The Web has plunged to journalism in a profound change. Journalistic media to develop in compression zones and nodes of the public conversation. For the journalistic profession, the role has significant consequences.
When the Internet was made in the mid nineties of the last century accessible to everyone through the large service provider AOL, Compuserve and T-Online/BTX was hardly foreseeable and even less clear what effects the new medium of the individual sectors and would unfold daily life at all. From the perspective of newspaper and magazine publishers, the web was understood best as a cost-effective channel for secondary use existing content: Mirrors and Schwerin People's Daily launched their websites into the unknown - and all ran after. Companies recognized in the new new media PR, distribution and marketing opportunities. And Jane Smith and John Doe people found it really exciting to spend hours surfing through the WWWeltgeschichte or to pass the time in chat rooms and forums.
The mirror goes online on 25.10.1994. Editor Uly Foerster demanded early 1996 in a concept memo for the site that they should always be up to date: "I insist on weekly updates. At least "The screenshot shows Spiegel Online on CompuServe in 1995.
The modem biepte at 9600 bits per second to be Dingerängdäng, flashed eintröpfelnden excited every time a new data packet, the first videos jerk sparkled in thumbnail format on the monitors, and text pages drowned in bright blue hyperlink. The female-gentle voice greeted AOL User morning with a joyous "You've got mail!", And Boris Becker was surprised that he was there. Website load times of five or ten or fifteen minutes were hardly anyone bothered to simply bridged by going to the coffee machine. The Web was colorful, wild, creative, multi-dimensionally. Even horrendous costs of access no less than ten dollars per hour were the nerds of the first hour piepegal - the main thing you were there. Search and find were of pure fun, mixed with a dash of wanderlust, Google did not exist's, and the link-catalog of Yahoo wood media lovers could not completely print to about fifty A4 pages. Long time ago.
Today, the web is gone by then - and yet it has remained. The Web has changed dramatically, it converts more, has penetrated into all areas of life. From the heady info-trip experience of the early years although little remains, and the Web has become conventional, but also faster, multi-faceted, cross-media. In essence, it is today a consultation medium: Who wants to know something, who has a question, go to the Web and gets the answer. And fast. For example by Google. Or by friends on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, or who-knows-who XING. Or your fingertips to the correct app in the smartphone. The Web has arrived not only in everyday life, it is formally hineinexplodiert in everyday life, has become established, and the first who grew up with the Web generation has become not only the degree in the bag, but also the applikationsgarnierte smartphone or even your tablet device with mobile web access.
For this first generation that has grown up with the Internet, are the long-established features of the traditional media of print, radio and television all in principle to the test. The television and radio as suppliers real-time breaking news, and as entertainment media, especially the newspaper as a medium for deeper insights into the news events - these tasks are fulfilled by the Web today.
Who the 14 - to 19-year-olds questioned today after their media consumption will realize that although they like to use the internet but it is only exceptionally actively involved in it. The participatory web is more of a media chimera, or so it provided a study of the Hans Bredow Institute in Hamburg established in autumn 2010. And who asked the young people about the use of traditional media, and listen to them well, gets often counter-questions asked, about this: "Why should I read the news yesterday again on paper?" Or, "Why should I my day on the schedule ? set of ARD, ZDF, RTL and Sat1 "Although it can not be said with certainty that these attitudes will remain stable over time, is a well certain: It changes something in the media usage habits, the print range, for example, constantly decreasing. How far these changes will be accurate only show when the generation of the so-called digital natives goes into professional life and perhaps founded families.
One thing is certain: With the advent of the Internet many things have become possible, which previously was considered unthinkable. For example, the disappearance of the printed message on paper. At the meeting place of the late nineties was always happy to refer to Wolfgang Riepl, who recognized in 1913 in a paper on the Message nature of antiquity that new media do not replace old media, but complementary. The recent media story seemed fairly to give it to him: neither the radio nor television had wiped out the daily and weekly press, possibly shifted the role of the print media, away from the current message to more background fabric.
More specifically, the Internet is but an entirely new type of medium, it does not fit in the line: It's not a new medium in the traditional sense, the range of media simply adds a new mode, as the movie (set to music moving image), the radio ( sound) or watch TV (sent, set to music moving image) was the case. Rather, it is a new technical platform, take place on the all known media modes, from the record of the original sound through to the moving image, and at the same time next to each other in arbitrary networks. It is a medium with its different services all its own that it extends the range of non-traditional media to another, additional mode, but reconsidered and primed the existing media in a very own technological frame. It is the now-here-all-media.
