How Digital Developments Change Journalism

As we can read it in the News Storytelling in a Digital Landscape report, digital developments had a huge impact on journalism these past few years. We live in a world where the internet is part of our daily life, therefore a lot of things had to evolve, including in the media. People’s opinion about these evolutions are really diversified, and this is what Vin Ray tries to illustrate with this report.

For some people the internet is killing storytelling, in effect, as it is said by Macintyre ‘The internet, […] does not really « do » narrative’. And it can be explained by the fact that when people read news online they are looking for short stories, not 1,000 words productions. That is why some journalists, like Nicholas Carr, are concerned about this development. Indeed, he noticed a diminishing attention span on his friends and himself, he argues that ‘The more they use the web, the more they have to fight to stay focused on long piece of writing’. And according to him ‘Deep reading, is indistinguishable from deep thinking.’, that is why people need long-form storytelling, therefore it can not be ‘washed aside by a tsunami of byte-sized information’.

However, some people have another opinion. Jill Abramson for example, told in the New York Times ‘Long-form narrative is not only alive, but dancing to new music.’. From the same point of view, Susan Orlean, a writer at The New Yorker,  argues that ‘storytelling is thriving’ and ‘there’s never been a better time to be a teller of stories’. According to some journalists, there is a revolution going on, it is said that Kindles and iPads will become ‘the commonplace way of consuming long-form journalism.’ These new types of devices are changing everything and will facilitate long-form storytelling. Brian Storm says that tablets are increasing the consumption of long content, thanks to that ‘65% of viewers who start viewing watch until the end.’ which is an incredibly high rate.

To sum up, digital developments have obviously pros and cons for journalism. Therefore, the challenge is now to find a way to create a very good and interesting content in order to increase people’s attention span, so that they do not stop reading and loving long-form content.