Mass Communication and the Future
Watch “ABC News: Blogebrities” and “The Future of Journalism.” Then identify a specific mass communication trend and create a post arguing why this particular trend is of significance at a societal level, as well as why this trend should be of interest to mass communication students, researchers, and practitioners.
I watched ABC News: Blogebrities” and “The Future of Journalism” and I was surprised that blogging could turn someone into a celebrity or a blogebrity. According to the Urban Dictionary (2007) a blogebrity is “a person who has become famous through blogging.” According to the Mass media revolution (2012) a blog is a “website launched and maintained by individuals who have strong interests in and usually about the topics on which they focus.” Blogging is a mass communication trend that has grown over the years to the point where blogs affect society at a societal level. Blogs offer regular everyday people a forum in which they may voice their opinions to other people online; these people can voice their opinions on blogs using their real name, a pen name, or anonymously. These options allow people to write about topics they might be unwilling to talk about in public for fear of social reprisals.
While not all bloggers become blogebrities many do become popular enough to influence a large number of people. Blogs can influence consumer purchasing decisions, public opinion on celebrities, fashion trends, political views, and much more (Blogs Outrank Social Networks for Consumer Influence, n.d.). Blogs are significant at a societal level because of the influence a blog can have on a great number of people and the huge number of blogs created by individuals. There are about 33.9 million blogs created every month with WordPress hosting a more than of 60 million blogs (Darling, 2014). One of the most widely viewed blogs is called Mashable; Mashable was created by Pete Cashmore when he was 19 years old (Darling, 2014). Mashable has made Pete Cashmore into one of the youngest and richest of the blogebrities. Mashable covers a wide range of topics from “technology and business to social media, entertainment and lifestyle” (Darling, 2014). According to Mashable (n.d.) the blog has 42 million monthly unique visitors and 21 million social media followers. This allows Mashable to touch and influence millions of people and society through their viewers.
As a tend blogging is of great interest to mass communication students, researchers, and practitioners. Many mass communication students write their thesis on an aspect of blogging. For instance some mass communication students have written a thesis on the influence of Philippine political-social commentary blogs, the impact on knowledge exchange and social mobilization of blogs, the level of gratifications from social interactions in a food blog, and if senior citizens read and share through blogs (Escalada, 2010). Blogging presents an interest to mass communication researchers because it presents them with a tool to gage public opinion on different topics. Researchers also find blogs interesting for the amount of influence they can have on a societal level. Mass communication practitioners may find the trend of blogging interesting depending on their chosen career path. For instance a journalist might use blogging to decide on what topic to write on based on the level of interest shown on blogs or a journalist might keep a blog to post their article on and to influence people to read more of his or her work. A public relations specialist might use blogs for framing, agenda setting, and/or for managing a person’s or a company’s public image.
Blogs Outrank Social Networks for Consumer Influence. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2015, from http://thenewbreedoftravelagents.com/blogs-outrank-social-networks-for-consumer-influence/
Darling, A. (2014, February 14). The 10 Top Earning Bloggers In The World. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
Escalada, M. (2010, January 6). Some more communication thesis topics. Retrieved April 25, 2015, from http://devcompage.com/?p=1622
Mashable. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2015, from http://mashable.com/about/
Sterin, J. (2012). Mass media revolution (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Urban Dictionary. (2007). Blogebrity. Retrieved April 25, 2015, from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Blogebrity
The Future of Journalism
>> Delivering the news is a tradition that dates back thousands of years. [Background Music] If you look at the
walls of the ancient city of Pompeii, you can still see the written notes of scribes telling the population 2000 years
ago about the latest events including erotic dating rumors and political scandals. Newspapers were first printed
in Europe in the 17th century.
And by the early 1800s, papers were mass produced around the world. In 1900, motion picture technology
brought a major challenge to the tradition of print news. Many of the earliest films were actually simple newsreels
showing events occurring around the world. In the 1920s, radio was added as a means of transmitting news.
This was the first time audiences could get the news in real-time. [Inaudible Remark]
>> Television was introduced to America in the late 1920s, but it wasn't until the late 1940s that TV would
become popular as a means to broadcast live images. It was the dawn of analog television and it would last
almost five decades.
>> Five hours before he is destined to take a giant strive into history, Colonel John H. Glenn, Jr. squeezes into
>> I did not have sexual relations with that woman.
>> --there's any kind of an effort up there yet. Now, remember--oh my God.
>> Oh my God.
>> Oh my God.
>> That looks like a second plane.
>> Today, we are in the ever changing digital age and disseminating news has become a challenging experience
for journalists. Newspapers are struggling to survive. Radio stations are trying to define their audience and
broadcast and cable news face changing economic conditions, all because of the growing influence of the
>> The content still can. People still have to go out and get the news. We are the people that do that.
>> Welcome to 15/45 [phonetic], I'm Greg Copeland, here's a little bit of what's happening right now. Nuclear
waste in Washington State isn't going anywhere, at least for now.
>> Well, you're here on the Northwest Cable News main anchors' set and we are a 24/7 regional news channel.
We do all of our newscasts in this particular location. Our newsroom is our studio. All of our news people work
behind the glass partition here and so the news producers are still duty bound to produce great television
newscast that are interesting even more so today because you're fighting for every viewer, every eyeball. So the
hierarchy hasn't changed, the demand hasn't changed, the responsibility hasn't changed, if anything, pressure
has gotten higher to get better material, faster material, more material.
>> There's a lot of emphasis on the changes. Yes, there are changes. My hope is--and my belief is when we
come out the other end, the method of delivery and the economics may be different, but the journalism I hope is
>> With everyone in the news industry confused, guessing where this is heading can be challenging but that doesn't stop all of the experts from having an opinion.
>> The traditional news media seems to be losing money and the new media or digital seems to be gaining
money. The problem is that one is not gaining fast enough to take over the one that's losing. So while those two
things come and converge, it's a stressful time for people in news.
>> My hope is that the new world will continue and that they won't be just aggregation clusters, that they will be
doing individual reporting 'cause eventually, I mean, the blogosphere, if it's endlessly self-preferential, as an
echo chamber for errors, and newspapers have always been, you know, the plunk in that whole news
ecosystem. So if you just keep on chipping away at that, you know, there's going to be nothing left.
>> Where it has to start today is with the web but the elements of good reporting and good photography and
good writing have to be taught more specifically and more soundly I think than ever before.
>> It's still important to understand how things work, know some history about how we got to where we are right
now, know how to write, know how to intelligently ask a question and hear what the answer is coming back to
you. Those are fundamental reporting skills and I still say you'd need those first. There's more chatter, more
sources coming at us being distributed in many different ways.
You might have to work a little bit harder. But if the fields stay strong and there's a lot bright young journalists out
there who are dearly committed to doing this right, I think the next generation will be able to--will retain that as--
at least as well as ours has, hopefully better.