Riepl law, the concern of many publishers and many readers, that does not necessarily have to be more valid. Is quite conceivable that the newspaper on paper sometime must eke out an existence as an elitist niche product. In this light are the same newspaper publishers today face a whole new set of challenges. The question of sustainable business models for many media providers, making sure the most urgent, but it is also certainly not the only one.
Journalism in the mashup media
With the media companies of course also puts professional journalism is changing. The Web plunges him into a massive and ongoing upheaval in sight. The industry has long been the emergence of the new medium has not been processed. As is often spoken of the fourth type of media from a journalistic perspective when looking to the Internet. By print, radio and television so now online. But if the usual categories and thought patterns really fit, is by no means clear. You could mislead, because the Web can hardly understand when it is simply placed next to the other three and interpreted as a logical continuation of the previous media evolution. Seems more appropriate, to bear in mind that the Internet is an all-medium in which connect all previously known communication technologies together and penetrate each other. Whether letter or phone call, whether newspaper or magazine, whether radio or TV show, whether panel discussion or PowerPoint presentation, whether catalog or lexicon, whether CD or DVD, if the map or road map - the web sucks them all and link them together. Originally Separate the analog world is digitally interwoven and recombined in Internet speech that is then mashup.
This suction is certainly not a lossless process: A letter on paper is a letter on paper. And a newspaper on paper is just a newspaper on paper. And this book would be something else would publish it as an e-paper. Paper does touch-ability, it does Overview by limited text space, it means liability by Printed-being, it means with the end point linearity. Whether these unique features be enough to secure the future of paper media, will prove. Written journalism is certainly not mandatory for all time bound to cellulose from trees.
Gate closure for the gatekeeper
With the Internet changing journalism as a profession, not only in its economic conditions of existence, but also in its interior. In the pre-Internet time, there was, for example, clear division of roles between journalistic and editorial audience. Journalism as a social function put, because in complex societies is a demand for Chronicle, to survey and classification of the daily action arose. For this, you needed people, professionals that they were paid to do research, filter and then to publish. Readers, listeners and viewers who paid for the Published. Journalists as a professional group grew in this constellation a question-worthy and often unquestioned power as hardly to prompt filter instance: they determined in each individual case as to what could be done in the leaves and on the channels on the subject and was made - and what is not. They set the agenda and were the lock-keeper of the published information, the so-called gatekeeper. Journalistic participation of the audience exhausted itself in this situation in letters to the editor and viewer calls.
The Web has this gatekeeper function of journalism now leveled thoroughly. The hierarchical gap between the informant and informed people up there down there is at least become much flatter in many areas, if not irrevocably leveled. On the web, journalists and users see eye to eye: a published information, any message, any report can in principle be checked by anyone, comments, be supplemented or corrected. The editorial in the individually acquired, grown in many professional research access knowledge - a long time the basis of any journalistic information advantage - is now under intense daily pressure control, not only, but especially from the blogosphere, the cyberspace of the blogger.
However, there is not only controlled in the blogosphere, but also quite seriously published independently, usually in the more confident tone in some places - professional in every way - according to standard journalistic quality standards. Debate is therefore welcome and sometimes very controversial as to whether bloggers are now also journalists or not. Undoubtedly, if motivated people invest their time, check sources are skeptical bite into an expense in the works, which would be uneconomical for professional editors, and finally also report spoke versed, then expanded the boundaries the traditional understanding of journalism as a profession. Journalism today is therefore better understood as an activity, it says, for example, Wolfgang Blau, Chief of time online: "Journalism is not a profession more exclusive. Journalism has become an activity that is practiced only by a minority professional. Whether a journalist is professional, which is determined not by whether he earns money with his work, but only by whether it complies with professional standards. "
Legend is certainly a long time that the lay colleagues sometimes quite successfully continue drilling where the cut-off date for established editors allowed no further questions or would allow.
In order not to be misunderstood: Journalism as a social function is more important than ever in an intricate and complex world. Journalism, however, is no longer based only on the targeting of economic profit media company. It is not identical with the organized editors in publishing houses, will take place in volatile organizational structures up elsewhere instead - and that forces the full-time journalism to interpret his new role.
