New media world won't end need for journalists: Study
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Bloggers, "crowdsourcing" and computer-generated articles are making contributions to the news media, but they cannot replace professional journalists in digging up important news.
That is the message of a major study released this week by Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism, titled "Post-Industrial Journalism." The authors of the report said technology has led to an explosion in the amount of information available, with economic shifts which are affecting journalism in both negative and positive ways.
But in certain kinds of reporting, professional journalists cannot be replaced by machines or crowdsourcing, the study said. It is not journalism's best moment if much key work were taken over by amateurs, or done by machine, the study said.
"What is of great moment is reporting on important and true stories that can change society. The reporting on the Catholic Church's persistent harbouring of child rapists, Enron's fraudulent accounting and the scandal over the Justice Department's Operation Fast and Furious are all such stories." The role of the journalist "as truth-teller, sense-maker, explainer - cannot be reduced to a replaceable input... we need a cadre of full-time workers who report the things someone somewhere doesn't want reported," the authors said.