Yesterday I took the time to journal my media consumption. I placed note on where I went to find media, how much time I spent, and what I liked and disliked about the source. When analyzing my results I realized that most of the media interfacing I do is through the internet, more specifically on my phone. The convenience of having a smart phone allows me to constantly access the web. The ease of downloading an app to update you on the news makes it incredibly simple to stay in touch with the surrounding world. Being a journalism student it is incredibly important for me to keep updated on breaking news. I have The New York Times app on my phone, which allows me to access an online version of the paper everyday, as well as continually updating me on news as it progresses.
In the search for entertainment, another main function of media, I tend to watch Netflix, check Facebook and twitter, and download music. Facebook, twitter, and iTunes are all available on my smartphone just like the news. As a student, convenience is a major factor. I don’t always carry my laptop around or have internet connection, however, my phone is always connected.
When deciding whether or not to trust the media, a major topic discussed within this class, I base my decision on the source. If the source is acclaimed and has been around for a substantial amount of time it becomes easier for me to trust what they present. However, when reading a Facebook post I try to determine what the underlying purpose of the post is. Is the post’s purpose to entertain, shock, or inform? The writer’s intent makes all of the difference!
It becomes slightly more complicated when reading twitter posts by news organizations. While normally I would trust a direct story written on a newspaper’s website, twitter posts are updated at an alarming rate. Posts concerning breaking news tend to appear way before a website can be updated. Therefore, I am careful to question whether or not the same amount of fact checking was considered necessary. The fast pace of media today is a blessing and a curse. While the ability to alert the public of supposed events as soon as possible is wonderful, the time it takes to print out a newspaper allows for much more insurance against incorrect information. When you first read a post by a news organization, one can often go back later and find an adjusted post regarding the same situation.
Regardless of the higher possibility of receiving false information, the convenience of getting information right to your phone and as soon as it can be reported, largely out ways the consequences. I also believe that the fast pace of media is encouraging journalists to become more thorough. The importance of getting all the facts correct the first time they investigate a story becomes much more important. Our current, technologically run, generation could in fact be forcing professionals to become even better at their jobs; they can no longer always depend on the assistance of a fact checker and/or editor.