The digital transformation of 21 st century news journalism
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The Digital Transformation of 21 st Century News Journalism. Presentation to Conference on Digital Media and Journalism, School of Communication, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan, 12 October, 2012 Professor Terry Flew Creative Industries Faculty Queensland University of Technology.

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The digital transformation of 21 st century news journalism

The Digital Transformation of 21st Century News Journalism

Presentation to Conference on Digital Media and Journalism, School of Communication,

Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan,

12 October, 2012

Professor Terry Flew

Creative Industries Faculty

Queensland University of Technology


Drivers of digital transformation

Drivers of Digital Transformation

  • Convergence of media industries and content

  • Distribution of content across multiple delivery platforms

  • Media globalization

  • Exponential increase in information and entertainment content available to consumers

  • User-created content, participatory media, and blurring of producer/consumer lines


It s not just the internet

It’s not just the Internet

  • Rise of knowledge-intensive industries and creative industries

  • Network externalities

  • Rise of peer production and sharing – openness and mass collaboration in Web 2.0 environments


From mass communications media to social media the crisis of news

From mass communications media to social media: the crisis of news


Ways of thinking about digital transformations

Ways of thinking about digital transformations


Oecd evolution of news and the internet 2010

OECD, Evolution of News and the Internet (2010)

  • Declining sales of print newspapers

  • News consumption migrating to the Internet

  • Structural crisis of newsrooms – shift of classified and print advertising

  • New opportunities online, but new competitors (e.g. sports organizations)

  • Move to digital-only newspapers?

  • Online advertising generates less income


Decline in newspaper sales

Decline in newspaper sales


U s advertising spend 2011

U.S. advertising spend 2011

Source: KPCB Internet Trends 2012


Shift of young people to online news

Shift of young people to online news

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The new online news media ecosystem

The new online news media ecosystem

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Newspaper advertising revenues

Newspaper advertising revenues


The crisis of mainstream journalism

The crisis of mainstream journalism

  • Undermining of traditional news business models

  • Falling share prices/rising debt for established news media businesses

  • Shift in the “attention economy” of users

  • Crisis of authority for professional journalism

  • Growing public distrust of journalists

  • Rise of the “PR state”


The renewed appeal of alternative journalism

The renewed appeal of alternative journalism

  • The “Fifth Estate” (Dutton, Benkler)

    Non-profit [organizations] focused on bringing to light direct, documentary evidence about government behavior so that many others, professional and otherwise, can analyse the evidence and search for instances that justify public criticism… [they use] uses a combination of volunteerism, global presence, and decentralized action to achieve its results (Benkler, 2011: 55).


Monitory democracy john keane

Monitory democracy (John Keane)

  • solving a basic problem facing contemporary democracies: how to promote the unfinished business of finding new ways of democratic living for little people in big and complex societies, in which substantial numbers of citizens believe that politicians are not easily trusted, and in which governments are often accused of abusing their power or being out of touch with citizens, or simply unwilling to deal with their concerns and problems (Keane, 2010: 354).


Lessons from the online alternative journalism movement

Lessons from the online alternative journalism movement

  • A sustainable business model matters

  • Continuing advantages of mainstream media: brand, workforce, audience

  • Challenge of the news/opinion relationship

  • Potential for access to information to become stratified by income

  • Shifting role of public service media – from PSBs to multi-platform media


Wikileaks as an alternative

Wikileaks as an alternative


Pros and cons of wikileaks

Pros and cons of Wikileaks

  • Challenge of tech-savvy “critical outsiders”

  • Need in democracies for transparency and information access

  • “Wikileaks effect” will be felt for a long time

  • But …

    • Very reliant on Julian Assnage as charismatic figurehead

    • Dilemma of internal accountability

    • Balance of fact and advocacy

    • Continued reliance on mainstream media outlets


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