Healthcare is Sick

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Fark.com: Can the counter-cultural “news” site help save journalism?

with one comment

Fark is an example of how the internet, which is often accused of hurting journalism, can help our beleaguered profession. Drew Curtis made an interesting point- many people requested fark cover “serious” news stories, which surprised Curtis, as he assumed people would go to “serious” sites for such news.

Thus, the average fark user will probably not buy a newspaper, but they may check out a story on CNN or NYTimes.com if fark recommends it. This is an important point, as fark helps connect people to traditional news sites who otherwise would not visit them. This is good for journalism, as the more people visiting serious news sites, the better.

This is especially true of young people. According to the Pew Research Center, 34 percent of 18-24 year olds get no news, up from 25 percent in 1998. http://people-press.org/report/444/news-media Today’s young people are the news consumers of the future. For journalism to survive, the industry must find a way to engage this demographic, something fark can definitely help with.

Fark also provides a model of how journalism should evolve as the industry continues to experience what many have termed a “revolution”. Fark relies on stories submitted by readers, engages the audience with wit and humor and makes them feel as if they are part of a community, rather than passive receivers of news. If journalism is to thrive in the “New Media” age it must also incorporate these elements into its day to day operations, something many news sites have begun.

Many reporters are now blogging, and receiving criticism, praise and story ideas from readers. One example is the Boston Globe’s “Metro Desk” blog, which provides constant local news, supplementing the stories that make the daily paper. http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/

This is a good thing, as it makes readers feel more connected to the news, which will hopefully make them more interested in continuing to receive- and hopefully pay for- high quality journalism. Jay Rosen, author of the PressThink blog, describes this phenomenon as “The People Formerly Known as the Audience.” http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2006/06/27/ppl_frmr.html In almost every aspect of journalism, the People Formerly Known as the Audience are using the internet to become citizen journalists, whether it is through blogs, podcasting or video and audio production.

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Written by Chris Russell

September 17, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

    Mr WordPress

    September 17, 2009 at 8:36 pm


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