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The introduction of technology has brought revolutions in every area of human life. With this in mind, there are many sectors in different parts of the economy that have embraced technology and thus been able to enhance their efficiency. One of the areas that have benefited most from technology such as the internet, computers, etc is the media in regard to news. It is important for one to understand that the history of gathering, production and presentation of news content has witnessed a critical shift from a primitive way of doing thing to a more developed and diverse way of gathering, processing and presenting news to the intended public. This essay with therefore examine the effects of technology on news reporting practices with a focus on news gathering processes as well as production and presentation of the content.
To begin with, the introduction of different forms of technology have transformed the ways news are gathered and presented to the public by drastically reducing the time frame between gathering and actual presentation to the public (Harrison 2006). Notably, the initial gathering and presentation of news took a long period of time before this news could actually be presented to the public. The main cause of this delay between gathering are reporting resulted from the fact that there were no appropriate forms of technology that could be used to ensure that the news that had been gathered were able to reach the reporting stations on time. In most cases, the reporters had to travel long distances to the news rooms to present what they had gathered before it could be transmitted either a prints news or through the radio and the television.
The integration of technology skills, knowledge and devices into the process of gathering and reporting news has been enhanced in the modern in such a way that there are devices that have been developed so far to enable reporters to present their news while on the field immediately they are through with compiling them. As a result of this, reporters no longer have the need to move from one end to the other as they gather their news. Instead, they only need to possess the necessary skills and knowledge of using the technological devices that have been developed to transmit their news into the newsrooms (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith 2008, p.397). In consistent with this, one can argue that there is a total reduction of the timeframe between the time the news are gathered and the time this news are presented to the public.
In reference to De Vos (1996, p.122), technology changed the face of news reporting once again by reducing the amount of time that incidences took place and the reporting of these incidences as news to the public. Initially, the newspapers were the main reporter of events that occurred in different parts of the world. Consequently, people had to take a whole day or more than a day before they could be able to receive news from other parts within their countries and from across the globe. This was because the newspapers were printed once per day and there were no updates within the day that was given out. However, this has since changed. The introduction of the radio and the television has made it possible for people to receive news on incidences that have occurred as early as within the first thirty minutes of their occurring.
In consistent with this, the newspapers at one time lost their ability to be news breakers. Instead, they were able to focus on reporting in detailed prints what had happened the previous day. However, having been challenged by the television and the radio and there at risk of loosing their market share, the newspapers have also transformed the way they report news to the public. With the introduction of the internet, most newspaper have an electronic version that is more than often released to the public very early thus reducing the time between gathering and reporting. In addition to this, most newspapers are inclined towards providing breaking news on their websites thus enabling the public to receive news as they happen. Whereas they are far behind the television and the radio in terms of reporting breaking news, most of them are able to report accurately within the shortest time possible. For instance, the New York Times newspaper continually update its news website with breaking news thus enabling the public to access this news before they have expired (The New York Times 2010). Similarly, the BBC website is also able to report timely news especially in regard to sports within shorter time frames.
The reduction of the news reporting timeframe has not occurred in the print media alone. The television and the radio have also experienced a new touch in the way they report their news to the public. Notably, the television and the radio are able to report news just as they happen. In most cases, whether there are other program that are being aired or not, the radio and the television are able to report breaking news either by pausing the programs that are being aired or by having a running script at the bottom of the television with a heading 'Breaking News'. As a result, the audience can be able to come understand what is happening around even without having to move an inch from where they are (Yorke & Alexander 2000, p.170).
It is also important to note that there has also been a shift in the way the news is reported in such a way that the media world is poised to reporting only live news in future. In this regard, news on different incidences across the globe is reported in live as they happen. This has been facilitated by the fact that the current communication technology has the ability to offer the media world an ability to be directly connected to the news scene. Remarkably, the introduction of such technologies as video conference has made it possible to reporting happening events live rather than videoing these events and then relaying them to the public at a later period. One area that this has gained preeminence is the reporting on the progress of world meetings that have been held to discuss important issues that concerns global issues such the environment, the economy, peace processes, etc (Yorke & Alexander 2000). With this in mind, the audience can be able to have first hand information on how certain incidences occurred.
In addition to reporting these issues just as they happened, the technology that is used presently has the ability to bring people together from different parts of the globe to air their comments in regard to important events across the globe. This form of technology has enabled the media to be in a position of airing the reaction of people towards certain issues in regard to what is happening around the globe. In such cases, the media has been found to employ different types of selection methods to avoid unbiased reaction or rather airing a one-sided reaction to a particular piece of news. There is also a transformation in the way the news is presented to the public. Notably, the past experience of the media was characterized by print media and the audiences had to read for themselves what was happening around the globe. However, the invention of the radio and the television has enabled the media world to do nearly everything for the audience. In line with this, the audiences no longer need to read what is happening around. They only need to look and listen to news from their television and the radio. Therefore, everything has been simplified in such a way that the audience can afford to carry out other tasks while at the same receiving informative information in regard to the world around them (Owen & Purdey 2009, p.53).
