Official blog of Clark's Blogging for Journalists class, Mass Communication department
This article is a testament to the problem facing most every journalist: making money. It's a shame that established news organizations like The Washington Post and LA Times can still reap the benefits of a system that was most likely created to encourage a more entrepreneurial movement.
This article explains the hard work and struggles of two young journalists to gain financial support for their website. News outlets receive money from many sources, but this source was not strong enough. They innovated a new idea of the homicide page, and worked hard to build a website and keep up with all the homicides in DC. They are working hard to gain more financial support and with persistence, hopefully they will accomplish their goal.
For me this article is just backing up the fact that the Newspaper and Journalism industry is in a crisis. With the invention of the internet the threat of readers turning to their computers for news stories than the news paper. Then with websites suck as twitter, Facebook and blogger and the continuing growth in smart phones people are able to report the news themselves before before a reporter or journalist can get the story printed in their paper. I will say that papers are doing well in keeping up by having phone apps and websites to continuously update their news in the digital world. Over I will say that eventually technology will get ahead of the paper and they will gradually lose money until they will sadly not be able to print their daily paper.
This article really put the struggle that the journalism industry is facing in perspective for me. You would think that because of the digital era that we are in this couple would have gained more recognition. Honestly, I think this is just another prime example of how social media has gained the majority of readers on the internet. For example, the case of Travon Martin exploded in the main stream media because of the heavy impact it had in the social media world. For this couple, perhaps incorporating social media into their website will help them gain the support that they need to be financially sustainable. Jordan Harris
The lesson I learned from reading this article is that even good ideas can fail when not approached correctly. Although they had a good idea, i feel they didn't mold their website to better fit the demographic they had been reaching. Those that visited, didn't have interest to return to their website. The reason websites like Facebook and Twitter are so succesful is the desire it leaves with the visitor to come back. The ever changing information that they recieve from their experience leaves them with two choices. Come back and see what's new the next day or even the next hour, or be left out of the loop. I feel Homicide watch lacked that "wow" factor. Like Alfred Ironside said in the concluding quote, “Our approach in this evolving media landscape is to think about how we can support meaningful and sustainable journalism that reaches a broad audience.” Keyword-SUSTAINABLE.
I think this article does three things very well: first and foremost it shows the importance of innovation, the importance of reaching out to niche audiences, and demonstrates the clear apathy advertisers and web surfers embody. I think "Homicide Watch" is a noble endeavor and I hope it finds success. I agree with Luke that the site more than likely simply lacked a "wow" factor. Often as journalists we think people will care enough based solely on the information we provide. This is not the case. So much is required of us in marketing and perhaps even more importantly -- design.
Online Journalism definitely has a future but I don't think we know where yet. The internet itself is changing so rapidly that we do not know where it will take journalism. In the future there could be three dimensional stories online where you could stand inside a crime scene. The innovation is endless."Homicide Watch" is doing great things but misses that immediate draw. People directly effected will consistantly go to their news but there is little reason other than pure curiousity to people who remain uneffected by these murders.
This article really highlights how the journalism industry is trying to keep up with technology and meeting demands of consumers. Innovation is key, and they point that out. Journalism itself is not going away, but it seems that the "hard copy" factor of it is with everything going digital. The problem seems to lie within the funding of these projects and holding the attention span of readers and consumers.
I believe that online journalism is the future. As some company or organization are championing "Go Green," it is just a matter of time when all the news will be in digital format. However, from the article, we know that "Homicide Watch" is not doing well, so, I think there must be something missing from that website. It is important to have a selling point so that people will be drawn to that website.
Despite the fact that true paper-printed journalism is becoming outdated, the internet just might save us. The online journalism world continues to flourish every single day, which is a great thing for society. But for the out-of-work writer, it is almost impossible to be noticed in the tidal wave of mainstream news outlets that are taking over. I think the Amico's are doing something really great, but like others have noted, their beat is so specific to their location, it is hard to get outside readers interested. At the same time, they have had a terrible time receiving funding for their projects.If there is a future for journalism, it is definitely online.. If there is a future for online journalism, it's going to take a lot of time, effort, and hard work (all of which you will probably not be compensated for.) As (almost) college grads, we would like to think that our degrees will help us make more money and live better lives. However, I think a true journalist's soul is satisfied as long as they are writing something meaningful, with or without pay.
The article to me illustrated acouple things. The power money holds over everything and that online journalism is going to be the future. The husband and wife in the story struggled with money problems even though their site seemed like a good idea. They may have lacked the it or wow factor, but it was still a good idea for a site. I was glad to hear that they were close to reaching their financial goals and it was going to go towards training journalists for online work.Simply put though, online journalism seems like the future. The advances in technology only help journalists in their works online. I also believe that the technology can help print journalists in some regards, but most breaking news for journalists will instantly go online.
Online journalism is definitely becoming more popular, mainly because the internet is. All major newspapers have an online edition that they keep running. With the internet, there has also been a boost of citizen journalism, where citizens play an active role in analyzing, collecting reporting news. "Homocide Watch" is a perfect example of citizen journalism where a couple decide to collect information and put it online. Unfortunately, funding is a big problem. This tells me that even online journalists need funding too.
Journalism via the internet has a very bright future for many obvious reasons. The internet is undeniably the most easily accessible means of media communication, which in turn, makes it the most popular way of getting the day's news. Everyone but the die-hard paperback dinosaurs use the internet to stay informed. The Amico's had the right idea forming a site for their "Homicide Watch" idea. They guessed if they posted their database of tracked murders in D.C. on the internet, rather than using another media outlet, it would attract more support monetarily, I'm sure. Sometimes the money just doesn't come in punctually. Freelance journalism is only going to get more popular and it's going to overflow into the popular outlets of communication, like the internet.