Is journalism dying?

Anna Malesiewski, Editor-in-Chief

“Fake news” — we’ve all heard about it, and I bet we’ve all read it.  

It can be difficult to distinguish real news from “fake news.” How do we know what is real news? 

As a journalist, the rise and prominence of social media makes it difficult to garner an audience if you’re crafting factually correct, well-written news stories. Stories can break in real time on social media. Whether it’s done correctly or not, when we can publish content on social media in seconds, journalists race against time to publish stories, and it can be easy to forgo fact- checking or spending proper time investigating the story. 

For journalists like myself who are passionate about journalistic ethics and well-crafted stories, it feels like journalism is dying. As someone who is just entering the field, it feels like I’m failing before I’m starting. 

If you walk into any room and ask people where they get their news, most of them will say they get it from social media. Anyone can run their mouth on social media, but it doesn’t make it reliable, and it doesn’t make it news.  

That’s who people are paying attention to now, though. It’s problematic. While there’s something to be said for live news coverage, if you’re not fact-checking what you’re covering, it’s not good news. It’s not often that people fact-check their posts before they publish them on social media. 

Because of social media, our attention spans have shortened. It’s difficult for people to read an entire news article – most read the beginning or skim the pages. Sometimes it feels like I’m shouting into a void as a journalist, because I know no one is reading most of what I put out anyways.  

What do we do? How do we distinguish people blasting information that may or may not be true into the digital space from professionally written news? Should we trust social media platforms to properly fact-check posts?  

If most of us wouldn’t take scientific information from someone who isn’t trained in the field, why are we so eager to take news from people who weren’t trained in reporting it? You wouldn’t go to an “amateur” surgeon to get an operation done, and you shouldn’t trust a random person on Twitter to accurately report the news.  

When you take social media as news, you’re disrespecting journalists who work hard, and sometimes risk their lives for their professions.  

To be a better-informed society, it’s important that we take news from those who were trained to report it. 


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