Friday, January 21, 2011
Book Review: News 2.0 Can journalism survive the Internet? By Martin Hirst
Australian Pub.: November 2010
Publisher: ALLEN & UNWIN
Subject: Press & journalism
Technology is transforming the media and with it, the practice of journalism. Martin Hirst investigates the implications of the new media explosion for the Fourth Estate and the way news is gathered and consumed around the world.
There have never been so many ways of producing news and news-like content. From podcasts, to YouTube, blogs and the phenomenal popularity of social media, seismic shifts are underway in global media.
News 2.0 bridges the gap between theory and practice to present an integrated approach to journalism that redefines the profession. Key ideas in journalism theory, political economy and media studies are used to explore the changing cultures of journalism in an historical context.
Hirst explains the fragmentation of the mass audience for news products, and how digital commerce has disconnected consumers from real democracy. He argues that journalism requires a restatement of the role of journalists as public intellectuals with a commitment to truth, trust and the public interest.
'... a powerful reply to those whose utopian dreams cloud their thinking about the political, social, economic and cultural implications of digital convergence.' - Vincent Mosco, Canada Research Chair, Queen's University
'... essential reading for students, journalists and everyone interested in the future of news and journalism.' - Bob Franklin, Professor of Journalism Studies, Cardiff University
'... tackles the urgent questions that surround journalism from a pragmatic yet radical perspective.' - Janet Wasko, Knight Chair in Communication Research, University of Oregon
'Anyone interested in where journalism finds itself now, and where it may be headed any time soon, should start by reading this book.' - Michael Bromley, Professor of Journalism, University of Queensland
About Martin Hirst
Martin Hirst is Associate Professor in Journalism at Auckland University of Technology. He is co-author of Journalism Ethics and Communications and New Media.
The basis for this book is the ongoing debate about the survival of professional journalism with the world wide explosion of amateur bloggers and writers. The book expands on the debate by pushing the point of view that there will always be the need for the professional journalist.
There are case studies of recent events, such as the Twitter revolution that has seen many stories spread across the world before any paid journalists even arrive at the scene.
As a journalist and lecturer in the media, the author’s view may be slightly skewed towards his hip pocket rather than the reality of the issue. But it is mentioned that this is not just the opinion of a man who sees journalism being under threat from our interactive, digital society, and indeed, is not just the opinion of one person. Many journalists and academics share the view that the ubiquitous digital camera and high-tech, net-enabled phones spell the democratization of journalism. Hirst’s main argument is that these readily accessible technologies don’t make you a journalist and that there is still, and always will be, a need for trained, professional reporters.
Hirst suggests one of the main reasons people turn online for their news is a mistrust of mainstream media by the public. Overall, the book was an interesting read.