The hidden peril behind “Digital Journalism”

Traditional news media has experienced major changes from physical newspaper to multiplatform since the wide use of the Internet in the mid-1990s. After noticing the decline sales of newspaper and magazines, media has rapidly adapted themselves to the multi ways of content delivery, from website to social media.

Nowadays, many mainstream media have their own website and social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. Each media try to compete with each other by providing more timely and exciting news to audiences, in the words of  FT executive, ‘to keep the site dynamic’. Somehow it created a culture of hype where news is sometimes over-exaggerated or even “made up” to catch the audiences’ eyes.

In China, some mainstream media such as WangYi News and SouHu News are criticised and blamed by audiences for posting news that does not exist or only partially true. This is because some editors rush to be the first to report a “news” on social media or website, which result in their easily making a misinterpretation out of context without an in-depth investigation. Besides, some fake news stories are made up by netizens.

More and more people are now used to access news and information online especially from social media, while large amount of them cannot efficiently distinguish misinformation. Therefore, news media should take their responsibilities to help to create an environment where audiences can access valuable and reliable information and news. It can be achieved by strengthening the auditing of news material and helping clarifying misinformation for audiences.



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