The foundation and ideals of journalism are shifting, as the industry continues to evolve in our ever-expanding, technological environment.
Commonly referred to as the Fourth Estate, the sphere of journalism primarily found its basis in delivering vital information to the public through print, while also acting as a watchdog and reporting on the activities of government. In practicing their tasks, it was an expectation that journalists would maintain an ethical standard and remain truthful and loyal to the public that it served.
Now in 2016, news is sourced instantaneously, through the simple click of an app or a digital copy of a daily newspaper. In a society where news stories are uploaded raw and live from location and where newsrooms have been downsized due to budget cuts, it is becoming questioned how the same ideals of traditional journalism can be practiced today.
As newsrooms become smaller and there remains a heavier emphasis on the computer, how reliable is the information that is circulated? How truthful is every interview, every fact, when there is not a room full of journalists of varying roles to oversee stories before they are uploaded?
Another issue impacting the business of journalism is the matter of payment. In an environment where news can be read online and free of cost for the user, journalists remain affected by compensation for the stories that they tell.
Crowdfunding is an initiative that aids in protecting content produced by journalists and allowing for their stories to be funded. Beacon is one site that allows readers to fund ideas for upcoming projects for endeavouring journalists.
While some of the ideals of traditional journalism appear to be fading, various platforms such as Beacon are taking the step to ensure that not all hope is lost for young journalists.