The media landscape is changing radically. When The Guardian (rightly) wins a Broadcast News award for its July 2008 video on Zimbabwe’s rigged election – which was posted on the newspaper’s web site before being shown on BBC television – then we have proof that the barriers between print, on-line and television are being blurred by multimedia.
This convergence is not without its problems. The mainstream media is using ‘clickstream’ data on what drives digital consumers to their site in a way that could see more of the same superficial journalism in more outlets. According to Andrew Currah of Oxford University;
“A paradox of the 24/7 media environment is that – owing to the integration of newsrooms, and the duplication of stories across print, broadcast and online – the news agenda has become more homogeneous, despite there being more channels through which to access it.”
The work of The Guardian, and independent producers like MediaStorm, shows that creative and challenging stories can be produced and distributed. It’s up to the mainstream digital media to use the technological opportunities to do something similar.
[See Andrew Currah’s full report on the future of news publishing in the UK in the digital age, What’s Happenning to Our News, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, January 2009].