Comunicar Journal Blog

Does news objectivity matter in the age of digital era?

Survey found that many people under 30 do not read news on newspapers or TV. For example, a study found that 80% of individual do not read newspapers daily, while 70% of older generation does in the United States. This phenomenon happens all over the world. It doesn’t mean that they are not interested in news, but they prefer other consumption patterns.

People worry that young people are no longer interested in public affairs and take it as the decline in a healthy democracy. Others argue that young people are still interested in news, but they would like to read the news that is more relevant to their lives. They found that the conventional newspaper is boring. They do not like to get news from traditional media. Instead, recent research found that they like to learn the current news story form social network sites, such as Facebook, MySpace.

What will happen when professional journalists cannot function as gatekeepers? Friends and family in social media now serve as gatekeepers that bring news stories to the young people.  Online activities make the teenagers engaging with news in a far more complex way than in traditional media. They are not only learning the news event by reading the article itself, but at the same time exposed to the link embedded in the article, read the comments and opinions written by their friends or relatives. It means they are used to expose to a variety of opinion when they read news story. What is the impact on young people’s news consumption?

“Objectivity” is the golden rules of professional journalism. When young people can get news via social media, they inevitably get access to opinionated comments, rather than objective reports alone. Recent study found that young people prefer opinionated report, rather than object news story. It is therefore important to foster a critical mind for young people, so that they can how to make judgement on the news story.Presentation1

Can news be animated?

animated news


Animation is used to play a role in telling the toughest part of the stories.  For example, it is used to illustrate natural disasters, and crisis.  BBC has produced an animated video footage to report how tsunamis happened. With the advance development of technology, the use of animation is now used more frequently in news industry. Animation takes on even more prominent role in news making process, while some media organizations start to produce the news videos using melodramatic animation.

These animated news videos feature character modelling, background music and sound effects. It unfolds the news event with the animated characters and detailed story plot. It raise the concern among the scholars and practitioners, since it may compromise the objectivity and credibility of the news. The unverified version of news is animated, although the practitioners argue that it helps to fill the gap of news stories that cannot shown by videos clips. The technology also engage the audience and attract their eyeballs.

The melodramatic animated news not only produced in Asian cities, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and India. It now has a global impact while some international media organizations also adopt these types of new videos to illustrate political events and crisis.  Some news videos did go viral. For example, the videos of Tigerwood Martial affairs attracted large number of views globally. The inclusion of animation in news production is on the rise, it is important to explore the impact of this new presentation format on the audience and explores the appropriateness of using animation in news industry.  Does animation facilitate the news story telling? Does the use of animation in news upset the journalistic principles? More discussion and study is needed among the media scholars and practitioners.