New Media, Old News, Journalism And Democracy Essay

New Media, Old News, Journalism And Democracy Essay

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‘New Media, Old News: Journalism and Democracy in the Digital Age’ is a book of essays written by authors James Curran, Des Freedman, Angela Phillips, Nick Couldry, Peter Lee-Wright, Tamara Witschge, Aeron Davis, Joanna Redden, Rodney Benson and Natalie Fenton, who also edited the book. These essays are based on a large scale multi-year investigation into the journalistic practices of news organisations in the present day where the internet has made access to news instantaneous and the competition for speed and accuracy is fiercer than ever. It was carried out by Fenton and her eight aforementioned colleagues under the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre.
The book is split into twelve chapters that fit into five sections; ‘Introduction’, ‘New Media and News in Context’, ‘New Media and News in Practice’, ‘New Media, New Sources, New Journalism?’ and ‘New Media, News Content and International Context’.
Fenton opens her book by stating a list of questions that this book attempts to answer. These questions boil down into one simple line of inquiry: is it right to believe that new technology is a good thing for journalism and will these changes result in an increase in democracy?
The entire book points towards the answer that the media industry as a whole is unlikely to change much for the better. It would seem from the results of this study that media is ultimately still a game for big corporations. In the earlier days of the web, we believed that the internet could be the ultimate unifier and equalizer. This is of course, not the case.
The research team found that new media has lead to some lazy and, at its worst, unethical journalism. Story sourcing is used as an example. Journalists often rely on wire services to provide ...


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...l a gap in the market for a trustworthy and unaffiliated news company and I found Fenton’s thoughts on this particularly interesting.
In the fast paced worlds of media and technology, it’s unsurprising that certain aspects of this book are already somewhat out of date. Regardless of this, the contribution that this book and the research carried out for it made to our understanding of new media, and the ways that it’s affecting democracy, is enormous. It cannot be denied that the conclusions drawn help disillusion us of the idea that technology can fix everything that’s wrong with the media industry. Mainly the fact that media is a capitalist business and the people with the money are always going to be the people whose voices will be loudest. The book certainly answered all the questions that it set out to and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in media.

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