Critical Question: Options Trail

“More people looking online for their news, will affect journalism as a whole negatively” Agree or Disagree?

After almost a terms worth of research, I would have to chose disagree. Many people would beg to differ with me, but that just tells me they are focusing on a very minute part of journalism. For one, the internet has opened up a whole new median for news and also forced news to be a lot more truthful about what they publish, because any one person could prove them wrong with a photo off their Iphone.

You would think with all of the recent downsizing to many newspapers, especially The Age, that newspapers are a dying breed. In June 2012 15% of the Age was cut, over $248 million, but due to the fall of the mighty, the small have grown and flourished. Trent Casson, with whom we talked to on Friday said that recently his company, Metro Media Publishing, had launched 9 more local newspapers, already owning 13. He explained to us that with the rise of the internet and it as a median, people are looking for local news, which isn’t very accessible via the internet. As well he said that their newspapers make small short stories that are entertaining, relevant and engaging to the  local community. But also with them being recently bought out by Fairfax, they can get the best writers. He said that 70% of their profit comes from their property section in their community newspaper. He showed us a copy of their leading newspaper, The Weekly Review, and revealed to us that more the two thirds of the paper are property ads. Since all of these newspapers are community, they all have local property ads, making these ads  ‘prime real estate,’ since most people buy houses within 2.5 km of their original house. As well community newspapers are easy to pick up and typically free. The reason big newspapers used to thrive, were because they would get ads for jobs and cars, which could be from the other side of town, but as soon as website like  “” started to pop up, with nothing to lose and significantly cheaper ad spots, the big newspapers had nothing to advertise, therefor no profit.

Overall, the Internet has given journalism a whole new frontier to explore, with a lot to learn and benefit from, as well as forcing their articles to be truthful and fair. Before our Options Trail I thought that online media would affect journalism but after our interview with Trent Casson and other various research, I think quite the opposite now. Although recently The Age went through heavy cuts, the positives outweigh the negatives. In general the Internet has affected journalism as a whole positively.


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