#Phoenix: Print journalism resurrected online

Staff Editorial

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Every week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff

This past week was a sign for print journalism that it is soon going to be replaced by web journalism, as web content continues to try to assert itself. One of the Washington Post’s most high-profile journalists, Ezra Klein, left the paper to go start a “publication” with Vox Media, a digital-only business that has multiple websites covering a wide array of topics.

While journalism has been slowly transitioning to the web, the migration of high-profile journalists, like Klein, is acting like a catalyst and expediting the transition. It’s time to realize that print journalism will be dead within a few years, but in its place is something much better and faster that can change instantly without a moment’s notice. We are living in the year that web journalism is going to truly establish itself as the dominant force in the industry.

This change is not only happening with major players like Vox Media and the Washington Post, but also on the St. Edward’s campus with Hilltop Views and new student-run publications, like Her Campus. Using online platforms allows journalists to connect with a wider audience and create an interactive community where users can openly discuss issues.

Her Campus is leading the charge for the model of digital journalism at college campuses. Her Campus is a successful example of how digital journalism can bring together audiences at national, state, and local levels. The articles are able to focus on a variety of topics, and they bring together an array of viewpoints to build a comprehensive snapshot of the female campus experience.

Another key aspect to the growing influence of digital journalism is social media. Twitter has become an essential tool for journalists. If someone wants to be a journalist there is no doubt that he or she must have a Twitter account. It is where breaking news first happens, or where a journalist can report on a story live, giving the audience instant updates. Now this does not mean every user of Twitter is a journalist. Journalism is a fine art that only a few select people have the ability to do. Journalism is about quality, not quantity.

Twitter realized that many of its users are using the social network for news, and decided to create a news division that has recently partnered with CNN and the startup Dataminr to “revolutionize” news gathering. The plan for the partnership is to be able to take huge amounts of Twitter’s content and extract high-value information to deliver straight to journalists’ smartphone, according to the Verge.

Like the transition from print to web journalism, Twitter is trying to form itself into a news organization that also has a very popular social media platform. Time will tell if this is a successful strategy, but at face value it seems like it could be a revolutionizing force for journalism.

This is what is so exciting about digital journalism: it brings more flexibility.

Here at Hilltop Views, we are slowly making the transition to becoming a web-only publication, but at the current time we are sticking with a print version of the paper. With two platforms, print and online, we are able to keep members of all ages of our community happy.

Despite hanging onto print for a few more years, readers can see that we are embracing the Internet more with the recent switch from including writers’ emails to their Twitter handles. We are trying to engage in a larger conversation rather than a one-on-one dialogue through email.

The web edition of Hilltop Views was launched in 2009, and since then it has grown. 

Some of the toughest coverage we have done has been during the past year, and we used social media as a medium to report. We were able to give the story a life outside of the page; we fostered a lively conversation in the public sphere. It included various members of our community and those affected interacting on Facebook and Twitter. Journalism builds community.

We have created a very robust social media presence that can react to breaking stories, which we hope to expand to a mobile app in the near future.

This flexibility and nimbleness does not come from one person. We have a great team of reporters and editors, but they cannot do all the work themselves. Hilltop Views is always looking for students who want to write, shoot photos and create other multimedia for the web edition only.  

There is one thing for sure that journalism is not doing— dying.