Why the illiterates of the 21 Century are not those that cannot read and write

IN FOCUS: JOURNALISM IN THE DIGITAL ERA – CHANGES AND IMPLICATIONS

Toffler once stated: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Alvin Toffler, Futurist.

…And today’s global journalism masters course, we are delving into issues, trends and impact of ICTs on journalism practice. The students are media scholars with previous media experience and hail from all corners of the global. This offers diverse and interesting insights into different cultural interpretations/experiements, media systems and trajectories of change.

We have gained insights into the inner-workings of media convergence; exploring concepts and implication of such practices as ‘News cannibalization’, the dual experiences of information overload juxtaposed with knowledge gaps; multi-skilling a detriment to journalists who must now assume the various now ‘defunct’ roles (typesetter, copy editor), they must be the writer, the photographer, the Research librarian, the publisher across different platforms. The quantitative, qualitative and ethical ramifications are a natural detriment to the profesional.

Most interesting however are discussions on the political economy of the current media ecology – driven by the (near) demise of established business models as we knew them and the emergence of new models of media sustainability. The newspaper is dying, no doubt, but not without a fight in some economies. In such cases, a combination of hegemonic political and socio-economic values and creative technological experimentation has maintained the newspaper as the Financial ‘cash cow’ especially in media houses experimenting with ‘hybrid convergence’.

Fact sheet: 3 reasons the internet is a threat to newspapers:

  • Breaking news function and 24/7 breaking news culture
  • Declining readership dues to technology-based leisure activities
  • Decline in advertizing (New media users – especially Young People) just hate paying for things 🙂

The age and generational media habits has been well researched Obijiofor & Hanusch 2011; Flanagin& Metzger 2001; Coleman &McCombs 2007 ). A common denominator between youth and a good journalist in today’s media ecology is skill and tech-savvyness. Both predisposed to learn, unlearn and relearn on a continuous basis, the later by the demands of the job and the former because well, they are digital natives – it is their universe.

Internet picture: Children are starting to use Technologies early.

Internet Picture: Research shows youth prefer online News as opposed to traditional newspapers.

 

 

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