This includes the understanding journalism as what it really is: the totality of relevant practices, all aimed regularly, reliably, critically, in the opinion of the direction and content independently plausible to inform the public about relevant issues. And this includes building a certainly not uncritical, but also at the same time constructive relationship to the blogosphere and the participatory web. Heribert Prantl, a chief editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung has noted this in an article on the future of journalism in 2010 somewhat smugly: "Professional journalism reliably explained what happened - according to professional criteria. If a furniture salesman or a fitness coach, for whatever the reason may be - congratulations. "
Of course, skepticism is appropriate. However, the full-time professionals should get used to it, that is out there on the Internet is not just a sea of the trivial, but just too many clever web users, who occasionally also know more than some editor. Journalistic mistakes like using unverified sources by CBS anchorman Dan Rather or the made-up stories of the New York Times reporter Jason Blair had not blown so quickly without the use of dedicated amateur researchers. And last but not least the stars of this scene ongoing evolution in individual cases quite serious competition for established media. The Huffington Post is just one example of many: The news site was started as a liberal political blog, reaching mid-2010, according to Newsweek already over 24 million visitors per month - and more than about the website of the Washington Post (see figure .). Founder Arianna Huffington sold the blog in early February 2011 for stately 315 million U.S. dollars in AOL.
The gradual erosion of the traditional gatekeeper role of journalism has changed not only the relationship with readers, listeners and viewers, but also the relationship with the news suppliers in companies and associations, in political parties, government agencies and non-profit organizations. In the pre-Internet time PR messages were far-reaching effect instead especially if they made it into the programs of radio and television stations or on the sides of high-circulation newspapers and magazines. Due to the comparatively low cost of the Internet publication opportunities, through to publishing around the clock principle sites with their global reach in public topics presence is now more than ever, but also off journalistic airtime or print pages possible. Press releases via the Internet, for example, can cost, real-time current, mass effect and be directed mainly without journalistic filter directly to the addressee. Also move in the internal relationship with the public work, so the weights, PR strategists put on the internet today clearly accentuated on those channels which pass directly addressed to the filters journalistic editorial clients - which ranges from SMS or e-mailings about site and Internet Newsletter to online press conferences or corporate blogs, Twitter and Facebook profiles in the Web 2.0.
The gatekeeper in the Internet Age
All this does not mean, however, that the journalistic tasks of weighting, Ausleuchtens, of criticizing and Einordnens relevant public event would become obsolete. Even in the Internet era, these social functions in a democratic society are fundamental, they are probably even more important than ever. The filtering and classifying is still the core task, but it is no longer in an imaginary top-and-bottom hierarchy instead, but, as already stated, tend to eye level with the audience.
Professional media presences are therefore more likely to understand today as structuring, ordering and clocking instances in an otherwise rather hierarchically leveled media landscape. Journalistic media are in this area, the compression zones and nodes: They attack the issues of informal conversations in chat rooms and messengers in article comments and forums, in blogs and social networks on, they organize a, expand it and make it available to the participating publications in standardized , available to fuel enriched forms of professional communication as a fresh impetus and new communications back to individual as to establish communication circuits or spirals. So the whole process no longer has a strict top-down direction. And the role of the gatekeeper is indeed continue to be characterized by the fact that unique selection task, but also clearly pronounced by the moderator. If journalism is thus partially understood as a conversation, that's for many online editors and editors-long life.
Online journalism - now everywhere
And what that means in practical terms for Writing for the Web? It primarily means that the Web as a platform intensified the demand for professional writing skills. Who wants to be present in the informal and professional, bonded to digital platforms discussions and help shape it, the webgerecht should communicate in writing and pictures. This is of course not only for journalistic editorial on the Web, but ultimately for every business and organization for each club and for each association. What words appear on the web and which are not, how they work and when they fail - this is the knowledge that matters. Offer attractive texts is therefore now no longer just a job for journalists-professionals, but for those who have to rely on a professional to address their audiences on the web and inform.
John Paul Titlow columnist readwriteweb.com, one of the most renowned internet tech blogs in the USA, outlined it in July 2010 as follows: "Today it is no longer sufficient simply to have an inviting shop windows and great physical or digital products . Driven by social media, with which even the search engines can hardly keep pace, the Web is a real-time medium today. How can remain competitive even in small companies? A crucial part of the answer to this question is something that most companies give little thought had been:. To understand the Web as a publisher "Professional writing craft is therefore needed anywhere on the web today - not only in journalism itself if you will, find online journalism in the sense of professional skill-texts on the Web today takes anywhere.