Essay Example on New Media Entrepreneurs and Journalists in the Digital Space

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Old media is vanishing and the reality is evident reflecting how people are entertained, consumes news as well as engaged in the world. Therefore, if old media is under transformation, the broadcast journalism, advertising, public relations, radio and television are changing with entrepreneurship and innovation resulting to the current media. Both new and old media have something to do with engineering. In the modern world, the mash up of entrepreneurship-media-innovation reflects the roadmap of innovators and entrepreneurs in achieving success in the current disruptive marketplace of media (Whitney, 2016). Accelerating these transformation are the problem solving techniques established by engineered innovations during the 21st century and the methods used by entrepreneurs to disrupt the old guard.

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Given the disruption of the old media, new media businesses are being established at fast rate. However, not all modern media entrepreneurs are similar; some are growing at a slow rate, some grow at a slow rate and some grow large while others stay small depending on piles of invested capital and the market demand. In addition, some of the media ventures exist around the interests or passions of the founders. The disruption of the old media has resulted to modification of the media ecosystem and it is common to see sensations of Twitter and YouTube-facilitated social superstars taking a large proportion of the digital media space. Digital media is playing a very important role on how individuals connect with others as well as how the world is being transformed as a global village.

Some of the disruptions in the digital media space include the current model of businesses in the new media under which media practitioners such as journalists have to propel their companies towards selling and marketing of services and products. There are alterations of the current media startups where social networks are disrupting the media businesses; increased popularity of the mobile and web technologies, which are threatening radio and TV as mediums of communication preferred by most people (Whitney, 2016). In addition, there is a double threat as innovation and entrepreneurship prepare the practitioners in new media for any job in the changing industry. In reference to the accelerating trends, some activities by some media companies are affecting the media landscape. For instance, Melanie Witkower established a company for creating the social content for most preferred TV shows. Through bridging the broadcast and social media, Social News desk was established with an intention of assisting professional journalists to perform better by cooperating with other journalists, follow the best professional practices and secure valuable contracts.

Media content has evolved over time forcing many companies to integrate different channels of distribution and this shift is not stopping soon (Herrick, 2003). In the past, professional journalists delivered the news and was brought to the masses through television broadcasters three times per day as well as newspaper stand the following morning. Currently, there is real time delivery through Facebook or Twitter and other machine learning systems (Smith, 2015). Given these changes, journalists are torn between engaging in media entrepreneurship or following their career paths.

According to Janet Fulton in her article, Are you a journalist? New media entrepreneurs and journalists in the digital space , there is report of findings evaluating the alternative paths followed by media producers. In the article Senator George Brandis, Australias attorney general, said that bloggers cannot be classified as journalists. Through a radio interview in 2015, Brandis was questioned about the laws regarding the data-retention passed in 2015 and the level of protection that could be offered to professional journalists in the country about their source of information if government agencies accessed their internet and telephone records. According to the interview Brandis was asked, How do you define a journalist? Because I mean that definition is pretty wide now. Are bloggers covered for instance?, he answered, For the purposes of this discussion a journalist is a person engaged in the profession of journalism (Fulton, 2015). This question was problematic because there are difficulties of defining journalist and journalism in the current digital space.

Fulton interviewed professional bloggers such as beauty and fashion, lifestyle, mummy, and health and food bloggers; broadcasters and website producers, and online publishers in Australia with an intention of examining how media practitioners working in online publishing companies survive in the current online space. The aim of Janets research was to examine the main skills of media practitioners, the technologies and platforms they use, the kind of business models, which are said to be successful, and the level of their success (Fulton, 2015)..

For many years, there are numerous arguments in regards to values, traditions and online space of journalism. Sheridan Burns demonstrated journalists and journalism in popular culture while sustaining the perception of the public presented in occupational mythology that, the journalist, accustomed to being an outsider, fears no one and cannot be corrupted in the pursuit of truth, whatever the temptation. Always ready to drop everything in pursuit of a story, the journalist is always on the move, seldom pausing too long to reflect, and tells it like it is, whatever the personal cost

In 1996, Svennik Hoyer represented the same characteristics of an ideal journalist traditions like publics right to knowledge, truth in reporting, presenting of important information used in making informed decisions and ability to employ the ideals of objectivity. Davis and Craft reinforced the understanding of the importance of journalism in facilitating democracy by describing the role of press in democracy as a watchdog, mirror and a marketplace of many ideas (Hoyer, 1996). Other authors such as Hanno hardt provided different ideals by describing the utopian vision of journalism having popular myths in regards to the Fourth Estate as well as watchdog, which is destabilized by commercial imperatives in the current organizations. Therefore, there are different views and perceptions about journalists and journalism by different authors (Hoyer, 1996).

