By now, media practitioners cannot help on their jealousy. Why? The media world has swiftly moved from print to online. Even further now going social media online full time. What does it mean for the media world? It all depends on whom you asked. In my years of following, here is my take:
It is a known fact that Newspapers make money from the sales of print papers, advertisements, and support from philanthropists. Way back, the print media was very famous. On certain days, depending on the headlines on the papers, the papers sold entirely in the blink of an eye. I haven’t contacted any of the media houses yet to check on their current market trends, though I am tempted to do so. Notably, the print papers are still in operation in the Gambia, I therefore have every reason to believe that they are functional, or maybe barely making it. One thing is certain, the advent of technology which gave birth to online papers, radios, and social media platforms, helps compete greatly with the print media business.
Let us say, the Print media can argue back and say, they are the custodians of pure journalism, with well trained professionals as practicing journalists, compared to today’s bloggers and social media activists, who rely mostly on the transmission the new internet media offers, to sell their political, religious, social, business, and ideological values. The bloggers and social media activists can argue back and say most journalists that claim to be independent and professionals are sellouts to politicians and their interests; as seen in some who are puppets dogs for mighty politicians using some of these avenues as opportunity to control society. Bloggers and social media activists, most of whom downgraded print and online papers depending on their satisfaction based on favored stories and/or bias, are perhaps motivated more by the new found freedom, the ability to be in charge, and more even use of social media guns to support, caricature, satisfy one’s gossips/bullying, and even a lot more. There are others that move further to praise-sing, make enemies for themselves by unnecessary fights, and/or even engage in chest-beating attitudes to portray themselves as heroes and heroines.
Social media offers some unique futures, i.e. the ability to network across with many followers, share accomplishments, pitfalls, family life, adventures, activism, and even inspire great many people in the areas of educational stories. Don’t get me wrong, the opposite is true, as online criminals too take advantage to bully, play divisiveness, spy, plagiarize information, and even act as social engineers who often lurk in the background. Without doubt, the platform is a hanging out for information and intelligence gathering. The new platform offers a life scenario, more reflecting human habitat than Print media due to the uncontrolled nature of social media. In recent years, with the advent of social media activism, contributed greatly to the war against dictatorship and criminal leadership, notably the Arab Spring which offered mixed feelings, as change of regimes forcefully comes with aftermath destruction of infrastructural development and loss of lives.
The question is why buy a print newspaper when you can have the news free, in a timely fashion, and continued rejoining and reviews by people who are either professionals or claims to be professionals on any given matter? The answer is probably nil. That is why I suspect that Print media might be fading away in the near future, and perhaps they will be left with advertisements, brochures, and other artistic creativity to sustain the industry. It will certainly mean print journalism will be thrown through the window, and society will either be favored or disfavored by the honesty and dishonesty of the many online citizen journalists in charge of their destiny through social media activism.
One thing though remains a fundamental rule; people will be on alert for any person that abuses it by being divisive, a bully, an educator, an entertainer, and the many other likely functions. It is perhaps plausible that information can be passed across so quickly, and that is only if party(ies) are responsible the way they handle the new found uplifting tool, the same tool can be a ticking atomic bomb to destroy humanity in a heartbeat. I think time is too precious, that is to say, it is in the interest of humanity and civility that people engage in progression, especially in utilizing social media tools, rather than being divisive, besides the outcome of hate monger, divisiveness, and the many other vices have dire consequences. .
With trends of journalism and activism, the appetite and flavor of journalism is getting lost to the gutters, thanks to the advent of social media, despite some of its plausible sides.