0 framework. This framework is particularly relevant to journalism where the need for greater levels of interaction and collaboration with the reader were badly needed. The rapid ascent of blogs and their use for journalistic purposes, in addition to the exponential growth of video sites including YouTube continue to underscore how accurate the Web 2.0 framework is.
The initial generation of technologies that disrupted traditional journalism included blogs, knowledge-based wikis, and the rapid growth of micro-blogging sites including Twitter. The growth of podcasts during the first generation of Internet-based technology adoption in journalism also served to accelerate much-needed change in terms of connecting with readers more effectively (Loop, 1999). This first generation of these technologies were very effective in creating an easily learned publishing platform, one that was able to reach millions of readers within seconds of a journalist posting a story online (Adee, 2008). They however did not have the ability to manage interaction with the reader as well. The original vision of the Web 2.0 design framework as defined by O'Reilly (2006) sought to bring the reader and creator of the content into a conversation that occurs in real-time.
The second generation of technologies that are today having a very significant effect on journalism include social media sites, especially Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and photo sharing sites Instagram and many others (York, 2011). These are bringing an entirely new level of accuracy, alacrity, and accountability into journalism. There is also more need than ever for oversight from an ethics standpoint as well. Yet at their most fundamental, these second-generation technologies are making the journalist and reader more united in their efforts to get to the truth of specific issues and also share their interests in how continued research and investigations can aid in making a given story all the more insightful and useful. The original Web 2.0 design objectives have been fulfilled in this latest generation of applications. The next generation of applications will increasingly be focused on content curation, support for mobility and greater support for video streaming (Murdoch, 2010).
The Internet in general and social media specifically are re-writing the rules for journalisms globally today. Now that the power of social media platforms have been clearly shown as a powerful catalyst of bringing democracy into nations as was shown with Arab Spring, the pace will only accelerate in the future (Murdoch, 2010). This drastic shift in how journalism is practiced as a craft is excellent news for the profession. It forces journalists to concentrate on the purity and value of what they investigate, research and write more than ever before. It also forces an exceptionally high level of focus on accountability as well.
All of these factors favor the growth of a new type of journalist that is equally adept with the structural approaches to reporting from the past and the continual need to understand that readers now view the world in drastically different terms -- they view the world in real-time. The need for journalists who can quickly assess and report on newsworthy events while using the latest social media tools to inform and educate readers is critical., Above all, journalists who can bring a level of insight and intelligence to their many reporting assignments are also crucial. All of these factors together need to be engrained into the new role of the journalist in the 21st century.
The Internet and social media have forever re-ordered the present and future of journalism. The pros and cons of this development have been discussed in this paper. As with any disruptive innovation it is best to view this as a catalyst of continued growth and change in terms of the alacrity, accuracy and accountability of journalists to the public. The fact that the Internet and social media have been responsible for the toppling of oppressive regimes in Egypt and Libya show the power of these platform is revolutionizing entire nations (Murdoch, 2010). For the journalist of the future, these technologies can be used for increasing the alacrity, accountability and transparency of the journalistic process. The greater that level of interactive communication shared, the more effective journalism is in ensuring the liberties and freedoms of citizens in nations who value freedom of speech.
Adee, B. (2008). Digging into social media to build a newspaper audience. Nieman Reports, 62(4), 52.
Bernoff, J., & Li, C. (2008). Harnessing the power of the oh-so-social web. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(3), 36-42.
Hermes, J. (2006). Citizenship in the age of the internet. European Journal of Communication, 21(3), 295-309.
Loop, M. (1999). A journalist's guide to the internet: The net as reporting tool. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 76(2), 398-398.
Murdoch, R. (2010). From town crier to bloggers: How will journalism survive the internet age? Vital Speeches of the Day, 76(2), 61.
Nancy, H.M. (2000). Digitization and the news. Nieman Reports, 54(4), 11-13.
Tim O'Reilly. (2006, July). Web 2.0: Stuck on a Name or Hooked on Value? Dr. Dobb's Journal, 31(7), 10.
Overholser, G. (2009). What is journalism's place in social media? Nieman Reports, 63(3), 5.
Pavlik, J.V. (1997). The future of online journalism. Columbia Journalism Review, 36(2), 30-31+.
Picard, R.G. (2009). Blogs, tweets, social media, and the news business. Nieman Reports, 63(3), 10.