The media has long been considered public enemy no. 1; but times are changing.
In light of recent bushfires, Sydney Morning Herald’s online paper has made all bushfire related stories free- and unlimited. There would be nothing worse than trying to find out information on bushfires approaching your home and realising you’ve reached your Fairfax media imposed 30-article-a-month limit.
It seems in times of crises, the media comes into its own. On any given day media organisations are chasing the story- wanting the exclusive. It’s comforting to know the competition stops and the end goal is just to get as much information to the public as possible. The media is all about presence in emergency situations whether it be “Nine was there” or the ongoing reporting from the fire front. The Daily Telegraph is currently donating $1 per paper to the bushfire appeal but it begs the question at what point they will stop? There will always be a crisis, always a reason to donate money, and always a cause worthy of that $1 a paper.
It is a sad fact that disasters drive newspaper sales. If bad news happens for a sustained period of time, it has the exact opposite effect, however. This bushfire crisis is current now, however if it continues, interest wanes and the media moves on, leaving those who have lost their homes abandoned.
It is hard to accept that there is such an interchangeable attitude within the media. The fluid nature of the media essentially means what is news one minute will no longer be news the next, and in the ever declining media industry, it’s cut throat to remain on top. A more cynical person might say these organisations are all about self publicising, with appearances saying otherwise…
As at 2013, 1.4 billion people worldwide are on Facebook, according to statistic stereo, with 190 million tweets a day. With the media now competing with the ever growing number of ‘citizen journalists’ it’s no wonder they are promoting themselves in any way they can. Less readership means less need for journos which means fewer jobs. Here’s to hoping.
Thankfully, all stories of The Newsroom are, and will continue to be, free- and unlimited.
Meanwhile, it’s been another busy week at The Newsroom keeping up to date with the latest bushfire information. On Thursday we broke a story before the Sydney Morning Herald – quite an achievement for a student newsroom. Our features team this week spoke to British pop “sensation” Jedward, as well as delving into some of the most extreme marriage proposals in light of Kanye’s proposal to Kim Kardashian. It’s Cancer Awareness Month and we have various features focusing on that… Be sure to check our world and sports sections for the latest in news.
Stay safe from the bushfires and have a great week from everyone here at The Newsroom. – Benedicte Earl
Image from Ns Newsflash’s Flickr photostream.