Tag Archives: Aggregation

See You Later Newspaper!

The art of reading a newspaper is coming to a close. With the introduction of online journalism, it is hard to escape the demise of print media. In fact, many argue that the rise of online journalism will lead to a loss of jobs. According to Rick Edmonds this is exactly what is happening:

“The American Society of News Editors released its annual newsroom census today and found an unexpected acceleration of job losses. Roughly 2,600 full-time professional editorial jobs at newspapers disappeared in 2012, a 6.4 percent decline compared to 2011′s total, leaving industry news employment at 38,000.”

With the Decline of Newspapers and the Rise in Online Journalism, the Issue of Jobs and News Quality has become a Major Concern...

With the Decline of Newspapers and the Rise in Online Journalism, the Issue of Jobs and News Quality has become a Major Concern…

Image courtesy of http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2013/04/06/newspaper-group-set-to-be-sold-to-locals

Although journalism jobs within print are reducing in number, journalists such as David Plotz argue “that maybe it’s not that bad,” maybe they “are actually creating a golden age for journalism.”

There is much debate to whether or not this “golden age” is allowing qualified journalists to acquire a paid primary job within the field of online journalism. According to Michaelle Bond after posting a somewhat small questionnaire regarding “the fate of those who have lost their newspaper jobs…it’s safe to say there is life after newspapers. But it’s not always the life the journalists had expected.”

But even if the majority of print media jobs can be replaced, what is the impact upon the quality of news articles? Many argue that with the demise of newspapers, the professional expertise that come with acquiring original reporting will decrease. “The kind of work that involves getting out from behind a computer and hitting the streets to interview real people,” that is often re-used and aggregated by online journalists will also not be as available, which could lead to a limited amount of information for online journalists to work with according to Tony Rogers.

Without traditional forms of print journalism, this concern of ‘citizen’ journalists equipped with little or even no qualifications becoming a major news source is growing significantly. It seems the only way to allow journalism to grow and utilise the benefits of online news-telling is for major news companies to attempt to juggle a balance between both print and online mediums to allow professional expertise to be used, allowing both jobs and the quality of the news to be maintained.


Is Aggregation The Right Destination?

Journalism has undergone many changes in recent years. In a world of online blogging and social media, news stories are becoming more accessible through web-based journalism. With the rise of this practice of journalism, it seems that “much of the web is built around aggregation” in the words of Kimberley Isbell from Nieman Journalism Lab. According to Bill Keller, a former executive editor of ‘The New York Times’, “there’s often a thin line between aggregation and theft.”


Image courtesy of http://scrippsmediaethics.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/ethics-mediator.html

Although articles are often written by ethically considerate companies such as the ‘New York Times’ who post around “250 items per day online” according to Canada’s ‘National post’, the ethics of aggregation is a growing concern with many asking how the practice is “different from stealing, or violating copyright.” With the increased use of aggregation through online platforms, individuals with little qualifications and expertise are able to gather key pieces of information and expand upon topics drawing from their own knowledge to form a personalised aggregated news post. Yet again, the concern of poor ethical consideration arguably undermining the practice of journalism as a paid profession has become a key focus when discussing the evolution of online journalism in recent years.

With a fear of aggregation leading to the theft of information obtained by professionals, as of May this year, “Spanish legislators announced they’re considering a law that would regulate aggregators,” according to Friedman from ‘Columbia Journalism Review’. Currently,there is no law restricting how aggregation is handled, however there are a key set of ethical considerations outlined by many, including those stated by Steve Buttry involving the incorporation of linking back to the source, attributing and adding value.

It seems that if these sort of guidelines highlighted by Buttry and many others were put into a form of law worldwide that is currently being introduced in Spain, the issue of plagiarism within the aggregation of posts would surely be put to rest.