Role of technology in journalism

Technology has become the mean to alter the apparent balance of power within different actors who lead the political, economic and social discourse. The rapid change in technology has resulted in faster and bi-directional dissemination of information in virtual public spheres which replicate the notion of ‘public sphere’ first discussed by Jürgen Habermas.

The rise in technology has impacted traditional journalistic practices in many ways. The means of data collection by journalists have changed. Along with the traditional sources, they now rely on leaked documents or data received through digital channels for news creation. Hackers have easier access to confidential data which becomes difficult for journalists to resist. The use of information gathered through illegal hackers and whistleblowers has brought the ethics of journalism into question. Which means there is a need for stricter guidelines for journalists which can potentially limit their ability to investigate cases that affect the interest of the public.

News is disseminated through online media platforms such as e-magazines, Twitter, and Facebook. This implies that the duration of creating a news story, verifying news sources and time taken to share the story online is reduced drastically.

It has become important to distinguish between the content published on any online platform and the ‘technology it is published on’.

Both shape ideologies and influence readers differently. Backed by a strong technical framework, web editors can push their personal political agendas. Technical giants such as Google, Apple and social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are the new media agencies with the power to target news to a certain section of the audience. While they have the content, they don’t have much regard or understanding of traditional journalistic practices.

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