How Traditional Media is Adapting to an Online World

There is no doubt that the online world has perhaps had the greatest impact on the field of news reporting.  The idea of a journalist is very different now than 20 years ago.  Blogging done by people not trained in journalism, has become part of our world.  And while grassroots journalism has captured some of the market, traditional news media has not stood by idle.  How has the mainstream news sources adapted to our ever changing idea of journalism?  A study by Neil Thompson tries to answer this question.


Neil J. Thurman. “Forums for citizen journalists? Adoption of user generated content initiatives by online news media” New Media & Society 10.1 (2008): 139-157. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461444807085325

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Posted on July 31, 2011, in Discussion Leader. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. You topic is interesting and I wish I attended your discussion. As the blogging is establishing a new type of journalism and breaking down the monopoly communities and traditional news spreading pattern. It really pushes the boundary (public’s demand) of free speech. I do think that if the mainstream news sites don’t adjust themselves into this changing environment, they will soon disappear.

    Personally I don’t really comment on a news site unless I have confidence in my opinion. Usually I treat news more seriously, I don’t quite put out my opinion to the public like I do on entertainment content.

    From my perspective, blogs on news sites are usually more professional, at least the blogger’s got some expertise in a particular field or they may have a very good insight on the news content. Therefore more people will read these blogs. Whereas the traditional blogs, they don’t require any expertise, everyone can say something about a certain topic.

  2. I think it’s interesting how online news sites are interacting with their readers through comments and feedback. I think it is good because people are responding to and talking about the news more than they used to. I personally don’t respond to articles online, but I have read other people’s comments. Generally I find some of the points that the commenters have made very logical, smart and thoughtful. Sometimes they can be the most ridiculous thing I have ever read, but I suppose that comes with the territory of free and open commenting.

    I think blogs are fascinating. They are evidence that there are some very smart and savvy thinkers and writers out there. Many times, they say something in a way that we the readers can connect with more easily than we can a professional article. I think it’s because we come from the same place: the common public. Blogs have become really popular recently and I think they will continue to influence the news media in the future.

  3. I think the topic you picked is excellent. It brought out some points that I personally have overlooked before. I know that I read a lot of my news online, and typically I see the comments section at the bottom. I have generally overlooked reading them or putting any thought into the fact that they are there. So the key points that you had mentioned caught my attention. I never did think of the cost management of monitoring those sites. I had always guessed that a traditional statement by the host would be adequate to release the legal consequences, but I am not sure that is the case now with the online news. So, this small detail got me to understand and realize that something simple as leaving the feedback area for some of these sites can be problematic in terms of cost and possible slander issues.

    The second point which I am not sure was intended was the one that truly took my attention. I know that you had mentioned that old journalism is based on the foundation of being objective. Well, this only came about recently as an effect of many new technologies including the Associated Press and other factors. At least in this class, we are all familiar only to the objective writing of journalism. As technology progresses, blogging and other news sources are becoming available. This is creating a more opinion dripping form of news. So your idea that more news will tend to lead towards blogging techniques that allow a more personal feel makes me wonder if the times are changing, and we will begin to sway back towards an appreciation of more subjective news.

  4. I thought your presentation was very interesting! I think the experience of online news versus traditional print is very different and you did a nice job expressing this. In the past news was essentially for the most part a one way street, now however with the ability to post comments right below stories it is becoming a two way street. I know, that not everyone takes advantage of the comment boxes at the bottom of pages, but I believe quite a few people do and more will continue to. I know personally that when it comes to sports I have in the past and you also expressed that you had. So, I think it may start as just commenting on sports pages and eventually turn into commenting on news and politics.

    I also thought the entire concept of blogging as news to be very interesting. It’s a very hard topic to talk about because blogs on online news sites tend I feel like to be misleading. People at times take information when they see it on news sites as fact even if they are expressed as being just a blog affiliated with a news site. So, personally I am not a fan.

  5. Really interesting topic. I went a screening of Page One: Inside the New York Times a few months ago and Brian Stelter (media desk) brought this up. He made a great point regarding the curation of content, noting that he sees editors returning to their former roles as gathers of news from the people, not through a middleman.

    I hope journalists begin to resemble what’s happening in the print industry. Print is capitalizing on the nature of print. Great images deserve to beautifully printed on well-bound books in the same way that great journalists should be focused on investigative and critical reporting, not mashing together pieces about high-way pileups and sex scandals. Let individuals richen that area via Twitter and Facebook.

  6. I really enjoyed your presentation because I think it raises a good point about the direction journalism is going today. Although the journalism industry was slow to react to the change that came with online self-journalism, I do agree that they have begun to give more prominence to journalism done by individuals or by the citizens. It was interesting to hear our group’s feedback regarding the different kinds of news sites that use chat rooms and blogs to not only talk to their readers but with them. In order for journalists of today to be successful now and in the future, they must be able to listen to their readers and converse with them in an active way.

    I thought it was interesting however when our group was discussing these new forms of online journalism that popular news sites are attempting to implement because I’m not quite sure the journalism industry has figured out a way to efficiently and effectively use the chat rooms and blogs. For example we were talking about the area below many news articles which allows common readers to post a comment, and several of our group members said they had in fact left a comment. However, these members had never gone back to see what the journalist or any other commenter had said in response. It seems to me that there is little purpose for these types of self-journalistic forums that online news sites are attempting to create.

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