watch news programs that are interesting to them, i. e. it is their own choice to watch whatever news programs they wish to watch and take part in. If I was to promote a band or performer I would do a number of things to get the band noticed these things are described below:

Before I did anything I would look on the Internet to see the best way to promote a band or performer. Next I would spend some time doing some market research to find out the popularity of niche markets and whom I should be targeting. Being a young person I would then look into publicizing the band/performer on social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube. Advances in new technology make this a good route to take for promotion of a particular group as on these sites you can set up a band fan page and post music and video files, photos and upcoming gigs.

The possibilities are endless. I would also suggest advertising on Facebook as you can target your exact audience. Facebook allows you to target groups of people very specifically by age group, country and relationship status. This is a targeted and low cost way to attract a particular audience. (This is a worthwhile route to take as because not many people are doing it yet and the costs are relatively low. The next thing to do is use Search Engine Optimization to get your page about your artist at top of the search listings on Google and in other search engines.

The next step that I would take is to create a website which works as a base of operations on the Internet. On the site you can put sample tracks, videos, photos and show dates. Following setting up the website create a mailing list to let your followers know when gigs are coming up and get them to tell all their friends. I would send some articles to local media about the band in their newspapers and magazine as well as media releases for upcoming news and events. I would then put up some fliers/ brochures either at a bar/ or at places where young people hang out depending on the target audience.

The final step that I would take would be to search for concert calendars online about gigs that are coming up in your city/town and add you band to that list. This is a very short list of what I would do to promote the band but these ten things are a sure fire way to get your band noticed by a very discriminating public. References: Alysen, Barbara. Reporting in a Multimedia World. Australia: Bookhouse: 2003 Anderson, Bonnie M. News Flash: Journalism, Infotainment, and the Bottom-Line Business of Broadcast News. USA: Jossey Bass: 2004. BBC News.

“Country Profile: United States of America’’, 2009. Accessed 16 March 2009 <(http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/world/americas/country_profiles/1217752. stm)> Bishop, Greg “The Covert News Network’’ You are Being Lied to: The Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths. Ed Russ Kick. USA: The Disinformation Company: 2003. 41-43 Brown, Andrew “Newspapers and the Internet. ’’ The Penguin Book of Journalism: Secrets of the Press. Ed. Stephen Glover. England: Penguin 1999. 177-185 Harrison, Jackie. News. Great Britain: Routledge: 2006.

Horowitz, Michael “Sometimes Lying Means Only Telling a Small Part of the Truth” You are Being Lied to: The Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths. Ed Russ Kick. USA: The Disinformation Company: 2003, 65-66. Kinsley, Michael. “Do Newspapers have a future. ’’ Time Magazine Sept. 2006. http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1538652,00. html Ricketson, Matthew “Newspaper Feature Writing’’ Journalism: Print, Politics and Popular Culture. Ed Ann Curthoys. Australia: National Library of Australia: 1999.


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