Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Final Post: A reflection on the lessons of JOMC 240

This afternoon, I came across this coin operated newspaper rack for the Herald Sun:

Had I not taken JOMC 240, I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought.

The rack says "More Local News," which made me think about several conversations we've had in class about how news will become more localized. Well, actually our class took two different approaches to the localization of news theory. The first was that major news outlets will publish more local news in an effort to personalize their news content. The second was that local news outlets will out survive bigger newspapers. Either way, we discussed the great value in local news.

JOMC 240 has taught me a lot about the future of mass media, but most importantly, it's encouraged me to think about the future. Yes – news media is changing. Technology and digital devices have forever impacted all types of mass media, and we're the journalists who will navigate this transition.

The future is scary, especially when the future brings radical changes that could potentially take away jobs. But JOMC 240 has shown me that within these changes are opportunities for success.

Several classes we talked about Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, Napster, Huffington Post, and other mass media that happened because of an idea. The creators of these media took advantage of new technologies to meet a need. They allowed people to communicate through pictures, instantly send messages, download music and read articles online.

JOMC 240 has taught me that although traditional print journalism is on its way out – although a potentially slow decline – media will live. There will always be a market for news, even if that market exists only on laptops. Viewers will always want to "Keep Up With the Kardashians." Listeners will always want to download their favorite songs. And tragedies, like the Chapel Hill Shooting, will highlight the importance of honest, fair reporting, even when the story doesn't quite fit the expected narrative.

Although the medium will change, news will never die.

It will be our role as millennial journalists to guide news from the printed page to computer screens. It may not always be profitable. It may not always be fun, but I believe it is our responsibility to make news relevant and accessible to the digital generation, if only for the benefit of democracy.

Now is the time for journalists to seize the day. The phrase "carpe diem" comes from a poem by the Roman poet Horace. The line in the poem is translated: "Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow (the future)."

As journalists of the future, we can't trust tomorrow to make the print-digital transition. We are being presented with the opportunity to reinvigorate and reestablish news for the digital audience.

I think our future looks pretty bright.

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