News reporting is an art. In the past reporters had to visit the actual news locations, write a report on a manual typewriter, go to the local printing centre and print the written piece; and then call it through. This means you read what you have written to someone else at the other end of the telephone line. After all, this is done, it is read during your regular news report, or if it is breaking news, you will be alerted as such.
The Computer Age and Reporting
Journalists found the computer to be an even faster mode of correspondence but they still had to dictate the information over the phone. Now, the world had gotten smaller, connections are much better and easier because of the internet. Journalists have the information right at their fingertips. They follow the news as it happens through social media as well as being on the spot when the news is being reported and are able to report directly as it happens. You are able to get the news in real time as it is happening. This is progress, and the benefits of this progress, enables people as well as governments to appreciate the connection they have to the wider world. Whatever happens in any country does not stay there anymore; social media, smartphones as well as computers are all available to make this news go viral. Their crude way of sending the news may leave a lot to be desired, but it does make headlines. Journalists only have to get to the locations and pick up where the civilian left off and continue his or her reporting of the relevant events. This is what happened in the United States during 9/11: TV reporting had not evolved as yet to giving on the spot, as it happened reports in detail; so they used bits and pieces of information “suppliers” who recorded had seen and all contributed to the final report. The connection was made, and we had the details as they happened. As for the online connections, the internet is a reliable source for this. Now, what happens when there is no internet?
Journalists and No Internet
This is not as far-fetched as it first seems. There have been times since the revolution of the World Wide Web, which journalists had to report without the internet. It would not be a total blackout, but think of communication in general, we would be at a definite disadvantage. Disadvantage in a good way, as reporters had to challenge their resources during their reporting of Egypt’s situation. There was no internet. They had to utilize what they had and ensure the news got out. Having experienced reporting without the internet for the more seasoned journalists, they were able to go back in time to what they used to do to get the news out. Their creativity and potential were useful in Egypt, to allow the wider world to get the news in a timely fashion.
Using the computer is just as easy as using an old typewriter. They wrote the news, printed it and then using a telephone, they phoned in the information. Now, it may not be real time as we understand it; but, we had the news on time. Just imagine in the past, any breaking news was reported by Morse code, as there was no telephone, or computer, or the internet. We got information readily from Journalists who were brave and adventurous enough to get the news out regardless of the risks.
During the past two world wars, we had challenges getting the news out, but they simply worked with whatever was available. They had a determination to get the news to the public and that was what was done.
The internet is an excellent tool in journalism, and utilized with care we are able to know what happens in the four corners of the world. There are some who would rather the technology was not here, but let’s face it; knowledge has increased, information is so readily available that even if we wanted to suppress it, we could not. They younger you are the smarter you are, so information will get out through whatever channel of the internet you choose.
Journalists only need to continue reporting at the highest level, report the truth as it happens, and report everything, not only what seems newsworthy, because every happening that goes out on social media is important to someone. Their views must inform the public both from the public’s point of view, as well as their own.