Epigram Editoral: Changing Media

This fortnight has, once again, been absolutely crazy. But although it’s made it an exciting week to showcase what we, as student journalists, can achieve and how the media has changed, it’s sadly been about the wrong reasons. 

The fire at 33 Colston Street is probably the biggest story of the week, yet we have chosen not to cover it extensively in the paper, beyond the front page image.

Some stories are better online, and this week has been a clear demonstration of this. Media is changing; not only in the way we consume it, but also in how constant we expect it to be.

Twitter, in particular, allows us to keep updated about what is going on in the world around us, and in many ways a fortnightly newspaper cannot keep up with this constant cycle.

The fire broke out on Monday 12th October, and over 120 University of Bristol students have been impacted.

I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for those students; not only have they lost all of their personal possessions, but just three weeks into starting University they have got to start all over again, with different people, in different halls.

Today, over 90 per cent of Brits have access to the internet, and by 2020 80 per cent of the global population is expected to own a smartphone.

But the situation is fluid and rapidly changing. We chose not to put an article about the fire in the paper, as we were concerned that the story would be outdated by the time the print edition of Epigram hit the stands.

During Epigram training week, we had several conversations about the future of print journalism. In fact, one of our guest speakers has recently written a lot on the subject.

Steve Bird has worked at the Financial Times for 20 years, and has therefore seen, and been impacted by, the ‘digital revolution’ which has dramatically changed the face of journalism.

Today, over 90 per cent of Brits have access to the internet, and by 2020 80 per cent of the global population is expected to own a smartphone.

Clearly, this has a huge impact on our daily lives, particularly how we interact with news, and it was interesting to get Steve’s thoughts on the topic.

He stressed that ‘churnalism’ and click bait articles have no real future. Measuring online engagement is becoming increasingly advanced, and clicks are no longer what advertisers are looking for, or what media outlets are basing their success upon.

Instead, dwell time and unique users are becoming more important, and these can only be gained and maintained via high quality journalism.

Private Eye, for example, has currently got their highest print circulation since the 1980s. Print is not dead, but changing. It is an exciting time to be involved in journalism; the potential is endless.

But perhaps more surprisingly, Steve also thought there would always be a place for print journalism.

Okay, so this week has demonstrated to our team the potential limitations to print, but I think that people will always want something to hold, and print does offer a unique way to present different stories.

Private Eye, for example, has currently got their highest print circulation since the 1980s. Print is not dead, but changing. It is an exciting time to be involved in journalism; the potential is endless.

One event coming up in which we hope to explore new ways of presenting stories, especially online, is the Vice Chancellor Question Time on October 27th.

I will actually be chairing the event, which, I will admit, is a little nerve-racking.

But it’s also very exciting, and a fantastic opportunity to ask the questions we, as a student body, feel have not been addressed. As such, it is an important aspect of the Strategy Consultation the University is launching this month.

If you have any questions you want to ask, email me at editor@epigram.org.uk.

Although there will be a chance to ask questions from the floor during the evening, the majority will be pre-submitted. So, if you have a burning issue you think needs to be addressed, email me sooner rather than later!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s