Media Technologies And Journalism Media Essay

Modified: 1st Jan 2015
Wordcount: 1278 words
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In the second half of the twentieth century and early of the twenty-first, along with the advancement of new media technology, we have witnessed the dramatic transformation of journalism. There can be no denying that the technological revolution has exerted far reaching influences on news journalism and its production. In 2000, Pavlik (p.229) has asserted: “ Journalism has always been shaped by technology”. Pavlik as well as many academics in the field of mass communication believe that the profound changing of journalism are technologically determined. However, there are some researchers who criticise the idea of technological determinism. They argue that technologies not only transformed journalism but also were shaped and operated in the news production process. As Cottle (1999,p.22) has stated: “news technologies of news production are in fact socially and culturally shaped and embedded within corporate and professional contexts and practices”. It could be argued that the relationship between technology and journalism is not simply a cause and effect relationship, in fact, they changed and determined each other.

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The aim of this essay is to examine the interaction relationship between technology and journalism, with a particular focus on how new media technologies transformed news journalism. This research paper will begin by consider the impact of technology on journalism, and then account for the way that technologies are operated and integrated in the news production process. In the second section, the proliferation of the internet and blogs will be taken as prime examples of technological advancement which has offered opportunities as well as challenges to journalists and news organisations. Finally, the assignment will discuss whether technological changes and the adoption of new technology have led to the improvement or deterioration of journalism’s quality.

1. The interaction relationship between news media technologies and journalism

For the purpose of this assignment, this section will briefly introduce the theory of technology determinism as well as critical arguments of modern social scientists. The impact of new media technologies on news journalism will be examined and references are made to the work of academic in this field. Furthermore, evidence is provided in order to account for the way technologies are shaped and integrated in news production process.

1.1. The impact of new media technologies on news journalism

According to Pavlik (2000,p.229), journalism are transformed by technology in four broad areas: practices of journalists, news content, the organization of the newsroom, and the relationship between and among news organisations, journalists and their many publics.

“ Technological changes have had an impact above all on the immediacy and availability of journalism as it has proliferated as a mode of communication” (Conboy,2004,p.205).

1.2. Technologies are shaped and integrated on news production process

With a critical argument, Cottle (1999) views technology as a “creature of our own making “, in his words, “which inhabits, was born out of, remains dependent on, and is socialised and put to work within determinant social environment” (p.23). In his study of

“ A combination of political regulatory change and the arrival of the new media organizations and products has introduced considerable competition into the broadcast environment..this competition appears to be the immediate cause of organisational and technological change” (Ursell, 2001,p.194).

New operations have adopted new technologies with different degrees of extent and intensity (Ursell).

Consequences for journalist: demand for and pressure on journalistic staff have increased.

2. Technological changes and the quality of journalism

2.1. The internet and blogs: a nascent phenomenon

Internet: how it changes the newswork -> journalist practice(Pavlik), mot-used new resources for finding imformation(Garrison), journalist easily interact with audiences

Define blog


2.2. Quality of journalism in era of new media technologies: deterioration or improvement

Though there can be no denying that the appearance of the internet and blogs has changed news journalism in many ways, it is now essential to consider whether it is better or worse journalism. Thus, this question has been the subject of a great deal of research.

Ursell (2001) in his study of


“ I assert that convergence merely holds the promise of a better, more efficient, more democratic medium for journalism and the public in the twenty-first century” (Pavlik,2001,p.xiii)



“Speed is in danger of becoming the ultimate aim of journalism. The post-telegraph compulsion to beat competitors to a story, accelerate by new technologies, can mean it becomes more important to be first than to provide an adequate assessment of context” (Conboy,2004,p.207)

“ The pace of breaking news drives the possibility of in-depth analysis further down the line” (Conboy, 2004,p.207)

“All of this compromises the incredible speed and technological sophistication of the journalism produced as it is often lacking in analytical depth or political variety” (Conboy,2004,p.207)

Journalists who are under the pressure of becoming multi-skilled and technically competent to produce multiple media production do not have much “opportunities for creative reflection or innovation”(Cottle,1999). To illustrate this point, Cottle(1999,p.41) has quoted a statement of one broadcast journalist: “We don’t have time to be creative. It’s not that the equipment will not let us be more creative as we used to be”.

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Pavlik (2001) states that, on the plus side, new media technologies has offered potential for improving quality of journalism as well as helped journalist do their jobs more effectively. In other words, journalists can use new technologies to create much more “engaging, navigable, contextualized” news productions which reflect everyday life more “accurately, fully, and dynamically”(Pavlik,2001,p.xvi). However, on the negative side,

“We journalists are no longer the gate keepers in the market place of ideas. The doors have been flung wide open by the egalitarian nature of the Internet and when you look at the big picture you see – chaos. You see a medium in its infancy, howling and kicking against the limitations of the world into which it was born.


To bring this paper to a close, I summarise the main points here: new media technologies have transformed news journalism and its production, at the same time are shaped and operated in news production process.

This essay set out to examine the intertwining relationship between technology and journalism, consider it in both positive and negative side. In the first section, it produced some insights into how journalism is influenced by technology and answered the question of how technology are shaped and integrated in news production process. In an attempt to demonstrate this point, evidence was presented relating to the change in news-making activities of journalist in the era of the internet and blogs. Finally, the evidence presented in this paper suggested that technological changes have had diverse impact on the quality of journalism. In other words, technological innovations lead to improvement as well as deterioration of journalism performance and output.


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