In 1980, Ted Turner, one of the biggest players in all of the world of media, broke the old hierarchy of the news cycle.
At the time it didn’t look like it, but Turner’s idea for a 24/7 news station was a revolutionary idea. The media company struggled at first as it figured out the best way to succeed with its new product.
But in 1991, CNN had its watershed moment that showed the power of the never-ending news cycle. The Gulf War breaking out in Iraq allowed media consumers to be constantly updated on the actions of war. This showed a rift in the former news cycle that newspapers and broadcast stations, as they fell behind on the constant happenings of the war.
People also could receive live visual updates from the war, which could be more appealing than reading the straight text from newspapers. No moment of the war showed that more than some of the live updates from the al-Rashid hotel in Baghdad:
“This is Bernie Shaw. Something is happening outside…Peter Arnett, join me here. Let’s describe to our viewers what we’re seeing…The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated…We’re seeing bright flashes going off all over the sky.”
Newspapers still were looked at as the most credible sources for news, but didn’t have the ability to keep up with the likes of Fox News and CNN. The visual appeal of the constant coverage also drew people in.
And so the old barons of the big newspaper companies began to witness a change. People had the ability to get their news in much different ways before.
With the rise of the Internet coming shortly after, the world of journalism and news media would change drastically in just a few short years
Before your news was instantly available to you with the opening of your laptop, big media companies controlled the world of news media.
Without competition from online media outlets, blogs and other online entities, the individual news companies in big cities dictated how you got your news.
Newspapers arrived in the morning and started out the old news cycle. This is how most people received their news from the day before. Broadcast newscasts in in the late afternoon and early night finished out how consumers got their news from the day.
This allowed for the newspapers and broadcast news stations to thrive in their local and national markets. They usually had a stranglehold on their news and didn’t have to worry about unveiling it until it was printed in the newspaper the next day or broadcast that night.
The domination of newspapers in the 1990s could be seen in the circulation of some of the countries’ biggest papers. The Los Angeles Times had a circulation of 1.2 million in 1990, compared to 600,000 now, basically half of what it used to be.
Advertising went hand-in-hand with the big circulation numbers. More companies wanted to put their ads in papers because they knew people would see them. This allowed newspaper revenues to stay steady as people read them and advertisers wanted to put their products in the paper.
A similar situation could be said about the Big Three news stations in NBC, ABC and CBS. For national news, nightly newscasts finished out the news cycle, and companies wanted to advertise because of the viewership.
But as technology changed, the future didn’t appear so bright for these conglomerates. Multiple factors played hands in it, from the evolution of 24-hour news stations like CNN to the growth in popularity in the Internet. As you will see in the upcoming slides, it’s still something the old barons of the industry have yet to recover from.
This is also serving as a show and tell for this class.
Recently creates is Storify, a website that allows users to tell a story through Tweets, Facebook posts, other social media posts and original content. Just last week, Storify was used to tell the stunning story of the tornado disaster in Joplin, Missouri. The author, Steve Streza, used tweets, pictures, videos and blurbs from other news websites to show the devastation in Joplin.
All of the different places on Twitter and news websites, photos and videos taken from different people are all seen in one story. It is a very powerful way to convey one story that canvasses an incredibly wide range of opinions, view points and perspectives from all across the world.
We all thought Twitter was huge. It gave us all ways to express short opinions and share stories in the same place. Storify takes it a step further. All of those thoughts we would have to click on individual profiles, pages or links — across different online and social media platforms — can all be seen on one place.
If used well, there are no limits to the advantages of using Storify to tell the news of any given day.
Arianna Huffintgon and Kenneth Lerer began the Huffington Post in 2005, a news website that basically gathers already published information from other sources and turns it in to its own content. Although some might look at this as glorified plagiarism, the Huffington Post is emerging as one of the most looked-at publications on the Internet.
It recently was bought by AOL for $315 million — after it started for only $ 1 million — marking its arrival as a majorly-respected news source. The New York Times articles reported the Huffington Post ade about $60 million last year, a welcome sign in otherwise dire times for news publications.
The Times article also mentions the Huffington Post’s status as a news aggregation site, which I touched on above. It produces minimal self content, but its ability to generate readership from “making over” previously published articles has no doubt drawn interest — and, more importantly, money.
As a group, we would be remiss if we did not mention the effect of Twitter on news in the future. It’s been pretty obvious through class discussions, our media-free assignments and probably everyday life that Twitter has become a HUGE force in the future of presenting the news.
Various articles have been written analyzing Twitter’s staying power, effectiveness and popularity. It’s obvious that Twitter has emerged at the forefront of news in the 21st century and beyond. When news of Osama bin Laden’s death broke, it was later reported that Twitter was flowing at a rate of 5,000 tweets per second!
As recently as this week, news broke of singer Sean Kingston being in the hospital with injuries sustained in a jet ski accident. The first place I heard the news was Twitter. Sean Kingston’s name was a “trending topic,” meaning it was popping up in more tweets than just about anything else across the Twitterverse. Even though the news did not break on Twitter, the tweets helped the news spread quicker than it otherwise would have, which is the point of the medium.
Those examples show that people look to Twitter for news. Heck, there is even a Twitter account titled ‘breaking news‘ that reports news stories from the first reliable source as they happen. “Breaking News” takes articles from other sources and re-posts them to its followers. It’s the latest in news gathering, and it’s the topic of my next post.