- Ashley Alexander
In the past when I thought of news media I would think of newspapers. Newspapers…what an outdated concept, right? The only person I know that reads a print edition of a newspaper every morning is my roommate’s social-construct-hating boyfriend, which I think proves the point more than anything. Isn’t it a dying industry? Can’t we just get our news from Facebook and Twitter?
Sorry, I know. I can actually feel the universal cringe that the last paragraph gave to anyone in the news media industry.
The most important thing I have learned through my experience with News Media Alliance this summer is the value of news media. News media is defined as “an umbrella term for all the sources and presentation of news and information, including: TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, web pages and blogs.” News isn’t just the paper delivered to your doorstep every Sunday morning (although that’s still a significant part). News media is the breaking news notifications you get on your smartphone. It’s the newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning. It’s the finance vertical your overachieving friend reads in his free time. It’s the 6 o’clock news on your television. News media is all those things and more; it is everywhere and it touches everyone.
Is it really touching everyone?
Yes. More than 70 percent of U.S. adults are following national and local news closely. International news is followed closely by around 65 percent. Sure, that isn’t 100 percent, but people are affected by the news media industry whether they’re conscious of that or not.
Have you ever thought about how you know the things you know? How did universal ideologies become that way?
For example, we now know smoking is bad for you. We know this because there were many studies that concluded this was the case. But, how did we receive the information about what the studies said? It’s fair to assume everyone was not out conducting research on their own time or seeking out results of extensive studies on smoking. The news reported what the studies concluded.
What about knowing when big events happen? How did we know the results of the presidential election? Likely, you watched it live on the news on television. If not, on the internet. If not, you heard it on the radio. Or if you somehow managed to avoid it for that long, you heard it from your barista who found out on the news. And if not…you get the point.
Information is disseminated through news media.
Journalists are public servants. They share information that is important to the public. They oversee informing the public of what has happened, what is next and what to do about it; regarding anything from weather to politics.
Now, with the rise of fake news and misinformation (especially on those aforementioned social media platforms) we need the news media industry more than ever.
I’ve learned to appreciate news media in a greater way than I could ever imagine. I realized the reliance we have on this industry; we would likely crumble without it. I have also witnessed the hard work and dedication that those in the news media industry put forth, all for the public’s benefit. They put in long hours behind the scenes to deliver important information. They make sure the messages are delivered in the best way possible to ensure successful public consumption. From directors of social media and content strategists to account managers and video journalists, the people of the newsroom are the ones who make the news media industry as important as it is.
I could not be more grateful for my summer as an intern in the news media industry with News Media Alliance. I have had the opportunity to meet incredible people, interact with impressive organizations and overall understand the importance of the industry. The news media industry will be around for a long time, and I expect to be back as a part of it in the future.