The way in which news is sourced has changed significantly over the last decade. The typical image of a reporter with a hat, trench coat and cigar is no longer synonymous with the trade…
Back in the day, when newspapers ruled, reporters were counted on to get out and about on their beat and acquire first hand reports of what was going on in their area. With the explosion of new media in general, there are now less hours dedicated to this type of work and more to the use of social media to source stories and the production of multi-platform content.
The traditional methods of news gathering:
Beat system, stringer system, whistleblowers, press releases, forward planning.
All pretty simple and tried and tested methods of finding news – especially locally.
Whilst these methods do remain for broadcasters and print journalists (particularly whistleblowers and press releases), they are increasingly less likely to need to get out of the newsroom to source material…I guess why get cold when you can do it via the web?
Not only is it economically viable, but (provided publishers are on the pulse flagging stories) by using social media a journalist can hit a stories within minutes of it happening.
This does mean however that news groups lose their face in the community – the person to contact and trust with their information.
Is this a problem for the future? Or does is simply tie in with the increasingly personal world we all live in, the loss of the sense of community in an area and the rapid development of communication?
Something to think about.