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It is also important for one to understand that there are specific technological tools that have been developed in the recent past to assist the media and news presenters to be able to interpret complicated news such a business thus enabling the public to evade the task of interpreting these pieces of news on their own. For instance, news from the stock markets are interpreted by computer programs that enable the media to simply this information and then present it to the public (Quinn 2005, p.95). Packaging of the news is also another area of news presentation that has continually been affected by technology. Notably, the media is able to package news in such a way that one cannot desire to miss it. For instance, there are automated recordings of reporters from the field that are replayed again to the public after a brief description of what has happened at the scene of the news. These reporters are provided with an opportunity to report to the public what they have witnessed on the field as well as interview people who saw these incidences happen. Using these tools, the media has been able to eliminate personal opinions and analysis in regard to incidences that have happened across the world. In other words, news are reported the way they are instead of changing the actual content thus altering the information that is given out concerning a particular event or rather incidence.
The current forms of technology have also been found to increase the capability of the media to archive news that is presented to the public. This news is preserved with the state of the art technology that enables accessibility to it in future. As a result, these types of news are analyzed in future when discussing important historical events. This type of news reporting is more common when reporting political news with an analysis of what a particular candidate or his or her party did in the past. For instance, when a particular presidential candidate is running for a second, more often he position on important matters would be analyzed by comparing his past political agenda and the present one. In such cases, the audience is educated in regard to whom to vote to, based on whether the political candidate has shifted goals or not (Quinn 2005). This could not be possible to achieve without the important storage technology.
The development of the camera, both video and photo cameras also brought a serious revolution to the way news were reported. In the beginning, the newspapers did not have pictures. However, as time went by, the newspaper stories are accompanied by picture in regard to the incidences that took place at a particular scene. For instance, when there is violence in a school or protests on the streets, the newspapers are able to report the events in these protests as well as provide pictures to their audience to see how these protests were done. In this regard, the audiences are enabled to have a clear picture on what happened at the scene of the incidences. Importantly, these photos are accompanied by a small description of what happened and where they happened (Owen & Purdey 2009).
The television too has been utilizing the motion pictures as a way of reporting their news to the public. In this regard, the news that have been gathered are presented to the public in form of videos in such a way that apart from reporting on what happened, motion pictures from the scene of the incidence are presented to the public for them to see. It is important to understand that such kinds of news have a clear emphasis on the daily occurring of events across the globe. Similarly, this has given reporters to customize their news reports in such a way that they do not need to report everything. Instead, they only need to explain to their audience what is coming up and let their audience to see what really happened. Different scenes of the news are therefore edited using advanced computers software prior to reporting them to the audience or rather the public to minimize the time that is spend on explaining a particular piece of news (Garrison 1998, p.3).
It is also important for one to understand that video cameras have also brought into news reporting an ability to capture events in a special way. There are cases whereby the small invisible cameras have been developed to capture different scenes from the place of different incidences. As a result, people, who were unaware that they were being recorded, have found themselves appearing on national screens as news to the public. These types of cameras have played a critical role in gathering investigative news regarding certain incidences that does not rhyme with societal norms. As a result, the public has been able to see the news reporting on certain critical issues in the society that they could not have seen without such types of cameras. However, it worthy to note that whereas these types of cameras have enabled news gathering and reporting in such a way that could not have been realized before, they have more than often attracted lawsuits again the particular media company for infringement of personal privacy (Brown 2003, p.238).
The introduction of the internet has also transformed the contents of the news that could be aired to the public. In the mainstream media, i.e. the newspapers, the radio and the television, there are rules and regulations that have been developed to deter airing news with certain contents. For instance, it is believed that some people from the public are offended by news that contains violence scenes. As a result, these people have been protected by the government by introducing regulations that bar the media from displaying such contents. However, news reporting through the internet has enabled these barriers to be eliminated. As a result, news in these cases is presented just the way it is to the public. In reference to Kolodzy (2006, p.15), the internet also broke down barriers to the display of graphic images of war and terrorist violence in Iraq. With this in mind, the internet as a news medium has the capability of showing anything to the public so long as the intended public is not offended by what is being aired.
Customized news reporting is another trend that was introduced as a result of technological inventions. In line with this, there are contents that target specific audience across the world that have been related to them through satellite networks. In this regard, not everybody is able to receive this news except those that have subscribed to it. For instance, most sports channels that air sports 24/7 are able to reach their target through channels such as DSTV and ESPN. According to Kolodzy (2006, p.15), the use of satellite for transmitting information and images brought about the first wave of instant, specialized news in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This type of technology, i.e. satellite technology played a critical role in displaying news to audiences on how bombs were falling in Iraq during the Gulf War instead of waiting to watch the news on local television channels in the evening.
The time differences across the globe have also necessitated global media to focus on relaying news at different times without affecting their programming. In this case, news is presented to the audience at their customized time depending on their regions. Therefore, the audience does not need to worry about news since they can be able to access them at their convenient time. On the other hand, when this news reaches the audience, they have an opportunity to display what they need and what they don't need. According to Harrison (2006, p.75), different pictures and text are transmitted simultaneously through a single channel so that viewers can select different combinations of these to be displayed on their screen using a remote control.
In summation, it can be said that the introduction of technology in the media industry has completely transformed the way news are gathered, produced and presented to the public. In consistent with this, the time frames between the gathering of the news and presenting them to the public has been reduced greatly. Similarly, the contents to be displayed have increased since their different mediums that can be used such as the internet and the satellite. It is also important to note that technology has enabled the current media to be able to air live news rather than solely depending on recorded news that are then aired to the public. In this regard, more news has deviated towards showing the actual pictures of different scenes of incidences together with an explanation rather than just the old system whereby the audience could not witness what really happened.