Entering and Advancing the Digital News Age

By Savannah Swix

Photo from Pixabay.

I will admit – I don’t read the newspaper and probably the only time you will see me watching the news on television is if I am sitting with my mother in our living room on a weekday morning.

However, I see the day’s biggest headlines, check out links to news stories and watch short video clips from previously aired television broadcasts on Facebook and Twitter all day long. That’s most often how I learn about what’s going on in the world on an average day. I don’t expect that I will be the only young adult my age to admit that either.

Some people might think that it’s unusual, but this reading, “State of the News Media 2016” by Amy Mitchell and Jesse Holcomb from the Pew Research Center, tells us that it’s just a fact of the future and evolution of news distribution and consumption. It’s just like how television impacted the print newspaper industry, as the article explained, except now it’s online.

As someone who works with digital media a lot, I have acquired skills that will help me to continue to grow in a digital news world. I think most journalism programs, like the School of Journalism at Michigan State University, are adapting to this reality. As students, we are taught everything from how to publish and circulate our work online and even how to use virtual reality as a form of storytelling and spreading the news. We’re being offered an education that will prepare us for what journalism might be like when we graduate.

In the fact sheet for digital news audience, one of the things that the writers spent a lot of time discussing was that most digital news is consumed on a mobile device. I found this interesting, but not overly surprising because we see it happening every day. This trend puts news organizations in a position where they have to create apps or make their website compatible for mobile in order to keep up. Part of that includes using appropriate image sizes because those can appear significantly different when viewed from desktop to mobile.

In the office that I work in, we try to use the best images we can find to share with a story on social media. Normally, it’s especially important for Twitter because it’s a popular app to scroll through on a phone rather than on desktop. I’m sure other companies and brands have similar tricks that they use in order to maintain a digital reputation.

It’s clear that digital news is increasing in popularity so, as pointed out in the article, advertisers are taking notice. Mobile ad spending is growing to be a large part of media advertising, according to Pew Research Center.

When I personally think of mobile ads, I think of Snapchat and how the app is placing advertisements on our friends’ stories and on the Discover page. It’s a smart move because Snapchat is so easy to click through that you come across the ad naturally. The use of the filters to promote newly released movies and various global events like the Summer Olympics is genius, too, in my book. I’m sure that as the app gains more and more of a strong reputation as a resource for news organizations, we will see solid numbers measuring its success.




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