Journalism's Challenges in an Instantaneous Age

This source preferred by Stephen Jukes

Authors: Jukes, S.

Journal: Harvard International Review

Volume: 24

Issue: 2

In the weeks following September 11, US "reality TV" shows, from Survivor to Temptation Island, took a dive in the ratings. This was hardly surprising when 24-hour cable news stations and major networks were broadcasting uninterrupted coverage of the most devastating attack on the US mainland in history. Stage-managed reality gave way to the real thing. But the technological revolution, which enabled the world to watch a plane plunge into the World Trade Center live on television and has since brought Afghan tribal commanders directly into US living rooms, is causing fundamental changes in the relationship between governments and the media. Governments are finding it increasingly difficult to control the flow of news and to spin it in their favor. At the same time, the pressures of the never-ending news cycle and the demand for instant analysis are placing core journalistic values of objectivity and accuracy at risk.

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