Fulton reported on her previous paper on the same research while reviewing the literature and provide the definition of journalist by stating, In a similar way to new media itself, the definition for digital media workers is fluid and is difficult to define defining journalist is contentious (Fulton, 2014). Regardless of the attempts made in the past years by many authors to define a journalist, generating a satisfactory definition has not been successful. The claims by Bruns where he has characterized journalism with the ability of any person to publish information as well as the online environment makes the definition of journalist more complicated(Bruns, 2004).

The same applies to Zelizer where he states that disagreements exist among the academics and professionals on how narrow or broad the meaning of journalist should be . Fulton disqualifies the claims made by Zelizer who states that a journalist is a person doing the news work based on her counter argument where she asks Is a teenage girl who produces daily entries in her diary and shares them with her friend a journalist? Formally, various organizations and government agencies have offered the definitions of journalism and journalist for the purposes of legislation. For instance, Andrew Wilkie, a Member of Parliament from Australia proposed a legislation, which could offer protection to the source of information for the journalists in 2010.

Amendments were made in 2011 to include a journalist as any person in the course of his or her duties, provided information with exception that the information is available to the news media.

Fulton integrates connective ethnography across the offline and online digital spaces considering the perspective of offline production. According to connective ethnography, online practices are embedded in offline practices; on the other hand, offline practices are also integrated in online practices.

Therefore, connective ethnography makes it possible to investigate the offline and online perspective of producers in an online environment of the media by applying the traditional techniques of ethnography like analysis of online publications by participants, semi-structured interviews as well as engagement. Fulton undertook in-depth interviews in 28 media producers embracing alternative techniques to publishing inclusive of broadcasters, online magazine publishers, website producers and bloggers.

Based on the methodology, Burgess key informant sampling was utilized in the selection of participants. In addition, semi-structured interviews and online journalism the researcher used research. In reference to the results, it was found that there are different views about who journalists are and what journalism is. Half of the interviewees reported to have worked news publications. One of the respondent stated that he worked as a freelance journalist and a blogger. Others said that they do not consider blogging as journalism. The differentiation between working as a blogger and a journalist showed that there is a separation in proficient journalists between people who cannot be regarded as journalists and ones classified as journalists. Most of the participants defended their position in journalism by stating that what they were doing qualified them to be journalists. For instance, one participant referred himself as a content director, a term that was not in existence five years ago.

However, he stated that he upheld the ethics in the profession. There was an argument from a participant who had no journalistic background working as a temporary journalist for one of the magazines in Australia, where he said that what they were doing cannot qualify them to be journalists. In regards to occupational identity, he said, I guess because I still have this semi-antiquated [view] of journalism as the people who have done the hard work and got the piece of paper that says that theyve got the degree and then have gone and done cadetships or done that sort of stuff. And in part because I look at the content of what I do, what I cover, Im not going to change the world talking about television (Fulton, 2015). And I see journalists as people who are your Sarah Ferguson [award winning Australian journalist] kind of people or investigative journalist people that uncover the big thing or reveal to us all of the facts on the other thing.

It is very easy to identify the work-related mythology of journalism in reference the above comment since he is basing the notion of journalist being a watchdog, specifically referring the initial argument, which is against the bloggers. Those engaged in the traditional media organizations that content was regurgitation in regards to the news stories examined as well as reported by the mainstream media. From the results, it is clear that most of the circumstances the traditional practitioners in journalism have not acted ethically according to the Australian Journalism Code of Ethics (Fulton, 2015). These acts result from the management pressure in order to generate more income for the media organizations. In addition, there exists schism between people referring themselves as journalists and the ones doing similar work but are afraid of referring themselves as journalists. Given the nutshell in traditional journalism, there are debates as well as discussions of who a journalist i...

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